McAllen, Mission open new playgrounds

Two new playgrounds debuted in Hidalgo County this week.

The cities of McAllen and Mission each opened a new playground in their parks, both with accessible activities.

McAllen officials, in partnership with Hidalgo County Precinct 2, welcomed a new accessible playground at Los Encinos Park.

The new all-inclusive playground opened in a partnership between the city of McAllen and Hidalgo County Precinct 2 at Los Encinos Park. (Courtesy photo)

The playground includes surfacing to provide mobility for wheelchairs and walkers with ramps.

It also includes elements for children 2 to 5 years old and also play system items for children 5 to 12 years old, according to a news release issued by the city.

Musical elements such as chimes and drums are also featured.

Additionally, the playground includes a We-Go Swing, an all-inclusive swing that can accommodate wheelchairs.

In Mission, Bannworth Park is now the home of an Extreme Generation Playscape. The new structure, for children aged 5 to 12 years old, replaced the previous playground that was installed in the 1980s.

The playground is rope-course inspired and has enclosed skyways and two enclosed slides.

The new Extreme Generation Playscape at Bannworth Park in Mission. (Courtesy photo)

It also includes:

>> towers with climbing paths;

>> turf for wheelchair accessibility;

>> a “10 Spin,” which is an inclusive Merry-Go-Round like spinner;

>> a 24-foot long “Sky Bridge.”

Its highest visual element is 25 feet tall, which the city said makes it one of the highest play structures in the Rio Grande Valley.

“The Extreme Generation is a towering adventure playground with challenging physical events for children and adults alike,” Mission Parks and Recreation Director Brad Bentsen said at the ribbon cutting ceremony on Monday.

The playscape has a capacity of 120 children at a time. Its 11 elevated play activities are accessible by transfer but not by ramp.

However, there are five accessible activities on the ground level including the “10 Spin,” a sensory panel, two single-seat pods, a bell and a crunch station.

Additionally, there are now two new sidewalks for increased accessibility.

“This playscape is designed to keep kids moving and cause them to create new activities such as chase,” Bentsen said. “Adults, too, will also want to engage in this activity to help to wear us all out before we go to bed.”