Boundless Playground to be promoted in town video

Sports By Alexandra Herrera, Reporter Wednesday, June 15, 2022

    The Matthew Palacios Boundless Playground at Optimist Park will be the subject of a new video and social media campaign later this summer. 

     While the playground has been open since 2009, it recently received a new surface to ensure kids of all ages and abilities can enjoy it. 

     The park will be promoted on town social media sites this summer and in a video that will showcase its offerings. 

     “The video gives you a chance to see children playing in the park and how the accessibility has made it easy for them to enjoy,” said John Rogger, chair of the Special Needs Advisory Board. 

     The park is at the northeast corner of Optimist Park. 

     It was named for Matthew Palacios, who lived in Miami Lakes and has spina bifida. Palacios has grown to become a young man.

     The playground received a soft, spongy surface to cushion falls, thanks to the efforts of the Special Needs Advisory Board

     It was designed for kids who may use wheelchairs or other mobility aids, and has wide ramps; larger stairs and walkways; a smooth surface and a slide and other play equipment that is close to the ground. 

     “[It] is designed for children with disabilities to be able to really move about the playground and have a great playground experience,” said Rogger. 

     The park is enclosed and has a variety of sensory items, different types of toys and wheels, as well as places where children can test their balance, he said. 

     “As a parent you feel very confident that your children are having a good time,” Rogger said. 

     During late summer 2021, the play area was resurfaced, said Jeremy Bajdaun, director of parks and recreation.

     Routine park maintenance includes repairs to equipment, according to Bajdaun. 

     While the playground is made for kids who use mobility aids, it is open to all children. 

     Bajdaun said the $10,000 cost to resurface the playground came from the Special Needs Advisory Board budget, and was approved by the town council on May 11, 2021, according to Clarisell De Cardenas, Miami Lakes director of communications and community affairs. 

     Rogger said the park had been open a long time and needed to be refreshed. 

     “We wanted this park to be as nice and good as it could possibly be,” Rogger said. 

     In November, voters will decide on whether the town should go to the bond markets to fund approximately $23 - $25 million in improvements to Optimist Park.

     No other work will be done in the park until after that referendum.

     Bajdaun said the Boundless Playground lies outside of the areas slated for improvement and will not be affected by any possible new construction.