Springdale's New Playground
Harvey and Bernice Jones, both natives of Springdale, were distinguished in the state for their generous philanthropy. Harvey established Jones Truck Lines, one of the largest trucking businesses in the United States.
The couple gave tens of millions of dollars to various charitable causes in Springdale, Northwest Arkansas, and the state as a whole. After Harvey's death in 1989, Bernice continued the philanthropic tradition that so prominently marked their lives.
In 1995, she bequeathed their legacy gift to the citizens of Springdale and Northwest Arkansas, the Harvey and Bernice Jones Center for Families. This 220,000 square foot facility includes a conference center, classrooms, computer lab, Olympic swimming pool, ice skating rink, basketball court, track, and much more. The City of Springdale, through HUD's Community Development Block Grant Program, has partnered with the Jones Center on several projects.
There are more than 23,000 disabled children between the ages of 5 and 15 in Northwest Arkansas, or about 17% of all children of the same age in the area. In order to provide a missing recreational resource for these children, in its 2006 CDBG Program, the City allocated $129,886 for installing universally accessible playground equipment at the Jones Center.
Universally accessible means that the playground is designed to allow both able and disabled children to play together in a fully integrated experience. It is the first facility of its kind in Northwest Arkansas and only the third such playground in the state.
If the smiles and laughter of the children who attended the ribbon-cutting ceremony are any indication, it will provide countless hours of fun, recreation, and entertainment for those children who so often are left out and alone on the sidelines. We at HUD can hardly imagine a more worthwhile investment in any community!
|Content Archived: July 14, 2011|