Wyatt’s Clubhouse, an inclusive park and playground in Marble Falls, has received thousands of dollars of donations from residents and local businesses since its first fundraiser in July. Courtesy photo
Marble Falls Inclusive Play Group received 501(c)3 status on Nov. 7, meaning the group is now eligible for a litany of grants that should serve as a catalyst for its fundraising efforts to build an inclusive park and playground.
“It’s going to be a big help,” said group Treasurer Taylor Smith. “It will allow us to apply for a lot of grants that we couldn’t before because we didn’t have tax-exemption status yet.”
With the recent status change, many who donated to the organization will be able to deduct their contributions on their tax returns in April.
“It’s effective as of May 27 of this year,” Smith said. “That means that all the donations we received in the time between our application and approval will be retroactively tax-deductible.”
Anticipated to take much longer, the organization was elated to receive word from the IRS so quickly.
“It’s normally an eight- to 12-month process,” Smith said. “We were hoping for next April, right before everyone filed their taxes. This is a major blessing.”
The park, which was named Wyatt’s Clubhouse in August, is designed to cater to children of all abilities through the use of ramps and harnesses as well as equipment for different sensory abilities. The park design also includes components such as tunnels, slides, several different styles of swings, and a zipline. Similar parks exist in Round Rock and Temple.
The park will be located next to Colt Elementary School on Manzano Mile. The nonprofit plans to raise $1.4 million to finance the project.
Talks for a long-term land lease on school property for the new park began during a regular meeting of the Marble Falls Independent School District Board of Trustees on July 18. Upon completion of the park, the nonprofit hopes to transfer ownership to the city of Marble Falls.
The complexity of the three-party agreement has slowed its progress, Smith said.
Those interested in contributing to the group’s mission may send a Venmo to @MFIPG. Cash and checks donations can be dropped off at First United Bank, 418 U.S. 281 in Marble Falls. Checks must be made payable to MFIPG.