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Civic League hopes to make splash with spray park idea

Saturday, June 4, 2011

A typical spray park/splash park includes various water jets, spray nozzles and misting devices for summer fun.
Hoping to make another big splash with a community project, the Greencastle Civic League has announced plans to organize an effort to put a spray park at Robe-Ann Park.

A spray park is essentially an aquatic facility that lacks a pool of water but offers such features as water spray nozzles and jets, dump buckets and even small water slides.

Civic League representative Suzanne Masten briefed the Greencastle Board of Park Commissioners on the non-profit organization's ideas for the project during the June meeting Wednesday night at City Hall.

No decision was reached Wednesday night, but Park Director Rod Weinschenk urged board members to ponder a possible location for the spray park within Robe-Ann, and be prepared to make a decision by as early as next month.

Masten explained that Civic League members are interested in doing a "signature project" that would benefit the community, much in manner of the group's leadership in the creation of the Emerald Palace playground at Robe-Ann.

"Spray parks are popping up all over Indiana," Masten said, pointing to the popular feature added to the Indianapolis Zoo.

No cost figures were discussed during the meeting since the location and exact type of spray park/splash park would affect the overall price tag.

The Civic League plans to spearhead the fundraising for the project and would also like to partner with the Putnam County Community Foundation to create a fund for ongoing operation and maintenance of the facility, Masten said.

Although no site is set, Weinschenk suggested the spray park would be a natural fit at the Aquatic Center, possibly occupying the space of the now-closed baby pool if that cannot be made to comply with ADA regulations.

However, Masten said the Civic League envisions the spray park as "a free service for the community." Since there is an admission fee to the pool, it would be difficult if not impossible to offer the spray park as a stand-alone free service if it were inside the Aquatic Center.

Stressing that the Civic League is open to any location and wants to forge a partnership with the Park Board, Masten said the idea is "to keep it simple."

"We don't need to be fancy about it," she said, indicating that overall the facility needs to be kid-friendly. "I was talking with the pool manager at Danville, and he said 'I forgot how much kids like to play in the hose.'"

Masten also noted that water in a spray park does not run continually, only when people are present and push a button to activate it.

In other business, the Park Board:

-- Approved application to the Junior Pacers Program on a gold membership level for the 2011-12 Youth Basketball season. The league will get $3 from each ticket sold for a Pacers' Greencastle Night. For an added $5 on the basketball program sign-up fee, league players will get tickets to games, be able to attend camps, and go out onto the Conseco Fieldhouse court and shoot a basket. The Pacers will also provide items like signed jerseys and basketballs that can be used for local fundraisers. Pacer mascot Boomer or Pacer cheerleaders will also come to Greencastle for a visit as part of the program.

-- Gave permission to Greencastle Project Ignition, represented by Amy Doan, to have a family-oriented luau at the pool on Thursday, July 17. The 7-10 p.m. fundraising event will include pool games, tropical music, deck activities and socializing for the adults, along with food (perhaps along the lines of a hog roast).

-- Granted permission for the Civic League to pass out flyers for its Junior Tennis Tournament during the youth tennis program at the park.

-- Voted to allow Grace Tabernacle Church to have live music in the park bandshell in a program held Friday night.

-- Granted Cornerstone Baptist Church permission to play music during an event honoring local emergency services workers Sunday in the park.

-- Granted use of two season pool passes to Putnam County Comprehensive Services so its clients and a supervisor can use the pool four at a time as in previous years.

-- Allowed a request from Greencastle High School teacher Matt McComish to use the pool on Tuesday and Thursday from 11-11:30 a.m. for a PE class of 15 students. Each student will pay $1 per person per day.

-- Heard Friends of the Park President Jan Firebaugh report on several upcoming events, including a July 4 pancake breakfast, dog fashion show, July 15 Love Your Park Day and a July 21 summer concert in the park for teenagers.

Joining Park Director Weinschenk for the 90-minute meeting were board members John Hennette, Kara Thomas, Tim Trigg and Russ Evans, along with ex-officio members Monica Fennell and Wes Wilson and assistant director Troy Scott.

The Park Board will next meet in regular session at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, July 6 at City Hall.

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Im all for it! There is plenty of empty space in the park for this kind of play area. I would suggest no where near the skate park. Sounds great and how do I sign up to help with the fundraising?

-- Posted by chicagogirl on Sat, Jun 4, 2011, at 6:28 PM

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