New glow-in-the-dark playground, Joya, is set to open in Farmers Branch this summer

New glow-in-the-dark playground, Joya, is set to open in Farmers Branch this summer
New glow-in-the-dark playground, Joya, is set to open in Farmers Branch this summer

A unique playground that will glow at night is coming to Farmers Branch this summer.

The new park, called Joya, which means jewel in Spanish, will be the “crown jewel” of playgrounds in the suburb, according to a release from the Department of Parks and Recreation. The playground will be located off Interstate 35 and Valley View at Oran Good Park, which has a sports complex, and will retain its athletic fields, walking trails and creek.

“It will be our signature playground, and the largest, newest playground in town,” Farmers Branch spokesman Jeff Brady said. “It will certainly be unprecedented in Texas.”

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Farmers Branch, which distinguishes itself as a “City in a Park”, is home to 27 parks, 13 playgrounds and a nature reserve. This new playground aims to outdo the others and will likely open sometime in late August, Brady added.

“Joya will be an inclusive glowing playground that, while fun during the day, will come to life at night with interactive features such as glows, allowing for daytime and evening play,” the city said in the release.

The park will have an 18,000 square meter main playground decorated with LED lights, as well as swings, an obstacle course and zip line. The first renderings for the park also show a 27-foot ball with six levels of climbing, additional swings and slides – recommended for children over 6 years old.

“Hopefully in the evening hours when it’s so hot during the day here in Texas, this will be an opportunity to get out to a playground when it’s cooler,” Brady said.

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The area will also include a 7,000 square meter playground for children aged 2 to 5, with a natural sensory play area and a glowing seating area.

The concept for the park was developed using input from children, or the real-life “fun experts,” according to the city. Approved by council members in November 2021, the project was funded through federal and state grants, including a $4 million grant from the Federal American Rescue Plan Act and $750,000 from a Texas Parks and Wildlife grant.

The city is now awaiting approval from the National Parks Service — the federal organization that runs the nation’s national parks — before breaking ground, Brady said.

Construction is expected to begin sometime in April, according to the spokesperson, and hours for the park have not yet been released.

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