Located at 1240 Larkspur Drive, Mark Twain Park’s playground underwent renovations starting in December to add accessibility enhancements, replace old playground equipment and upgrade adjacent walkways and ramps. The playground finished renovations Feb. 10 using funds from a 2021 bond program.
“The playground renovation projects identified as part of the 2021 bond program are important ... to better serve neighborhoods in our community,” said Richardson Parks and Recreation Director Lori Smeby.
In addition to accessibility upgrades that bring the park into full compliance with state and federal accessibility standards, the playground itself has a new, vibrant-colored structure with slides, swings, bridges and stepping blocks. A new drinking fountain was also installed on the site.
Under the $3 million 2021 bond program, nine playgrounds were scheduled to receive renovations, including the completed improvements at Mark Twain Park and work at Woodhaven Grove Park. All nine projects in the 2021 program are expected to be completed by 2026, with the city planning for two playground improvements per year for four years, according to Richardson officials.
Additional construction is expected across the city’s neighborhood parks in 2023, including a new playground at Breckinridge Park. The new playground, which is expected to be open in the third quarter of 2023, is designed to replace an outdated structure. It will have a concrete walkway surrounding the park, a water fountain and a variety of seating options, according to a discussion at a Feb. 20 Richardson City Council work session. Construction at Terrace Park and Berkner Park to replace equipment and upgrade walkways and ramps is expected to begin during the summer.
According to Superintendent of Park Planning Kurt Beilharz, Richardson plans to renovate the city’s neighborhood parks every 15-20 years. Including parks under construction, Richardson has 978 acres of parkland across 39 locations, according to its website.