December 14, 2017 – Waving “Thank You” signs and singing along to a melodious gratitude song, the Franz Elementary (FES) Choir officially dedicated their new SPARK Park, which is now available for public use during non-school hours and on weekends.
This park is a collaborative effort between Katy ISD, FES parents, students, staff, the PTA, as well as local entities, who together contributed to the SPARK grant which was just under $130,000. Fundraising efforts included a $5,000 donation from the PTA and a week-long of SPARK fundraising activities at the school, that included taping the principal to a wall, crazy hair day and water games that included popsicles, of which $2,150 was collected. Other funding included $1,000 from the West Harris County MUD #7, $1,000 from Raintree Village Homeowner’s Association and the design work was paid for by Katy ISD. SPARK contributed $116,000 from The Kinder Foundation and Houston Endowment park desert initiative.
The park includes a concrete trail, sensory play panels, musical instruments and four bollards covered with tiles painted by students and staff. When visitors walk through the park, they will notice a variety of trees, which include Monterrey oaks, Mexican plums and anacua trees. In total, 34 trees were donated by Trees for Houston.
Principal Sylvan shared, “It has been said that ‘A true community is not just about being geographically close to someone or a part of the same social network’. It’s about feeling connected and responsible for what happens. Humanity is our ultimate community and everyone plays a crucial role.”
“We hope during the break you will come and enjoy this park,” added Ashley Vann, Katy ISD Board of Trustees President.
SPARK, an organization created in 1983 to increase park and recreational spaces in the Greater Houston area, has helped to turn underutilized school playgrounds into neighborhood parks at more than 200 locations. This is the third SPARK Park at a Katy ISD school.