Everyone is getting behind a new splash park for the waterfront, even the village’s youngest residents, says committee chair Carolyn Leaver-Luciani.
The Point Edward Optimists are pitching in $100,000, the federal government is giving another $100,000 and the village expects to invest another $150,000.
Then there’s the money raised by the kids at the Point Edward Learning Centre who run a lemonade stand that has raised $130 so far.
The village already has an artist’s concept drawing but decisions on the details won’t be made until public consultation ends this September.
The project, spearheaded by the Optimist Club four years ago, has taken longer to build because it was agreed that a bigger splash park is better, said Mayor Bev Hand.
“We have a beautiful park so, if we’re going to do it, let’s do it well,” she said.
The splash park will cost more than $450,000 and include a 605-square-metre pad equipped with water features such as super soaker buckets, a spray loop tunnel, waterleafs spouting water, splash blasters and ground sprays.
It will be located immediately north of the Blue Water Bridge and replace a ball diamond that has interfered with a nearby soccer pitch in recent years.
The Optimist Club contributed $40,000 toward the ball diamond years ago and recognizes times have changed and that soccer is more popular, said club vice president Rob Oberholzer.
“No matter what we do, it’s for the kids,” he said. “I’ve looked at splash pads and see the kids having fun at them.
“This is a great spot for one.”
Locating the new splash park on the east side of Waterfront Park will ensure the infrastructure to support it is nearby, as well as a parking lot, said Hand.
“If fits there nicely without disturbing anything. And we have McCrae Park still for ball.”
An open house was held July 6 to collect public input for the project. About 40 people attended and provided feedback on the hours, tree coverage and the water features being installed, said village clerk Jim Burns.
“We heard we need to have water fountains, add shade and put in dump buckets for the older kids,” he said.
The splash pad will have three sections; one for babies, another for children ages 2 – 6, and another for ages 7 – 12.
“There will be no one staffing it,” said Leaver-Luciani. “It’s our hope that parents will watch their children closely.”
Early plans call for the splash pad to be surrounded by berms, an open air pavilion and a washroom/changeroom.
Revenues from the Optimists’ Bridge Bash on July 15/16 will once again go toward the splash park and more grant applications will be made this year.
The public is invited to ask questions and provide feedback on the park design by emailing Jim Burns at [email protected].
Construction is expected to start next spring although a ground breaking is planned this summer.