Rotary wades into splash pad project

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WALLA WALLA — A “Fountain For Youth” is the latest Rotarian project that aims to help families cool off this summer.

At a work session on Monday, City Council reviewed a very preliminary proposal by Walla Walla Rotary Club members, who would spearhead a fundraising drive to build splash pads in three city parks, the first in Washington Park.

A splash pad is a water park with no standing or pooled water, but a number of fountains designed for children and adults to play in.

The designs are often colorful and whimsical, looking somewhat like playgrounds with water.

The splash pads are usually built over a concrete base with a drainage system to collect and reuse the water after it is treated.

Rotarians would be the initiators and sponsors of raising approximately $350,000 per splash pad.

Washington Park was chosen as the first location because it is one of the busiest city parks during summer and its users’ demographics are primarily low-income.

The splash pad would be constructed where the smaller basketball court is currently located.

A second splash pad would be located on the east side of town and the third closer to central Walla Walla.

Rotarians plan to ask the Sherwood Trust to donate $200,000 for the first splash pad.

Rotarians would also rely on the Sherwood Trust 2013 Leadership Class to donate another $20,000 for additional aesthetic elements.

If the funds were raised, construction of the first splash pad could begin in March of 2014 and be completed by Memorial Day of the same year.

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