ALDINE – One year ago, Pct. 2 Commissioner Adrian Garcia held a groundbreaking for a new type of public park, that he named “all-inclusive.” This Saturday, the public is invited to the Grand Opening of that park, with a ribbon cutting ceremony that starts at 11:00 am at the park on Bentley, adjacent to the Northeast Community Center.
James Driver Park will be a regional destination for persons of all ages and abilities.
Commissioner Adrian Garcia said, “We have to make sure that we recognize the fact that people, children in particular, with physical and cognitive disabilities are among the largest underrepresented minority groups in the Houston/ Harris County area, and we need to do more for them.”
“This park will be addressing an entire spectrum of special needs – a space where children with disabilities can play alongside with friends and siblings, as well as their parents, caregivers, physical therapists, educators, or even physicians.”
The $7.6 million project, has already been recognized as having an important role in the county. Texas Parks and Wildlife awarded the park a $1.5 million grant to transform James Driver Park to a space for residents of all ages and abilities to exercise, socialize, and play. Located in an underserved part of Harris County, this expansion project should also help to revitalize the surrounding community and will serve as a destination to visitors of the city.
“One of the things that this park will do is provide opportunities for other children who grew up just like us. If it weren’t for these parks, we would not have a place to go hangout, to go play basketball, to come bring family members that may have special needs,” said Representative Walle, an Aldine area native.
The expansion will include an improved and widened walking trail that will accommodate people in wheelchairs, a playground specially designed for people of all abilities, both physical and cognitive, an outdoor gaming and fitness area featuring bocce, shuffleboard, chess tables, corn hole, bean bag toss and fitness equipment. It will also include a misting area and plenty of shade to providing relief from the heat, covered dining space and outdoor picnic areas, sensory garden featuring indigenous perennials, an event lawn and pavilion for musical and other entertainment, and so much more!
“This [park] will be put to good use for generations and generations to come. The kids are going to be able to feel welcome, to feel at home, to feel safe, and this is just another jewel in the cap of Precinct 2,” said Senator Alvarado.
James Driver Park is a 29-acre park and community center located in northeast Houston along US Highway 59 with plenty of premier greenspace.