City Council Briefed on Plan to Implement Inclusive Playground

On Oct 15, 2018, the Richardson City Council and City Managers Office was briefed on the status of Cottonwood Park Inclusive Playground. Lori Smeby, Parks Department Director, presented the plan of action asking the Council to consider agenda items to approve the purchase of playground equipment and the restroom on Oct 22, 2018; and to approve the purchase of playground installation on November 5, 2018. The target for completion of the Inclusive Playground is April 2019.

Additional information can be found in the official City of Richardson press release here.

The contractor provided updated artist concepts for display at the October 15, Council Meeting. (see below). The playground will be built within the existing foot print of the old playground. No trees will be removed in the process, thus the natural beauty of Cottonwood Park will shine through. The fence in these artist concept will be a four foot high wrought iron fence. The color in this rendition and equipment portrays the final design.

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Click on the “arrow” below to see a video “fly-through” of the inclusive playground.


Inclusive Playground Fundraising is Complete

“Make It Happen” Was a Great Success

What you see above is the old Cotton Creek playground where the new Inclusive Playground is being installed. The new restroom is already in place and the Rotary garden is being installed on the right side. What you see in the middle is the preparations for installing the concrete bases and supports for the new play equipment. All of that play equipment is already on site. We’re making great progress!!! Sometime in early April we should be able to announce the completion schedule.

Where Can I Donate?

After combining the baseline and enhancements identified, the projected cost for the Inclusive Playground at Cottonwood Park increased from $450,000 to $938,918. Richardson East Rotary Club raised it’s goal to $500,000 to help bridge the gap between the City bond funds of $200,000 and City Capital Improvement fund requirements to complete the inclusive playground. While we are seeking larger donations from corporations and foundations, there is no donation too small.  Donations of all sizes contribute to the playground’s success.  You may make your tax deductible donation through the Richardson East Rotary Foundation by clicking button below.

We’re rapidly closing the gap to reach our fund raising goal. In any case, we’ll close fund raising on Dec 31st and focus on doing the best job possible in maximizing the “play value” with the funds we have. If you drive by Cottonwood park, you’ll see that the play ground equipment has all been removed and we’re moving forward with the build. Ground breaking is planned for January 13th at 2:00 pm. You’re welcome to attend. There will be an opportunity for community members to come forward and “move some dirt” if they desire. 

If notice the containers at the park, that’s the playground equipment. Contracts for the construction crew should be signed before Christmas.

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What’s Changed Since August 2018?

We’re excited to report that the revised fundraising goal of $500,000 has been met. Those donations include a naming rights gift of $100,000 from Charles and Ann Eisemann, the Eisemann’s also made a $25,000 gift to be applied to the inclusive restroom near the playground. The Rees-Jones foundation made a $50,000 matching funds grant.

Enhancements: In August 2018, when the initial fundraising goal was essentially complete, we began to define the enhancements identified by the inclusive playground team and the inputs from citizens that reviewed the interim concepts on August 9th. Those enhancements included:

  •  Expanding playground footprint to provide for greater inclusive access through additional equipment and increased play value
  •  Professional installation
  •  Additional shade features
  •  Full poured in place surface
  •  Fencing to control exit points for children
  •  Additional designated handicap parking spaces
  •  Fully accessible family restroom with reinforced changing table in close proximity to the playground

Those enhancements increased the project budget to $935,918. The City reassessed their commitments and Richardson East Rotary Club committed to raise $500,000. Almost $35,000 of the Reese-Jones foundation matching grant was still available to match new donations. The fundraising team is proud to report that we exceeded the $500,000 goal and the Inclusive Playground is well underway. All contracts for the procurement and installation have been awarded and the work is progressing. 

The Inclusive Playground team thanks everyone for their support and donations. Together we Made it Happen!