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Cuero's revitalized playground is kid approved

By Sara Sneath
May 12, 2014 at 12:12 a.m.

Three-year-old Sadie Gomez and her 2-year-old brother, Ace, check out all the new playground equipment in the new playscapes at Cuero's Municipal Park. The new facility houses two different areas: A covered area for adults to watch their children play and a walking trail.

If you go

• WHAT: Grand opening for the new playground

• WHEN: 4 p.m. May 21

• WHERE: Cuero Municipal Park

CUERO - Taylor Roberts, 6, of Yorktown, ran from one piece of playground equipment to the next after school Monday, climbing, swinging and jumping her way through all the park's new attractions.

The city completed $405,000 in updates to its municipal park. The new design includes swing sets, a tilt-a-whirl, merry-go-round and two large jungle gyms, one of which is wheelchair accessible.

The renovations were paid for through $98,704 in grants from GameTime, the playground equipment distributor; a $95,000 grant from the Cuero Development Corporation, which is funded by a sales tax; and the remaining $211,296 was from the city.

Construction on the 300-by-275-foot play area began in late-November.

"She loves it. We've been waiting for it to open," said Taylor's mom, Lynn Roberts, 35, of Yorktown.

Clouds loomed overhead late-afternoon Monday, but a steady stream of children and their parents wanting to check out Cuero Municipal Park's revamped playground stopped by after school.

Ace Gomez, 2, of Cuero, tried to keep up with his big sister, Sadie Gomez, 3, also of Cuero, as she ran from the spring riders, through the tunnel and, finally, to the slides.

"We come out here and let them wear themselves out," said Sadie's and Ace's dad, Matt Gomez, 34, of Cuero. "They were talking about it when it was closed. Asking me, 'Is it open yet?'"

The play area was last updated in 1999 by Texas Parks and Wildlife, parks director David Danish said. Previously, there were two small jungle gyms, three swing sets and a few small ride-on toys. But the area had a lot of empty space, which was filled with pea gravel.

"In the summertime, pea gravel gets hot, and it gets in your shoes and such," Danish said. "We've always wanted to change that."

Now, the playground is covered in wood chips with crushed granite paths around the perimeter and through the center.

The larger of the two new jungle gyms can be accessed by a wheelchair and has a sway boat, which is also accessible to wheelchairs. Danish said he wanted to add wheelchair accessible equipment to the park for the children at the DeWitt-Lavaca Special Education Cooperative.

"They would come and utilize our playground on certain occasions, and that's where I got the idea. They really couldn't do anything because you can't take a wheelchair into pea gravel," Danish said. "And there really wasn't very much for them to do. And I thought, 'wow, let's do something about this because you never know how many kids out there can't use our playground.'"

Hayze Squyres, 4, of Cuero, played on the swings Monday. His mom, April Squyres, 26, of Cuero, on the other hand, used the new hexagon canopy seating area.

"There was no place to sit before," Squyres said.

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