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Group proposing 'splash pad' for Riverton City Park

Sep 9, 2015 By Alejandra Silva, Staff Writer

A community meeting on the project is scheduled for 5:30 p.m. Sept. 28 at the Riverton Branch Library.

A group of Riverton mothers has come together to push forward a "splash pad" proposition for City Park.

Splash pads designs vary, but the attractions generally are made to spray water through standing pipes. Some form water showers, while others resemble fountains, or combinations of both features. Some splash pads send water squirting right out of holes in the ground.

Dottie Baker, president of the splash pad organization, said several people showed interest in the project via a Facebook page started Aug. 26. More than 2,000 people have joined the Facebook page.

"It's really exciting," Baker said. "There are so many people on board."

Her group is in the initial planning stages and is considering different options for the splash pad's design and location.

So far, the proposition group has four leading members that will head four separate committees to focus on different aspects of splash pad development: fundraising, grant writing, public relations and planning.

The first meeting set to gain support, provide information and recruit members is scheduled for 5:30 p.m. Sept. 28 at the Riverton Branch Library Community Room.

Idea

The idea of a splash pad has been discussed in Riverton for some time, Baker said. She felt it was time to make the project happen.

She said the organization members hope the splash pad brings more children to City Park and gives families more activities to do in Riverton.

"This is a good way to get kids and families out in the summer," she said.

Baker's group hopes to join forces with the Central Wyoming Skateboarding Association, which recently opened a new skate facility in City Park after raising more than $250,000.

"They also want to work with us, because they want to keep improving City Park," Baker said.

Working under CWSA would be beneficial, Baker said, because the skate park group already has achieved nonprofit status and has a fund raising system in place.

City support

Baker said the City of Riverton has showed support for the idea, and Mayor Lars Baker has suggested some strategies to get the project going.

The Bakers are not related.

During a meeting with the volunteer group, the mayor said the site of the park's previous skating facility would work well for a splash pad, because it is close to maintenance buildings, a water supply and on-site drainage. He also offered ideas for funding and other helpful resources.

City public works director Kyle Butterfield recently met with group members and also offered his support. When he worked for the City of Cottonwood Heights in Utah, a new park was built in 2011 with a splash pad. Butterfield said the feature was very popular and appreciated.

"I am very supportive of a splash pad initiative and will do what I can in my position to advance (the group's) efforts," Butterfield said."I have seen firsthand the value a splash pad can to bring to a community."

A splash pad could become a "great attraction and amenity" for the families in Riverton, he continued.

"I envision it would even serve as a regional attraction to the city," Butterfield said.

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