Impressive Improvements in Garland Parks
Incredible, amazing, awesome, are just a few of the adjectives used by folks as they discover the new, all inclusive playground in Central Park. There’s something there to attract the interest of all kids, young and old. Use the attached mallet to tap out a tune on the xylophone, or drum as you enter the area. The playground has a rubberized floor to prevent skinned knees, a sensory board and braille alphabet panels. There are also all the other features you would normally find in a playground, but presented in a new and creative way. The entire area is fenced in, so there can be no wandering off the premises that have only one entrance/exit. If you are entering Central Park from Garland Road, you will want to make a right turn just after you pass by the newly renovated Granger Recreation Center. Look for the bright blue umbrellas.
Another new and impressive surprise awaits visitors at Ablon Park, near Guthrie and Rosehill. This park is a hidden gem, with a fishing pond and pier. There’s a walking trail circling the little lake, and picnic pads with grills along the way, on the shaded side. This park has always been a personal favorite, but we weren’t expecting what we found as we pulled into the park. There’s a brand new pavilion, with a new playground beside it. We were greatly impressed with all the new furnishings, but were not prepared for the ultimate surprise! As we entered the new pavilion and glanced up, we discovered a mural in the ceiling. The artwork, sliced into wedges by steel girders, is colorful and represents elements found in the structures surroundings. Painted by Garland, an artist Colin Laassiter, who has two other murals in the city. Of those, one is located at 506 Main Street, in Downtown Garland, and the other at Duck Creek. This one required painting overhead, and took the artist about three weeks to complete. I was about to compare this new piece of outdoor art to the Sistine Chapel, but that may be stretching it a bit. Go take a look, it will make you smile.
Thanks to the 2019 bond election, there are many new elements being planned and renovations being made to Garland parks. The City Council is currently discussing the placement of new water features, such as the replacement of the Surf & Swim pool at Audubon Park, the possible addition of a lazy river, and splash pads to be distributed among several of the 63 Garland parks. Right now they are discussing the placement of six splash pads, but that number could change. There are also plans to renovate the swimming pools at Holford, Bradford and Wynn Parks. The biggest benefactor from the bond may be Rick Oden Park, with a skate park and other major renovations and additions.