First San Antonio city park for special needs kids to be named after developer

SAN ANTONIO (KTSA News) – San Antonio’s getting a rather unique park in the city’s Northwest Side. It’s distinctive in two ways –the land for the park was donated by a neighborhood, and it’s the first city park that will be designed for special needs children.  Unlike Morgan’s Wonderland, which is a non-profit theme park featuring attractions and rides which accommodate children and adults with disabilities, this will be the first municipal park for special needs families operated by the City of San Antonio.

Funds to the tune of $500,000 from the 2017 to 2022 Bond Program approved by voters will be used for development of the new park. Construction will start early next year on land donated by the Maverick Creek Neighborhood on Jetlyn Drive at West Hausman Road and it’s scheduled for completion in 2021.

“Very rarely do you see a neighborhood donating land to the city for the purpose of a park,” said councilman Manny Pelaez.

City Council last week agreed to name the park after the late Dan Markson, a longtime community leader and developer who spearheaded numerous affordable housing projects across the city. He was executive director of NRP Group.

Debra Guerrero with NRP group says she first met Markson when he proposed developing an area in the city’s Southeast Side.

“He talked about developing right across from Brooks Air Force Base when nothing existed there. He was the visionary who saw what could be there and he did that throughout the city of San Antonio.

Northeast Side Councilman Clayton Perry also worked with Markson on some projects, including the Upton at Longhorn Quarry apartments on Wurzbach Parkway.

“The plans and the vision that he had in my district were very, very helpful, not only to me and my neighbors, but for the entire city,” said Perry. “He truly wanted this to be a better place to live, work and play.”

Markson was found dead of a self-inflicted gunshot wound in May at his Monte Vista home. He was 59-years-old. Pelaez says Dan Markson Park is not only for District 8, but for the entire city.

“It’s a park that is built with equity at its heart and compassion for those folks who have never had the opportunity to ride a carousel or merry-go-round or be on a swing while being in a wheelchair. That’s going to be a pretty neat thing to see,” said Pelaez.

The park will be located near the neighborhood where Markson’s 4-year-old son lives with his guardians.

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