Growing up in Dallas, pro golfer Jordan Spieth recalls parents Shawn and Chris taking him to playgrounds with Steven, his brother, and Ellie, his sister with special needs.
“A slide, two swings, and a merry-go-round,” Spieth says of the playgrounds, not unlike ones most folks remember from their own childhoods. “Someone happened to be injured by the end of the day.”
Spieth was on hand Thursday to dedicate the Signature Play Ground for People of All Ages and Abilities at Flag Pole Hill, a state-of-the-art play space designed to be safe and engaging for families with children of varying capabilities, and to allow even parents or grandparents with limited mobility to actively participate with kids on the go.
“This playground supports social interaction, but also cognitive development, and that’s not what you see in old playgrounds,” said Spieth before cutting the ribbon. “This play space promotes and encourages inclusion, and we couldn’t be more proud to be support a project like this.”
The Jordan Spieth Family Foundation was a major donor to the project, committing early to match contributions of other individuals and groups. Lake Highlands Junior Women’s League, Lake Highlands Women’s League, Exchange Club of Lake Highlands, For the Love of the Lake and the Dallas Parks Foundation also played major roles, and city bond funds completed financing.
“This is the perfect example of a public-private partnership,” said Dallas Park Board President Bobby Abtahi. “It was not an easy thing, but if it’s easy, it’s not worth doing.”
“It’s definitely the coolest playground in the city,” agreed Lake Highlands Park Board rep Robb Stewart, “and probably the most expensive. It’s a lot more complicated than what you see. We’ve preserved the shade trees. We have great fall zones. When you walk on it, you’ll think you’re on a king-sized bed.”
Admission to the city-owned playground is free, stressed, Councilman Adam McGough. And the championship for best playground in the City of Dallas? McGough said that trophy goes to Jordan Spieth.
To that, Ellie’s cheer squad from her Notre Dame School, also on hand for the ribbon cutting, game a b-i-g cheer.
You can see my photos here.