Harris County Precinct 2 Inclusive Parks
Harris County, Texas, is the third most populous county in the US. Precinct 2 encompasses nearly 560 square miles of East Harris County and is home to more than 55 parks and 27 miles of trails.
These parks offer a haven for county residents to connect with nature, their community, and their families. Precinct staff have endeavored to provide and maintain well-designed parks and public spaces that create inclusive opportunities for residents of all ages to relax and express themselves.
Percussion Play’s instruments are featured in most of the parks with colorful Rainbow Chimes, Harmony Flowers and Harmony Bells, as well as Rainbow Cavatinas, and Petal Drums. They provide visitors with spaces to make music together, where no previous musical skills or knowledge is required to enjoy them. People of all ages and abilities can play alongside each other and experience the joy of spontaneous music-making in the outdoors.
Located in an underserved part of Harris County, the revitalized James Driver All Inclusive Park is the first fully inclusive park in Precinct 2 and Harris County. Commissioner Adrian Garcia’s vision was to create a space for everybody regardless of limitations and challenges. The park now serves as a hub for the local community, providing a space for residents of all ages and abilities to exercise, socialize and play.
Earlier this month, Precinct 2 celebrated the opening of another project near and dear to Commissioner Adrian Garcia’s heart and the Northside community. The Commissioner was honored to dedicate a new pocket park named after Josue Flores. Josue was tragically killed while walking home from school. He was only 11 years old.
The park is located across from the Leonel Community Center and includes STEM elements in honor of Josue’s love for science. Percussion Play Partner fun abounds were honored to be involved in the project and supplied the Harmony Flowers and three musical Stepping Stones that secretly hide a musical chord beneath them which is easily activated by a step, jump, push or wheel across their top.
Leigh Walden, owner, said, "What an honor to be involved in this amazing Harris County Precinct 2 park and playground. fun abounds is grateful to be a part of helping create new playground memories filled with fun for generations to come."
Commissioner Adrian Garcia says, “The percussion sets are a win-win in many aspects! They add to the aesthetic of the public space, expose children to musical instruments, allow children to express themselves in a new way, and stimulate sensory learning.”
Commissioner Garcia adds, “The value of inclusive parks is priceless. By allowing people of all abilities to use our facilities, we see people at our parks we have never seen before. The park is always busy. Recently, the Texas Recreation and Park Society (TRAPS) brought a group of stakeholders from across the country to tour James Driver Park. We are proud the park is getting national attention and can raise the bar for how we think about parks and inclusivity!”
Precinct 2 parks illustrate the importance of accessibility, and soon more constituents will be able to create music with plans for Percussion Play’s instruments to be installed in all playgrounds. The popularity of these parks will surely mean parks all over the United States will move to include accessible and inclusive areas for play.