Facility Profile - January 2011
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A Park for All

Todd Beamer Park in Fresno, Calif.

By Dawn Klingensmith


However, bids came in lower than expected, making it possible for the park to be built in its entirety, at a cost of $2.7 million. So from the day it opened, it had something for everybody.

"It's for kids, it's for families, it's for empty nesters and grandparents," Schneider said.

Interestingly, "The neighbors who live right up against the park don't have kids, but they were totally in favor of the park," especially since designers solicited their input, he explained. They were the ones who pushed for the dog park and a safe, open path with exercise stations for all ability levels. They also wanted benches so they could comfortably watch the children at play, Schneider said.

And though homeowners sometimes get "uptight" about skateparks, "this neighborhood was all for it," he added.

The skatepark was designed and built by Wormhoudt Inc., Santa Cruz, Calif., and the water play components were designed and manufactured by Water Odyssey, San Marcos, Texas. Shade Structures, based in Dallas and Costa Mesa, Calif., provided the shade covers, and CXT's Sacramento, Calif.-based West regional office provided the concrete building for the restrooms.

Site furnishings, including bollards, bike racks, trash receptacles, recycled plastic picnic tables and benches, and the game table, were manufactured by DuMor.

"It is a well-designed park. The city and landscape architects created a beautiful neighborhood park that brings the community together," said Cheri Yokoi of Ross Recreation Equipment, the Santa Rosa, Calif.-based company that supplied the DuMor site furnishings and Landscape Structures play equipment.

Indeed, "We designed it so whether you're a dog person or a basketball player, you have your specific activity area where you can do your thing and not be bothered and where you won't interfere with anyone else," Schneider said.

Of all the places named in Beamer's honor, Todd Beamer Park is perhaps the most fitting, as he would have enjoyed seeing kids staying fit and having fun, according to his father, David Beamer, who addressed a crowd of about 200 people via speaker phone at the park's dedication.

Beamer attended California State University in 1987 and 1988. He aspired to be a walk-on baseball player there but didn't make the final cut, according to his father. Beamer transferred to Wheaton College in Illinois, where he played basketball and baseball.

"Let's roll!" was an expression Beamer used whenever he and his wife, Lisa, and their two young sons were leaving their home for a family outing. She was pregnant with their third child when Beamer died along with 43 others when Flight 93 crashed in a Pennsylvania field.

"The sights and sounds of kids running around a park having fun" is a fitting memorial to his son, David Beamer told the Fresno Bee, a newspaper in Central California.


FOR MORE INFORMATION

Fresno Parks & Recreation:
www.fresno.gov/Government/DepartmentDirectory/ParksandRecreation/default.htm

Verde Design:
www.verdedesiginc.com

DuMor Inc.:
www.dumor.com