New splash pad cools kids off in Jackson
Temperatures in the low 90s and cloudless skies delivered near-perfect conditions Thursday afternoon as a ribbon-cutting was hosted for the community’s newest amenity. The event marked the culmination of a project first introduced four years ago and originally anticipated to be completed in August 2018.
“Originally, we wanted to build a splash pad but didn’t have a site,” shared Kristy Thurmer, a member of the Splash’n Jackson Committee, which first began meeting in May 2017. “Then, it was going to be in Memorial Park.”
That site, located south of Jackson’s City Hall, proved to be less than ideal, however, as heavy rains came the following year and brought flooding on the property.
“We thought the splash pad probably wouldn’t have flooded, but the surrounding area would have,” Jackson City Administrator Matt Skaret said. “The use of the splash pad and parking around it … would have been very limited.”
The committee subsequently gathered further input from community members on an alternate location, and the city of Jackson and Jackson County Central Schools Board of Education ultimately worked together to secure a new site for the splash pad. It’s located next to the softball field on the grounds of JCC High School.
“It’s centrally located in town, well-lit and has good access,” Skaret said of the splash pad.
“It’s on school property, it’s part of the bike trail system and you can walk to the pool,” added Sharon Henning, another Splash’n Jackson member.
Nearly all the funds to construct the splash pad came in the form of grants and large donations made by local corporations, businesses and memorial gifts, as well as other small contributions from community members and businesses.
There are eight above-ground features and an assortment of ground sprays at the facility, which is designed for youths of all ages. Commercial Recreation Specialists of Vernona, Wisconsin, which also worked on the Worthington splash pad, was the project’s vendor, Skaret said. A recirculating system enables water from sprayers to be pumped down into a treatment system and then re-used, he explained.
Picnic table seating, Thurmer noted, was created by local resident Dave Pell, with lumber donated by Boekett Building Supply. “Buddy benches” around the splash pad “encourage the kids to make friends,” she added, and were funded by a grant from Federated Rural Electric.
The splash pad is free to the public and open daily from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. It is intended to be open annually from Memorial Day through Labor Day.