Imagine a place where kids (and their families) with diverse abilities can come together and participate in meaningful play. In Richardson, that place will soon be a reality thanks to the Ann Eisemann Inclusive Playground! This exciting and bold venture will not only create a great place for play, but also will create understanding of how kids of varying abilities can interact and play together!
A groundbreaking ceremony was held in January 2019 at Cottonwood Park. The Ann Eisemann Inclusive Playground will feature elements such as ramps, specialized surfaces and inclusive play amenities to ensure people of all ages and abilities can play together. The park will also get improvements to accessible parking spaces, walkways and a new accessible family-style restroom.
The Cottonwood Park playground was scheduled for replacement through the City’s 2015 General Obligation Bond program. However, the Richardson East Rotary Club raised more than $500,000 to make the playground inclusive. In addition to a naming rights donation made by Charles and Ann Eisemann, major donors include the B.B. Owen Trust, The Rees-Jones Foundation, the Richardson East Rotary Club, the Richardson Rotary Club, Methodist Richardson Medical Center, 100 Women of Richardson and Knickers or Nothin’, Inc. More than 1,000 individuals, couples, organizations, companies and families donated toward the playground’s construction.
The project scope also includes the construction of a small garden adjacent to the new playground. This garden will feature a variety of plants with different colors, shapes and textures in raised beds surrounded by limestone blocks. The blocks can be used as seat walls and will allow visitors easier and closer access to the plants so they can feel the textures and smell the blooms.
Construction is scheduled to be complete by late spring 2019, weather permitting.