Dallas aims to get playground

Just about six weeks ago, many people in Dallas — or Polk County, for that matter — didn’t know what an all-abilities playground was. When we first reported on the Moda Assist Program and the efforts to get all-abilities playground equipment at Roger Jordan Community Park, some responses were, “Isn’t that park brand new?”

It didn’t take long before people became aware that this wasn’t about replacing aging or bad playground equipment, but rather making a space available where children — and adults, if you still have an inner child — of all abilities can play together. The community rallied, stretching well beyond the borders of Dallas, to give Redmond a run for its money in winning the votes for the equipment through Moda Assist.

In the end, Dallas lost that round, but gained something else: A movement is afoot to raise the money ourselves and buy the all-abilities, all-access equipment in spite of losing the vote.

It is inspiring to see how the community rallied. While some sour-grape sentiments were expressed on social media pages, the biggest takeaway is that this community as the spirit to rally again to raise the money and build the park so that everyone has an equal chance to play.

In fact, organizers from Redmond’s efforts were so inspired by the Dallas community spirit, they’ve offered an “assist” themselves — time and ideas on how they built their first all-abilities playground.

All the community needs is someone to spearhead the project. We all have busy lives, so right now it’s on hold until summer. We hope the community doesn’t drop the ball entirely, and that we see the effort gain traction soon.

Everyone should have the space to play together.

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