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Hidalgo County Precinct 3 has been awarded a $30,000 Meet Me at the Park grant from The Walt Disney Company in support of the National Recreation and Park Association (NRPA) and Disney’s combined goal of providing one million kids and families with greater access to play.
Precinct 3 partnered with Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service on a proposal to upgrade Katrina Park in Penitas. “Our proposal competed against others from across the country and was considered to be among the most innovative and impactful projects, which was the criteria for funding,” said Precinct 3 Commissioner Joe M. Flores. The upgrades to Katrina Park include adding a safe walking trail, playscapes, and fitness amenities, said Andrea Valdez, County Extension Agent with Texas A&M AgriLife – who took lead on the project along with Precinct 3 Chief of Staff Dr. Mona Parras. “Safe access to physical activity is so important to our community as we fight against chronic diseases such as diabetes and obesity,” said Parras. “We are so grateful for this funding to provide the neighborhood families surrounding Katrina Park in Penitas with opportunities to walk, run and be active in the park,” added Valdez. As part of the national Meet Me at the Park program, park and recreation agencies across the country were invited to share their best ideas on increasing access to play spaces for children and families. Agencies with the most innovative and impactful project ideas were chosen to receive $30,000 grants to build their projects. “NRPA is proud to collaborate with The Walt Disney Company to help more children and families experience the benefits of play,” said Kellie May, NRPA director of health and wellness. “By increasing access to play spaces, this program will also provide unique activities tailored to the local community that support healthy lifestyles.” The Meet Me at the Park program includes an Earth Month campaign as well, where funding is awarded for local park improvement projects that connect kids to nature, inspire healthy living and provide access to sports. To learn more about Meet Me at the Park, visit www.nrpa.org/disney.Photo: Community members and volunteers dig in to start park improvements. In the center, sharing a shovel are L-R Andrea Valdez, Texas A&M AgriLife Hidalgo County Extension Educator and Mona Parras, Precinct 3 Chief of Staff for Commissioner Joe M. Flores.