VIDOR Park could leap to life
Sharon Tenney and her young daughter flipped through one of 10 library books stacked on a picnic table on a hot Friday afternoon, racing to complete the Vidor city library’s summer reading program in one of their favorite spots, Pirate Pride Park.
“We like our park,” Tenney said, sitting in the shade of the towering pine trees.
Located next to the Vidor Public Library, Pirate Pride Park is the perfect place to learn and play, said Tenney, who visits the park at least once a week with her 4-year-old daughter, Neveah Loftin.
Nearly a year after Tropical Storm Harvey flooded homes and streets, Vidor wants to bring life to the only park within city limits.
Revamping Pirate Pride Park would “bring a good spiritual lifting” to the community, said Mayor Robert Viator. “I think our community could really use” a refurbished park.
Tenney, a Vidor native, recalled growing up in a house within walking distance of Pirate Pride Park. At the time, there “was hardly anything here,” she said.
The City of Vidor is hoping to get money for the project from KaBOOM!, a national nonprofit providing $2.2 million for 35 playspaces “in communities impacted by Hurricane Harvey in Southeast Texas,” the company said in a statement.
KaBOOM!’s playspaces, featured on NBC sitcom “Parks and Recreation,” include 15 community-designed playgrounds and 20 creative play products, such as “Imagination Playground” and “Rigamajig.”
Rigamajig — a collection of wooden planks, wheels, pulleys, nuts, bolts and rope — is a large-scale building kit that is like Lincoln Logs on steroids.
Viator said the city would get to choose from one of three KaBOOM! designs, which he hoped would also include playground equipment for disabled children.
“Most people in our area have to go to Beaumont if they have a child that doesn’t have the strength to hold themselves up on a swing,” said Angie Jacobs Beaumont, community advocate and founder of the “Vidor Rocks” game.
The city-wide rock hunt, featuring painted rocks of all shapes and designs, took off two years ago and brought more people to Pirate Pride Park than in years past, Beaumont said.
With park improvements under way, Beaumont said she hoped more people in the community would find their way to the “tucked away” park while keeping “the quaintness” intact.
Viator said an improved park would “be good for the community” but hopes the work won’t “divert attention away from drainage efforts” post-Harvey.
“Ensuring kids have safe places to play is critical to helping families and communities heal during times of recovery, as they continue to deal with the stress of lost homes, lost loved ones, and lost routine,” KaBOOM! said.