The Wichita County Medical Alliance, WCMA, is pleased to announce the completion of a new, modern play structure in Hamilton Park. We set a goal over 5 years ago to fund and build a much-needed upgrade to the available play space in Wichita Falls.
From the beginning, we collaborated with the City’s Parks and Recreation Department to determine the best options for equipment and location in our community. We learned in our talks with Jack Murphy, former Director of Parks and Recreation, that limits in the City’s budget had prevented planned upgrades of all City playgrounds. As we were already invested in efforts to improve Hamilton Park with our tree planting project honoring retired and deceased physicians, we thought it fitting to continue our work there. We learned that Hamilton is an often-used park for tennis and youth sports practices and is a busy portion of the city’s trail system.
We chose a structure that is not only fun and inspires physical activity but also has an artistic appeal. We were invested in making the most impact by having the equipment serve a functional and aesthetic role in the park. We chose new and modern playground equipment that is the first of its kind to be built in the Wichita Falls area. Kids use their imaginations to determine how they will use the equipment. Climbing, hanging, balancing, scaling and much more are possible!
Some very special aspects of the play space include the sun sails to shield from the hot summer sun and the very cushioned and forgiving surface to decrease the risk of head injuries in cases of falls. The Shade sails for the playground are a strong fabric accompanied by a 10-year factory warranty to cover UV degradation as well as any frays, rips, or tears. The head injury criterion (HIC) is used to determine the risk for head injury. The HIC for the soft tile surface being installed around the playground has an attenuation factor of 200-300. This is contrasted with that of a turf field which generally has an HIC in excess of 400. By providing a playground with shaded areas to shield from the hot summer sun and a more forgiving surface to decrease the risk of head injuries in cases of falls, the Wichita County Medical Alliance can contribute to the overall improvement of the health of Wichita County residents. We believe this new playground delivers on all of our targets: a fun place that increases local options for healthy living, artistic appeal, unique, and accessible to a large portion of the community.
The Wichita County Medical Alliance strives to make a positive impact on the community, and we feel that funding the installation of this new playground at Hamilton Park is in keeping with that mission. We hope that the contribution will remain for years to come, and we sincerely thank all those involved in making this project happen. Our Board, donors, members, friends as well as all of the City officials and staff involved and the workers from near and far who worked to deliver and install the equipment played a role in the wonderful new playground. We plan to continue our investment in this community and look forward to joining forces with those with whom we worked previously and those collaborators yet to be.