Dino Playground Update - Location Considerations

Posted by April Reiling on Feb 14, 2014
Tags: Community, Parks, Town News

The dinosaur-themed playground is still in the works and will hopefully become a reality soon for young Trophy Club residents! The Dino Playground equipment has already been purchased and upon site approval, will be delivered and installed. Although Freedom Dog Park is the current proposed playground location, the Town continues to evaluate other potential sites.

The original playground site at the end of Trophy Club Drive (behind the gas well) was selected based on the proximity to The Highlands development (the developer is contributing $40,000 to site improvements), site availability and the connecting neighborhood trail system planned for the playground. The initial proposed site presented several issues, including:

  • zero visibility from Trophy Club Drive (the gas well blocked the view from the road),
  • the project did not include funds to improve the existing gravel access road or build concrete parking spaces,
  • the playground would have abutted the Corps flowage easement (unmaintained wooded areas),
  • the site would have been affected by adverse weather conditions (road, parking and area surrounding playground would be muddy), and
  • the site location presented an obstacle with potential plans for the development of the Loop Road.

Once it became apparent that the original playground location did not adequately meet the needs of the user group and long-term plans for a Loop Road, Town staff examined various areas and park locations in town for potential playground sites, predicated upon the following:

  • the playground site should be within or in close proximity to The Highlands development (the Dino Playground is a partnership project with The Highlands developer),
  • the playground site should be located on Town owned property, and
  • the playground site should have access to existing parking lot(s).

The various issues and concerns were brought to the Trophy Club Parks & Recreation Board, and after deliberation, the Board suggested that Town staff examine Freedom Dog Park as a more suitable location for the Dino Playground. After considering several variables and options, the proposed playground location was changed to Freedom Dog Park for various reasons, including:

  • existing road and parking lot access,
  • more convenient location,
  • pre-designed restroom facilities,
  • expanded facility uses, and
  • greater synergy for community events and programs.

Independence Park East (Indy) was considered as an alternate site; however, Indy presents a unique set of issues in regards to a playground designed for Trophy Club families, including:

  • In examining the various sites where a playground could be located, potential sites either conflict with an existing athletic site use, or impede the Town’s ability to hold the July 4th Celebration (which continues to increase in size).
  • The Town, the Parks & Recreation Board and the Sports Associations recognize that during game and tournament season, the playground would be heavily used by members of the associations, their families and non residents of all ages. The parking lot will also be heavily utilized during these times, as well, restricting access to the playground. This creates a conflict with the target user group, which are Trophy Club families.
  • Town Staff identified one small area that could be used as a site location for the playground, but it’s proximity to the adjacent baseball field and residential wall posed unfavorable conditions and could create issues with the residents who abut Independence Park East.

Providing a safe and secure playground environment for young Trophy Club residents is the primary concern, and Town staff is collecting data from other cities that have similar shared use facilities. The Town continues to monitor issues raised by residents concerning co-locating the playground with a dog park, and again, research is ongoing and other potential sites continue to be evaluated. 

Below is a proposed concept plan for the Dino Playground located in Freedom Dog Park.

Previous Dino Playground Article - May 7, 2013