The City of Kaufman plans to install an inclusive playground at Kaufman City Lakes Park, in addition to other amenities.
City Manager Mike Slye gave a presentation to the Kaufman Lions Club on Sept. 3 to discuss the plans to add an inclusive park in the city.
“It is my personal goal and project for the city to install a state-of-the-art, inclusive playground for kids who sit on the sidelines and watch all other kids play, despite going to school with the same kids," Slye said, adding that the playground will allow all children to play and have fun, no matter what disability they have. In researching the project, Slye said "I have been moved to my soul" to learn about the difficulties some children face in doing something so many of us take for granted.
Slye has asked for the Kaufman City Council's support in raising $1 million to fund the installation of the playground. Utility customers in Kaufman can add an extra donation to their monthly bills, with the funds going directly towards park improvements.
At the Aug. 23 City Council meeting, RelyOn Credit Union presented a donation of $2,500 in support of the inclusive playground.
Slye said in addition to to helping local children, the playground will be a regional destination and the only one of its kind in Kaufman County, so it also will act as an economic driver. People will want to come and spend the day at the City Lakes park because of the all-inclusive amenities. These additions and improvements are only a fraction of growth and additions to come to Kaufman County in the near future, he added.
In addition to adding the inclusive playground, the city has submitted applications for grants to a Texas Parks and Wildlife program to add walking and biking trails, as well as improving the lakes so residents can use them for water activities.