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LA GRANGE, Texas – A $20,000 grant from the Lower Colorado River Authority will help pay for new shade structures at one of the city’s most popular playgrounds.
The Community Development Partnership Program grant, along with $31,000 in matching funds from the City of La Grange, will cover the cost of installing a fabric shade canopy above the playground at Randolph Park. Fabric sails on one side of the canopy will provide additional shade to the playground, which is fully accessible to disabled children and adjacent to a much-used splash pad.
“Our kids love the playscape, especially our little ones, but it just gets so bloomin’ hot out there,” said Janet Rangel, recreation director for the City of La Grange. “We have a lot of people who come to this park, and not just from the La Grange area. People walk to it and people travel to it. Part of it is the splash pad, but it’s also because of the safety features for the little ones.”
Those safety features include a rubberized, porous base instead of mulch or gravel.
“It’s very safe, but it gets mighty hot,” Rangel said. “If you step on it barefoot, it feels like a tar-topped road. These shaded areas will help the little ones move from one activity to another a lot easier. The kids will be able to flow freely back and forth between the splash pad and the playground instead of stopping, putting on shoes and worrying about how hot it is.”
Rangel said the city hopes to install the shade structures by mid-summer.
“We discussed having a splash pad and an ADA-compliant playground for years before we put it in,” she said. “Now, a lot of the families we see there are having a good time – from the 8-month-olds crawling around to the 85-year-old grandparents sitting on the side. I love that aspect of it.”
The community grant is one of 25 grants awarded recently through LCRA’s Community Development Partnership Program, which helps volunteer fire departments, local governments, emergency responders and nonprofit organizations fund capital improvement projects in LCRA’s wholesale electric, water and transmission service areas. The program is part of LCRA’s effort to give back to the communities it serves. The City of La Grange is one of LCRA’s wholesale electric customers and is a partner in the grant program.
Applications for the next round of grants will be accepted in July. More information is available at lcra.org/cdpp.
The Lower Colorado River Authority serves customers and communities throughout Texas by managing the lower Colorado River; generating and transmitting electric power; providing a clean, reliable water supply; and offering outdoor adventures at more than 40 parks along the Colorado River from the Texas Hill Country to the Gulf Coast. LCRA and its employees are committed to fulfilling our mission to enhance the quality of life of the Texans we serve through water stewardship, energy and community service. LCRA was created by the Texas Legislature in 1934 and receives no state appropriations. For more information, visit lcra.org.