ABILENE, Texas (KTAB) – The newest addition to the park at Kirby Lake has officially been unveiled. In a ribbon cutting ceremony Friday morning, the park was shown off to the public, sporting some new features to prove that, above all else, these changes are for the kids.
Bringing education and fun together, the unique play features are just the beginning. Community Services Director Lesli Andrews explains some of the features, such as “logs for kids to climb on, logs for kids to walk down. A large hill, in West Texas terms, for kids to run up and roll down, or picnic on.”
A boardwalk winds through the trees, wide, flat, and stable enough to be a great place for everyone to learn about the nature that’s surrounding them. “It’s safe for everybody. We all want the public to know. It’s safe for people in wheelchairs and walkers”, says Mike “Slip Cork” Cornett.
“Slip Cork” is one of Kirby Lake’s regulars, spending most days fishing its waters. He’s excited for the changes, especially the ones to come. “But this is great. This had to come first.” Those future plans come across two more phases. Features to be added include a discovery sandbox, filled with “dinosaur bones” for kids to unearth. Another hill could be constructed, this one leading to another walkway through the treetops.
That can be expected to be similar in tone to the current walkway, with educational signage. Andrews explains that the signs are very much attached to the area: “All the pictures on the signs are animals that were photographed at this lake. It really is what is happening in nature around here, in their home town.”
The kids who visit the park should be able to walk away, not just with a fun day out, but a lesson to remember. Andrews says the goal is to bring education to life, “not just in a classroom, but actually going out into nature.”
If the kids who attended the ribbon cutting are any way to measure public response, it seems to be successful addition to the park system.