Story, photos and video by Mike Tripp, contributor
On this early summer evening, a wave of kids crashes across the new splash pad at Westover Park. They’d been forced to wait through the usual adults stuff – talking, more talking, photo ops, more talking – but now, with the ceremonial ribbon finally cut, they are turned loose.
As some explore other parts of the park’s latest water attraction, a crowd clusters together at one end of the pad in anticipation.
And then, it happens. The trough-shaped water bucket above them tilts and rains down 10 gallons of water from above, drenching them completely.
This is what they’ve been waiting for. THIS is why they’re here — to get wet.
Before the trough can fill a second time, more kids crowd beneath it. One young boy raises a fist in the air, as if daring the trough to do it again. To the delight of all, it does. Again and again.
Have they had enough? Not a chance.
It takes about 30 seconds to fill the trough with the 10 gallons of water.
Once full, it swiftly rotates and drenches those below. Rinse and repeat.
In addition to the dumping trough, the new splash pad also features more than a dozen different water sprayers and spouts, plus the colorful rings of a ripple run.
For kids on a hot summer day, this is the place to come — featuring 600 gallons of water (recycled and reused, not sent directly down the drain) flying at them from everywhere at once.
The splash pad is the first of its kind in the area – and part of the city’s Parks and Recreation Department‘s mission to provide unique and imaginative recreation opportunities for our community,” said Director Luanne Santangelo, in a press release.
“Adding a splash pad and making improvements to our pool at Westover Park will go a long way toward ensuring we remain at the forefront of making sure our residents have a variety of opportunities to get out and enjoy the great outdoors,” the release continued.
The new splash pad is part of a larger pool renovation, including maintenance to the pool’s interior and exterior surfaces, electrical system and lighting.
“We’re very excited about reopening the pool for visitors, because this has truly become a gathering place for our community and a great spot for kids to play away their summer breaks,” said Brittany Clem, Parks and Recreation’s coordinator of marketing and special projects.
“Add in the new splash pad, and Westover Park has become the go-to destination for families and people of all ages to enjoy!”
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