FRISCO -- While their delighted daughter went round and round, Terry and Shirley Darkis told us their heads were spinning, too, as they marveled at a specialized, back-supported merry-go-round and all the other custom attractions at Hope Park Frisco.
Everything at the playground is accessible to their little girl, who has Down syndrome.
“It’s just amazing to see that all the children can participate,” Shirley Darkis said. Her husband Terry explains
“All the other parks you see are built for typical kids," her husband, Terry, explained. "Everything is higher and harder.”
What makes this place unique is that it’s built specifically for special needs kids. But it’s versatile enough to be enjoyed by children who don’t have special needs. That way, siblings and friends of all abilities can play together.
“It makes me tear up a little bit," said Jenni Jensen, the park’s president.. "It makes me so happy they can finally have this playground to play on."
She was compelled to build Hope Park after her daughter broke a leg and was in a wheelchair for six weeks.
“So I got to experience what it is like for children who are in wheelchairs -- trying to go to a park and wheel her through wood chips, and trying to get her into swings I couldn’t get her into," she said. "I found the need for it, and I decided to do it.”
The kids will never know how many donations and volunteers it took to get it all done. What they do understand, and what their parents get to enjoy, is that at Hope Park, every kid - regardless of their circumstances - can just be a kid.
For more information about Hope Park in Frisco, click here.