Playgrounds

The Houston Parks and Recreation Department has six playgrounds where all children and families can play together, regardless of their abilities. Located throughout the department’s park system, these playgrounds were built through a variety of programs, but all aim to provide inclusive environments for children of all abilities.

The most recent campaign to build inclusive playgrounds in H.P.A.R.D. parks has been the Playgrounds Without Limits Campaign. Created in 2006 to address the play opportunity challenges faced by children with disabilities, this campaign is designed to seek alternative funding and build playgrounds that exceed A.D.A. requirements. Playgrounds Without Limits facilities are designed with a ramp and poured in place pad that allows children and parents with disabilities the opportunity to access up to 90% of the play structure. Sites for Playgrounds Without Limits were chosen based on statistics provided by the Mayor’s Office for People With Disabilities. For more information on how you can help with the Playgrounds Without Limits Campaign, visit the Houston Parks Board website at www.houstonparksboard.org. The Houston Parks Board, a 501 (c) (3) non-profit organization, works in conjunction with the Houston Parks and Recreation Department, and oversees the funding and building of the playgrounds in City of Houston parks. For information on the campaign, email: askparks@houstontx.gov.

NAMES & LOCATIONS OF HPARD ACCESSIBLE PLAYGROUNDS

The Playground Without Limits at Alief Park
Cost: $443,027
Funded: C.I.P.
Address: 11903 Bellaire Blvd, 77072

The Playground Without Limits at Alief Park was designed to be bright, exciting, and fully accessible so park visitors with disabilities can interact with their friends on an equal basis. Those with sight and hearing impairments will find that the play equipment offers fun, sensory-rich activities. Braille and sign panels encourage learning and interaction. Children with mobility issues can join in the play via a series of ramps and transfer systems that allows access to 90% of the play structure. A rubberized ground surface and covered picnic areas are available to the whole family so that everyone can interact at the playground. Those who may have felt that the world was not open to them will know that this is a place for them and for all children.

CVS Boundless Playground at Eastwood Park

Opened: February 20, 2010
Cost: $443,027
Funded: CVS Caremark All Kids Can Grant & C.I.P.
Address: 5000 Harrisburg, 77011

On Saturday, February 20, 2010, a grand ribbon-cutting opened the Boundless Playground to the children of Eastwood Park. The new playground replaced an older structure that was not handicap-accessible. Funded through a $250,000 grant from CVS Caremark All Kids Can and $183,000 from the Houston Parks and Recreation Department, the playground is a joint initiative between CVS Caremark, Boundless Playgrounds, the Houston Parks and Recreation Department, and the Houston Parks Board, Inc. It is estimated that there are 1,000 children in the area with a disability that might keep them from enjoying free play in the park. The Boundless Playground is accessible to children with physical and sensory disabilities, giving them the chance to play with their peers in a setting that gives full range to their imaginations.

Buddy Carruth Playground for All Children at Hermann Park

Opened: 1995
Cost: $1.3 million
Funded: Hermann Park Conservancy & Houston Parks Board
Address: 6001 Fannin, 77030

The Buddy Carruth Playground for All Children offers fun for children of all abilities. Most equipment at the playground is handicap accessible, and the interactive water playground is a hit with kids in hot weather. The playground is within sight of the Texas Medical Center and is near the METRORail Line on Fannin Street, the newly-expanded Hermann Park mini-train, and all the attractions of Hermann Park.

The Vale-Asche Foundation Playground – Memorial Park 

Opened: December 16, 2006
Funded: Playgrounds Without Limit Campaign
Address: 6501 Memorial Drive, 77007

Located inside Memorial Park, across Memorial Loop Drive from the Memorial Park Golf Course Clubhouse, with convenient parking at the Mayor Jim McConn Ballfield, the Vale-Asche Foundation Playground was built as Houston’s first Playground Without Limits, and was dedicated on December 16, 2006. It was designed to be bright, exciting, and fully accessible for children with disabilities. Children with sight and hearing impairments will find that the play equipment offers fun, sensory-rich activities. Braille and sign panels encourage learning and interaction. Children with mobility issues can join in the play via a series of ramps and transfer systems that allows access to 90% of the play structure. A rubberized ground surface and covered picnic areas invite the whole family to interact at the playground. Those who may have felt that the world was not open to them will know that this is a place for them and for all children.The playground was funded through the Playgrounds Without Limits fund. Thanks to the Vale-Asche Foundation and Playgrounds Without Limits Founding Partners Dr. Carolyn Farb, the City of Houston Mayor’s Office, Houston Parks and Recreation Department, Houston Parks Board, and the Houston Association of Realtors.

The Vale- Asche Foundation Playground Without Limits at
the Metropolitan Multi-Service Center

Opened: April 16, 2011
Cost: $634,599
Funded: Playgrounds Without Limit Campaign
Address: 1475 West Gray, 77019

A Festival of Abilities took place on April 16, 2011, which highlighted a ribbon-cutting ceremony for the Vale-Asche Foundation Playground Without Limits. Mayor Annise Parker, District D Council Member Wanda Adams, H.P.A.R.D. Director Joe Turner, and Playgrounds Without Limits Chair Dr. Carolyn Farb took part. The playground incorporates the Playgrounds Without Limits values and design concepts, and its bright colors and location at the Metropolitan Multi-Service Center make it a popular part of the neighborhood.

The Playground Without Limits at Tidwell Park

Opened: January 23, 2010
Cost: $634,599
Funded: Playgrounds Without Limit Campaign
Address: 9720 Spaulding, 77016

The Playground Without Limits at Tidwell Park was designed to be bright, exciting, and fully accessible for children with disabilities. Park visitors with sight and hearing impairments will find that the play equipment offers fun, sensory-rich activities. Braille and sign panels encourage learning and interaction. Children with mobility issues can join in the play via a series of ramps and transfer systems that allows access to 90% of the play structure. A rubberized ground surface and covered picnic areas invite the whole family to interact at the playground. Those who may have felt that the world was not open to them will know that this is a place for them and for all children.