Eureka 2 Playground: building a new legacy
Building Eureka 2 not an easy endeavor, so a committee was formed that included the Denton Parks Foundation executive director, Denton Parks and Rec leaders, and community volunteers.
A capital campaign was launched to fund the new playground pledging to bring in $500,000 in cash and in-kind gifts. Local business and residents contributed by making donations, sponsoring specific equipment and, through the “Purchase a Picket program,” ordering engraved pickets to honor loved ones.
THE BEST PLAYGROUND EXPERTS
To design the playground, the team looked to the best playground experts around: children.
A playground consultant worked with children from Denton ISD to help bring their dreams to life, including designing an innovative play space, plenty of swings and slides, a rock wall, and even a zip-line.
The final playground design included an accessible merry-go-round, a zip-line that accommodates children with physical challenges, adaptive swings for both younger and older children, and playground ramps that allow special needs children access to more areas of the park.
There are also two separate play areas, one designed specifically for children ages 2 to 5 and one for children ages 5 to 12.
EUREKA 2 PLAYGROUND PROJECT
Jake Kerner: Passing on the Legacy
Caroline Seward: Preserving the Legacy
Zach Holt: Building the Legacy
Beginning Oct 10, 2015, the City of Denton is hosted a public decommissioning ceremony for Eureka playground at South Lakes Park. Mayor Chris Watts and those involved with the original Eureka playground build paid homage to the volunteers who built the park 20 years ago and shared the vision of the new and improved Eureka 2. Denton Parks and Rec crews took down the original playground on Oct. 11.
Finally time to build Eureka 2
In November 2015, it was finally time to build Eureka 2. Over 3,000 community volunteers came to help, organized by a tireless volunteer committee.
Volunteers represented all of Denton. There were parents, kids, university students, people who worked on the original Eureka, people who played on the original Eureka, business leaders, elected officials, people who could work a band saw, people who didn’t even know what a band saw was, and so many more!
During those 3 days of prebuild and 6 days of construction, it felt like all of Denton was building Eureka 2.
Thanks to the work of thousands
On April 16, 2016, thanks to the work of thousands of volunteers, Eureka 2 was no longer just a dream. At the grand opening, hundreds of people showed up again to see what they had built.
They shared stories of wading through the mud to place beams, then replace them when it rained again. They laughed as they took turns spinning the merry-go-round or zooming down the zip-line. They made plans to meet up again and set play dates with their kids. They hugged and they smiled and they laughed.
It was evident that the community didn’t just build a park, but the park had built a community.