TREC Young Guns work to make an impact in social, political and community issues that affect the city of Dallas and each year we search for the right nonprofit to invest in. There are many organizations that contribute to the community and it is often a very difficult process. This year we connected with Zero to Five Funders Collaborative to help build the Bachman Lake Together Family Center.
“Year after year we look for programs that align with TREC Foundation’s mission. When we came across the Bachman Lake project, we instantly felt we found something special,” said Young Guns Chair Elias Bahar, Pritchard Associates. “Their goals, trajectory, location and community engagement were a great fit. With Zero to Five Funders Collaborative’s focus on education and community, there is no doubt they are a great role model for other communities around Dallas. We wanted to do all we could to help them achieve their goals.”
In a neighborhood where nearly 40 percent of the children live in poverty, Bachman Lake Together Family Center offers resources to help parents support their children’s development. Families can access to coordinated early learning experiences and parent engagement programming, all from the same experienced providers they know and trust from their neighborhood.
Funding the Project
Casino Night, hosted by TREC Young Guns, was held at One Victory Plaza on February 18. Thank you to the more than 500 attendees who helped us raise $32,000. All event proceeds supported the Bachman Lake Family Together Center. Jerry Hawkins, project director at Zero to Five Funders Collaborative, thanked attendees and encouraged us to come out and see what they are doing here in our community.
The Project’s Scope
The newly constructed 20,000 square foot facility, located at 9515 Overlake Dr., features seven early childhood classrooms, offices, home-visiting space and a multi-purpose room. However, the surrounding landscape provides no outdoor enjoyment for the children that will accompany their parents. It is our goal to enhance the outdoor environment.
TREC Young Guns tasked Austin Hicks, RVI and Jonathan Campbell, Kimley-Horn to implement Bachman’s desires into a manageable design.
“We have worked very closely with the client in an effort to focus the playground activities on experiential learning,” said Jonathan Campbell, Kimley-Horn. “Our goal is for the children to not merely head out to the playground and know to run up the steps and slide down the slide, but to think creatively about how to use and experience the different equipment. This mindset allows for the children to make their own interpretations on how to use the playground differently each visit, which keeps things fun and interesting while remaining safe at the same time.”
Our focus will be the:
- Walking path: We will work with the local subcontractor market to deliver a wonderful and enjoyable walking path that starts on the east end of the property and works its way to the children’s outdoor play area. We are leaving room for future expansion of this path as well.
- Play structures: One of the big requests from some of the children was that this place had to have a slide.
- Garden planters: These were constructed by Young Gun volunteers. “We wanted to provide a place for the parents and the children to connect, learn how to cultivate and grow something together. These planters will be available to those who come to the center. It’s exciting to see this all come together,” said Jay Dreiling, GFF.
- Sound equipment: Jerry had a great vision for the outside of the Family center. Inspired by the Dallas Arboretum, he wanted to hear music of the children playing as they explored the grounds. These will be constructed by Young Gun volunteers later this summer.
- Putting green: What family doesn’t like to hit miniature golf? We will be installing a custom putting green and providing necessary equipment.
Giving Back to Where We Grew Up
This year’s Young Gun Assistant Project Manager Travis Gunter, The Beck Group, grew up not too far from the Bachman Lake neighborhood.
“There has been an unbelieve transformation in that area. When I drive by and see people hanging out by Bachman Lake I am amazed. The Bachman Lake Together Family Center has succeeded in making this a place where you want to come spend time with your children,” said Travis Gunter, The Beck Group. “This gives people in the Bachman Lake area a “leg up” that they deserve. I couldn’t be more proud to be part of the change taking place in my childhood neighborhood.”
We are proud to contribute to TREC Foundation’s mission of strengthening the community. Work days for the project will take place this July. If you are interested in working on this project, contact me, Brad Barton, Foundation Project Manager.