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Stone Oak: All-in-one park


Things are moving along in the city’s planning of Stone Oak’s next public park, which could feature a unique playground with amenities for all, including those with disabilities.

San Antonio has been seeking residential input on developing Classen-Steubing Ranch Park, currently in the design phase.

Construction on the recreational area, located south of Las Lomas Elementary School off Hardy Oak Boulevard, is tentatively scheduled to start in fall 2020 and last one year.

Officials said great care is being taken to maintain the natural landscape of the former ranchland, which sits atop the Edwards Aquifer Recharge Zone — the city’s primary water source.

“Not only will Classen-Steubing (Ranch) Park be inclusive for all ages and encompass a beautiful area of District 9, but major emphasis has been placed on environmental protection,” said Councilman John Courage, who represents the region. “With fewer and fewer green spaces, especially in north San Antonio, preserving the park’s pristine natural environment is imperative.”

The park could have what organizers call the city’s first public inclusive playground, open to adults and children with disabilities.

The Stone Oak-based Mitchell Chang Foundation is working to raise funds to build Mitchell’s Landing.

Open to everyone, it would exceed federal Americans with Disabilities Act requirements.

The nonprofit is named for a 3-year-old boy who accidentally drowned in February 2018 at a local swim school.

Chang’s family created the organization to carry on their late child’s positive memory and spirit by helping others in the community. The Changs have said their son enjoyed going to playgrounds with friends.

The estimated construction cost, with all the desired features, is $1.2 million.

Expenditures will tally at least $200,000 to outfit the playground with pirate-themed equipment, including shade structures and material for surfacing.

The foundation seeks $1 million in corporate sponsorships, with the remainder coming from community members and other sources.

Mitchell’s Landing will be pirate-themed because Mitchell loved buccaneers, the family said.

“At Mitchell’s Landing, children with disabilities will be able to participate in active play to a greater degree than at a traditional playground,” the Changs say on the foundation website. “It will also be a place that parents who have disabilities or injuries can easily and comfortably create memories by playing with their children in ways they previously could not.”

A video rendering of the planned playground can be viewed at the foundation’s Facebook page at www.facebook.com/mitchellchangfoundation/, where a link to a GoFundMe campaign exists, too.

The plan is for the attraction to debut in early 2021; residents are already excited.

Courage applauded the prospective addition of Mitchell’s Landing to the new, 204-acre park.

“I want to see continued progress and compromise with the plans to provide a top-notch, regional park. Getting the most value for the taxpayer is always important as well as staying within budget and on time,” Courage said at a recent park meeting.

Local firm Rialto Studio is overseeing the design of Classen-Steubing Ranch Park, which the city bought in 2016.

Friends of Classen-Steubing Ranch Park, a group of neighbors interested in helping promote the recreational space, received an update about the development earlier this summer from city officials, with a public meeting Aug. 14 at Wayside Chapel’s Stone Oak campus.

We are now hoping to include a baseball field as well as open fields that can be used for soccer and football into the design plans.”


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