McALLEN – A $15,000 grant by Let's Play! Community Construction grant from Dr. Pepper-Snapple Group and the national KaBoom! Foundation the library has a new playground.

“Thanks to our many activities, programs and parks, such as this park right here,” city manager Roel “Roy” Rodriguez said. “We are transforming public spaces into playgrounds which is pretty unique and will further supplement our traditional park system.”

The playground is a wheelchair-accessible playground which was all constructed by volunteers from Keep McAllen Beautiful, the National Hispanic Professionals Organization and UTRGV. It was designed with a sensory-rich aspect through play components, activity panels, a ramping system and slides.

The next phase of the Orchid Avenue Beautification Project will include handicap-accessible outdoor seating and a butterfly garden which is part of Mayor Jim Darling's Monarch Pledge.

Earlier this week the city also received their seventh recognition of being a Playful City USA by KaBoom!, a national non-profit.

The designation honors cities that are transforming ordinary places into playful spaces and using play as a solution to the challenges facing their residents.

Additionally city officials announced McAllen was the winner of the Meet Me in the Park contest sponsored by the National Recreation and Parks Association and the Walt Disney Company.

“That is amazing that a community like yours can compete for those kinds of tag lines and grants and win,” Rodriguez said.

The $20,000 grant will go to further develop and revitalize the McAllen Nature Center.