North Texas Daily

Eureka 2 improves accessibility and amps up the fun

Eureka 2 improves accessibility and amps up the fun

Eureka 2 improves accessibility and amps up the fun
October 13
13:47 2015

Kayleigh Bywater | Senior Staff Writer

@kayleighnic0le

Eureka 2, which is taking the place of the Eureka playground located at South Lakes Park, will be one of the only handicap-accessible parks in the area.

In addition, the new park will house amenities for all children. Eureka, the park’s predecessor, was only set to be useable for 20 years, according to Parks Foundation executive director Molly Tampke.

“Eureka lasted as long as it was supposed to last,” Tampke said. “We are ready to utilize advanced equipment and practices in order to create the most diverse, most usable park that we can for all children in the community.”

Making the new park handicap-accessible was part of the plan from the beginning, as the original park didn’t provide many options for handicapped children.

In the planning of Eureka 2, Tampke said the Parks Foundation and designers tried to learn as much as they could about specialized features by seeking help from a special needs advising group.

Tampke said Eureka 2 will feature handicap-accessible swings and zip lines, a carousel that can accommodate wheelchairs, activity pads that include brail, more ramps and a larger area to provide for easier mobility.

The park will also feature all recyclable, up-to-date materials, and Tampke said the park will be easier to maintain and keep clean.

“We are trying to provide a wide variety of options for children regarding Eureka 2 so that they can all come together and just be kids,” Tampke said. “Some of these kids’ parents played at this park when they were younger, so to have the chance for them to start fresh with a park they can actually utilize will be very rewarding.”

Instead of just bringing in construction workers to put this park together, it will be rebuilt by community volunteers. Parks and Recreation communications coordinator Kali Flewellen said the park would not be possible without volunteers.

Just as children will be coming together to enjoy Eureka 2, the department wants the community to come together to create it.

“The official idea for this whole project is that it is a community built playground,” Flewellen said. “Anyone who wants to volunteer to create and build Eureka 2 is more than welcome. This playground is going to offer opportunities for children that they may not otherwise have.”

International studies junior Courtney Cannon will be helping build the playground alongside her sorority, Zeta Tau Alpha. Though the undertaking will be an ideal service project, she said she is more looking forward to giving back to the community.

“With Eureka 2, we are helping build a better tomorrow for the future of Denton,” Cannon said. “This park will give happiness to those who once were not able to experience the joy of playing on a playground.”

Pre-building will take place from Oct. 21 – 23, and actual construction be from Nov. 10 – 15.

Tampke said although creating the playground will take a lot of work, it will be worth it in the end to create a park accessible for all children.

“By creating Eureka 2, there will be less differences between children in the community,” Tampke said. “We are going to be giving all kids the same opportunities. Every single kid is going to be able to just act like [a] kid, regardless of differences.”

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