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A Landmark Step Towards Inclusion: City Council’s Vision for a New All-Inclusive Playground

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In a landmark resolution, the City Council has shown a clear dedication to enhancing the recreational landscape of our city with the adoption of the Parks, Recreation, and Trails System Master Plan on March 1, 2022. One of the priorities outlined in this plan is the development of an inclusive playground within the city – a place that offers children of all abilities an equal opportunity to play, explore and grow together.

North Lakes Park’s Librada “Lily” Cantu Playground, a bustling recreation area for kids between ages 2 to 12, has been identified as the perfect site for this exciting new venture. This new destination will be an all-inclusive park, destined to attract families and visitors from all corners of the region. It’s not just a playground project; it’s a commitment to a future of inclusion, diversity, and equality.

Inclusive playgrounds have a profound impact on children and communities. They offer universal access to play equipment, surfaces, and sensory elements, providing children of all abilities with an equal chance to engage in outdoor play activities. This promotes social interaction, physical activity, and cognitive development. More than just places of play, inclusive playgrounds are social hubs that foster inclusivity, break down barriers and contribute towards creating a more accepting community.

The new design of the Librada “Lily” Cantu Playground will be ‘barrier-free’ and will feature unique play areas offering universal design features catering to a wide range of abilities, both physical and cognitive. The innovative playground design will include rehabilitation equipment, nature-based elements, and interactive experiences that are appropriate for children and adults of all abilities.

On April 18, 2023, our City Council took a significant step towards strengthening our community and enhancing the quality of life by approving a Professional Services Agreement with Mesa Design Associates, Inc. This agreement ensures the availability of professional design services for the highly anticipated North Lakes Park Librada “Lily” Cantu Inclusive Playground project.

The Parks and Recreation staff and Mesa Design Inc. are eagerly launching the project this month, and work is underway to establish a timeline for its successful completion. To ensure that the playground truly embodies the spirit of our community, a focus group will be established to help shape the vision of this unique space. Additionally, the first public meeting is scheduled for late summer or early fall, where you can learn more about this project and how it impacts our community.

Stay tuned for more information on this landmark project. We look forward to seeing the North Lakes Park Lily Cantu Inclusive Playground take shape, providing a space for all members of our community to enjoy, socialize, and explore in a truly inclusive setting. This is more than a park project; it’s a testament to our city’s commitment to equity, inclusion, and shared joy.

To learn more about the history of the project and to receive project updates, please go to the following link, Lily Cantú Inclusive Playground Master Plan | Discuss Denton

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