Monday, May 20, 2024

Acton Place Park receives $50K from Granbury Optimist Club for playground equipment

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Acton Place Park is one step closer to getting playground equipment installed on its property.

A few weeks ago, the Granbury Optimist Club generously donated $50,000 to the Hood County Development District No. 1 to be used for the park as part of its matching community grant program.

"The development district has put about $87,000 and change into what's at the park currently," HCDD No. 1 President Todd Hall told the Hood County News. “Then this year for the 2024 budget, we approved $150,000 for construction and infrastructure, and then we also approved a $50,000 matching community grant program, just because we wanted a way for community members to be able to make their money go further.”

Hall said the board approved $50,000 in matching funds for a community partner that wanted to step up and donate — which is exactly what the Granbury Optimist Club did.

“I think the big thing for me is to say that if you're not participating in the community that you live in, then you're really not part of it,” Granbury Optimist Club President Cyndi Acosta said. “For me personally, this was a big deal and I know for the Optimist Club as a whole that this is a big deal to be able to give back to the community and provide a safe place for kids to play through the summer. We already have the two parks in Granbury so including Acton now makes it a little more well-rounded, and that's what we really try to be — as fair and equitable to all the kids in the county.”

With $150,000 from HCDD No. 1, plus a total of $100,000 from the matching community grant program, Acton Place Park now has a total of $250,000 approved for construction in 2024.

“This is going to be instrumental in finishing the first phase of the project,” Hall said. “We can start using it right now.”

Phase one, Hall said, includes the installation of safety handrails, sidewalks, bollards (a short post placed to deflect traffic from the area) and the first turf area.

“Construction approved for this year will include roughing in the electrical for the lighting on lot number two and roughing in the plumbing and the concrete for the future bathroom building, along with some landscaping, the playgrounds, and some crushed granite surfacing for picnic tables,” he said.

Playground Solutions of Texas has now officially signed the contract for Acton Place Park which includes the installation of two different playgrounds: one for toddlers and one for bigger kids.

The toddler playground will feature three small slides, a small climbing area and a few interactive activity panels, while the larger playground for older children will feature three bigger slides and larger climbing areas.

"We got the designs and compared them in the cost, and we liked what the Playground Solutions of Texas company does, because they've already done multiple parks in Granbury,” Hall said. “They actually have some that are currently in the works, so they already know Hood County and how we operate like safety standards. Their price was also more competitive.”

Hall explained that in the future, Acton Place Park will be able to add more elements to the park like swing sets and different surface materials.

“Playgrounds are such a huge broad spectrum of things that you can add on, so we wanted to be able to set it up where you can add elements later,” he explained. “We'll start with the fiber mulch, the wood fiber mulch, because it's the most economical surface that's safe. But in the long term, we'd hope to get donors that can do the pour-in-place rubber because that's a great long-term solution but it's expensive. The fiber mulch is nice because you can add elements to it before that pour-in-place rubber base goes down, but if you put the pour-in-place down now, then you have to tear out sections of it and put your new added elements in it, so that is one advantage to having the fiber mulch."

The idea for Acton Place Park — located at 360 Silverton Drive in Acton — began back in September 2020, when a group of friends and neighbors came together to discuss the idea. In February 2021, a board of directors for the project was formed.

“The community really doesn't have anything that's in this area that has walking trails,” Hall said in a previous interview with the HCN. “Some of these commercial areas that you've probably been to in Fort Worth that have outdoor turf areas, and people are hanging out, playing catch, and they're doing outdoor movies — that's kind of the vision for this park is to have a multifaceted amenity area for families to be able to use.”

The HCDD No. 1 purchased the land needed for this project off North Gate Road between the Main Place, Grand Place and Acton Landing neighborhoods.

Plans for the park include two playgrounds, a sand volleyball court, a garden, a walking trail, a dog park, a pavilion, restrooms, a concert stage with an inflatable movie screen, an area for food trucks and a basketball court.

“I would just like to say that it would not be possible to do this type of park without community partners like Granbury Optimist Club, because we're all in this together,” Hall added. “And hopefully, this is a legacy that we get to leave for the kids for a long time — far beyond us.”

For future updates, follow the Acton Place Park Facebook page.