ATHENS — A new children’s play garden accessible to the handicapped and including adult workout stations is planned for the East Texas Arboretum.
The play garden equipment that the arboretum has now cannot accommodate large groups and often needs repairs, Ms. Glasgow said.
“We have sometimes more than 100 kids on one field trip,” she said.
The arboretum provides activities free to school groups in Henderson County and surrounding counties, including Smith, Van Zandt, Navarro and Kaufman counties, and from as far away as Fort Worth.
Retired teachers provide age-appropriate curriculum and activity centers for the field trip groups. Afterward, the children engage in play time.
“The new equipment we want to get will accommodate more children and is handicapped accessible,” Ms. Glasgow said,
It will have a look-out fort and fairy garden area, a rope climbing apparatus with a merry-go-round and new slides although the arboretum will keep its existing slide built into a hill.
For handicapped children, there will be handicapped-accessible swings, a rolling table for children who don’t have use of their legs that will help with use of their muscles, sensory tables and playboards for children in wheelchairs.
To complement the play garden, there will be workout stations for adults to use while watching their children, she said.
“We want to make recreation a family fun event. We realize times are tough and not everybody can afford to go to a gym. This way they can spend time with their kids and get a workout at the same time and everybody gets to be outdoors and exercise,” Ms. Glasgow said.
Depending on how fast funding comes in, she expects installation of the new equipment could start this winter and that the new play garden could open in late spring.