Play for All Abilities Park
The Play for ALL Abilities Playground is the first outdoor facility in Round Rock, Texas that allows children of all abilities to play together.
The history of the Play for All Abilities Park began many years before the park’s opening. In the late 1980s, Virg and Nancy Rabb gave 9 acres of land to the City of Round Rock for use as a park facility known as Rabb Park. The Parks and Recreation Department ran the park and rental venue for the following 20 years or so, until a flood in 2010 ruined the historic homesite.
Prior to the 2010 flood, Round Rock residents Kenneth and Dennis Seymore addressed the City of Round Rock about qualifying for a Boundless Playground Outdoor Grant.
Although the City did not receive the funding, the City Council recognized the critical need for a universally accessible park and included it as a high priority project in the Parks Master Plan. Two years later, Marge Tripp and the Rotary Club of Round Rock Sunrise addressed the City about establishing an adaptive swing for children with autism.
With these two objectives in mind, as well as the necessity to redevelop the park following the flood, the City began developing a park plan that would provide ALL children, regardless of ability, with an opportunity to play and develop skills in a fun, outdoor environment. With this in mind, the City Council approved repurposing a piece of Rabb Park for the Play for All Park, as well as investing $200,000 toward park development to get the project underway.
The project expanded from there to become a community-wide effort.
Members of local civic groups banded together to form the Play for All committee and a 501 (c) (3) non-profit organization (Play for All Foundation).
The group met on a regular basis to raise funds and increase awareness throughout Central Texas.
The park’s design became a collaborative endeavor as well.
In the planning phase, the Parks and Recreation Department included professionals and parents who had experience working with children with special needs.
A Design Task Force of 30+ people was organized, which comprised several parents of special-needs children as well as professionals from several disciplines in the medical, educational, and design industries. As a consequence of their feedback, the City was able to fine-tune the design to meet the unique requirements of all children.
The 51,000-square-foot Play for All Park officially opened on March 3, 2012, with a community-wide celebration. After 5 years of planning, Central Texas children of all abilities now have a one-of-a-kind park where they may play side by side without limitations. The Play for All Foundation raised almost $700,000 in grants, in-kind donations, and sponsorships from local businesses to make the $1,300,000 park a reality.
The Play for All Park quickly became the most popular playground in Round Rock and one of the most visited playgrounds in Texas. Daily attendance averaged 900+ visits per day and never slowed during the first two years. Because of the high attendance, the Parks and Recreation Department and the Play for All Foundation began plans for a park extension right away. The City officially launched the Play for All Expansion Project in 2016 with a community consultation process and fundraising efforts. The Play for All Foundation raised about $1,000,000 in grants, in-kind gifts, and sponsorships from local businesses during the Expansion Project, continuing the public-private relationship. On November 17, 2017, the $2.25 million Play for All Expansion opened to the public, approximately tripling the size of the original park by adding extra play equipment, a natural play area, a tree house, a race track, parking, and restroom facilities.
The Play for All Park’s objective is to create a secure, engaging environment for children of all abilities to play and learn new skills. Since its inception in 2012, the Play for All Park has welcomed over 3,000,000 visitors of all abilities from across Texas.
The Play for All Abilities Park will serve more than 100,000 children in Williamson County, including an estimated 7,945 children with disabilities.
This big gated park contains a range of play possibilities meant to stimulate and foster the development of numerous skill sets such as gross and fine motor skills, social interaction, a sense of discovery, creativity, and strengthening activities.
Play for All Park Rules
The park is intended for everyone’s enjoyment as well as for rehabilitation and learning. Please be respectful to people around you as they may be utilizing the park for treatment or life skills. Please follow the following regulations for your safety and the protection of others:
- Use playground equipment at your own risk, as the City is not liable for personal harm or property damage resulting from voluntary participation in Park activities. All playground equipment is meant for children aged 5 and up.
- Children under the age of ten must be accompanied by an adult.
- It is illegal to consume alcohol.
- Tobacco products are forbidden.
- No glass.
- There will be no littering; all rubbish must be disposed of in the receptacles provided.
- Pets are not permitted, although service animals are. All service animals must be leashed or controlled in an appropriate manner.
- There will be no rollerblades or skateboards allowed.
- Except for Round Rock Village streets, no bicycles, tricycles, or power wheels are permitted.
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