Casey’s Clubhouse

Photo Courtesy Of Kevin R. Mitchell

Photo Courtesy Of Kevin R. Mitchell

Casey Tridico, a 7-year-old girl from Grapevine, Texas, was full of life, smiles, and dreams. Unfortunately, she had a neuromuscular disease that confined her to a wheelchair, although that didn’t slow her down. At the time of her death, in July 1995, Casey was serving as the Texas Goodwill Ambassador for the Muscular Dystrophy Association. One of her dreams was to find a playground that would allow her to keep up with her able-bodied friends. Casey’s Clubhouse is that playground. Although she never lived to see it, the visitors who listen carefully might hear the delightful laughter of a little angel whose dream has come true.

PRB0514_Mitchell_Casey2

Photo Courtesy Of Kevin R. Mitchell

Casey’s memory is alive and well today. In 1996, her mother Debra began a mission to create a place for children to play together, regardless of their abilities. Her goal was to raise $250,000 for this unique playground. While this was an extremely ambitious project, more than 1,000 donors, from individuals and families to small businesses and large corporations, stepped up to make this dream a reality. After the money was raised, the state rewarded Debra with a matching grant, and construction soon began. On May 30, 1998, Casey’s Clubhouse opened to the public.

For the past 15 years, this playground has been filled with kids joining in on the fun, with many birthday parties hosted at its pavilion.

But every playground has its “shelf life,” so time and the elements required an upgrade. In 2008, discussions began on what the next version of Casey’s Clubhouse would look like. Everyone agreed on one idea: an actual clubhouse would be a central feature in the design.

Michael Black with Laterra Studio was tasked with the design concept. Once the design was deemed presentation-worthy, it was revealed to Debra and her husband Louis. The new look involved a more woodland-like theme, complete with a large tree and enclosed treehouse as the dominant features. The concept was ultimately approved by city council.

The donor plaza is the first area that visitors experience, where tribute is paid to the thousands of donors and volunteers who pioneered the original playground. From there, it’s up the wheelchair-accessible ramp to the treehouse, where a view of the entire playground includes a glimpse of many whimsical characters.

Playground features include:

Big Tree And Clubhouse

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