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New neighborhood parks on school grounds make memories for entire communities

2012 November 6
by HISD Communications

Everyone has that special memory of the park they loved growing up: The bright red sheen on the metal jungle gym slide. The knot in the tree you loved to sit beneath.  The smoothness of the monkey bars that made your hands feel raw. The dizziness after riding around and around on the carousel a few too many turns. Every child needs a park where they can run, jump, climb, crawl, and make the memories that last a lifetime.

SPARK, Houston’s School Park Program, has been working for 30 years to make sure those memories are possible for children around Houston. The non-profit organization was developed in 1983 to develop school playground space into parks open for the entire neighborhood to enjoy. The City of Houston, the Houston Parks Board, and seven local school districts partner with parent groups, community members, and private businesses to create fresh green and developed spaces. SPARK also incorporates art into their parks – art teachers or local artists have helped render the community and school’s culture and heritage into public art pieces for the community to enjoy in 85 of the 200+ SPARK parks that have been built around the city. Over the years, 110 SPARK Parks have been built in HISD schools alone!

So what is the best way to celebrate SPARK week coming up November 9 to November 15? Find a SPARK Park and sit, swing, and enjoy for a few minutes out of your busy day!  Over the week, the organization will be hosting dedication ceremonies for seven new parks around the city and two in HISD schools – Woodrow Wilson Montessori on November 9 at 1 p.m. and Ketelson Elementary School on November 14 at 1:30 p.m. Join us to make a few new memories and visit to learn more.

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