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Corpus Christi has only one park for children with accessibility issues

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Posted at 7:04 PM, Jul 23, 2019
and last updated 2019-07-23 20:16:48-04

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — For wheelchair-bound children in our area, the options for outside activities are limited.

In fact, there's only one fully accessible park in the city.

That's Salinas Park on Airport Road.

And local parents are calling for change.

For Sara Flores, hanging out with friends and playing outside are the top priorities.

“I like to go on the little teeter totters and play on the slides and the swings,” Sara Flores said during a recent trip to Salinas Park.

But with only one fully wheelchair accessible park in Corpus Christi, outdoor recreation options are few and far between.

“We don’t really visit any of our local parks in our neighborhood or even downtown,” her parent Laura Flores said. “We don’t really do a lot of it because it is hard for her to be able to get on the slide or get on the swing.”

With the exception of Salinas Park, city parks are hard to navigate for Sara.

“Sometimes there's mulch that I can't get through. and grass,” Laura Flores said.

And on multiple occasions, the Flores family has traveled hundreds of miles to cities that do offer more inclusive facilities.

That's why local parents and advocates are calling for the construction of more local parks like the one on Airport Road.

“That way they can also participate and have fun at these parks in order to be inclusive with everybody that’s enjoying these parks,” said Serita Porter of Special Olympics Texas.

With that enjoyment comes a chance to meet new friends.

“Then we can play together and then we can build more friendships with each other,” Sara said.

And Sara's mom Laura says city facilities aren't the only places that are behind the curve of other major cities.

“At her school, she doesn't play on the playground at all. she plays on the blacktop,” her mom says. “So that's something we were looking into.”

The city tells KRIS 6 News they are working on a master plan to open another all access park similar to Salinas Park.

Where it will be built or by when has not been decided.