Already home to two community centers, ballfields, covered and lit basketball courts, and a supercool modern playground, shaded by grape-purple and lime-green sunsails and complete with slides kids actually have fun on, James Driver Park strives only to get better.
Last summer, Harris County Precinct 2 commissioner Adrian Garcia announced plans for James Driver Park to become East Aldine’s very-first “all-inclusive park.”
What’s an “all-inclusive” park, you may wonder. Sometimes known as “playgrounds without limits,” these are spaces that will enable children of all abilities — including those with disabilities and those without — to have fun side by side on the slides, swing sets and other attractions. Garcia believes that everybody, regardless of the challenges they face and their physical limitations, should be able to enjoy a frolicsome day at the park.
Once the expansion is complete, James Driver Park will be the first of its kind in the area and one of a handful in the Greater Houston area. Ease of access to both public transit and the Eastex Freeway were factors in moving forward with this plan at James Driver, as is the fact that there remains room to expand into other types of amenities elsewhere on the parks 30 acres. With not one but two community centers on the grounds — Northeast and the NFL Youth Education Town (YET) Center, this park will be able to offer a wide variety of classes, meetings, and parties day and night, inside or out.
Funded by a million-dollar grant from the National Football League following the 2004’s Super Bowl XXXVIII (Patriots beat Panthers, Janet Jackson halftime) the YET Center already features a library, computer lab, art studio, recording studio and full-sized gymnasium. Geared toward adults and seniors, the Northeast Community Center features daily domino games (both 42 and Mexican Train), walking and other light exercise, line dancing, ceramics, art classes and computer lessons.
Here is a rendering of the planned expansion.