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Rosa Parks Elementary SPARK Park Opens as Part of Mission to Eliminate ‘Park Deserts’

(FORT BEND ISD) – A SPARK Park that opened in October at FBISD’s Rosa Parks Elementary School was officially dedicated recently during a program that included students, district leaders, staff, community partners and SPARK Park leaders.

“Before SPARK came to this campus there was only one park here at Rosa Parks elementary,” FBISD Superintendent Dr. Christie Whitbeck said. “We are extremely grateful to get a second green space for our families to enjoy, and this park also includes play equipment for our special needs students.”

Principal Anitra Wilson said the idea for adding the park originated a couple years ago when a student approached her one day and said, “’We need a new playground. When all the grade levels are outside, it’s like we are piled on top of each other.’”

That student was Adiyonah Burnham, who attended today’s dedication program with her mother and received a certificate of recognition along with key staff members and community partners who made the park a reality.

“Everyone here that helped, I think y’all are great,” Burnham said.

SPARK Park Executive Director Kathleen Ownby said recreational areas like the new one at Parks Elementary are intended to eliminate “park deserts” in communities that have no green spaces or playground areas.

FBISD Board President Judy Dae told the audience she personally relates to the need for park spaces and recounted growing up in China where access to parks was so rare that her first-ever visit to one included throngs of children who had to wait in a long line only to be granted a maximum of one minute on a swing.

“The second I flew into the air on the swing it was a magical moment for me,” Dae said. “To this day, whenever I pass by a playground, I want to get on a swing.”

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