Water spray park committee formed

EMO—A committee has been established to spearhead the development of a water spray park in Emo after resident Lincoln Dunn pitched the idea to council there back in November.
“We’re really just starting to figure out what our target is going to be, how big we want to make it, design concepts, and then where we’re going to find the money,” Dunn said Tuesday after the group’s first meeting Monday night.
A water spray park is a zero-depth children’s play area where water is sprayed from upright structures or ground sprays, then drained away before it can accumulate.
There are more than 1,000 water spray parks across North America, which have proven to be fun and interactive for children of all ages.
Emo Reeve Ed Carlson told those at a recent Chamber of Commerce meeting about the project, explaining how the water is recycled through a system.
“So we don’t have to worry about it using up a lot of water,” he said, adding the spray structures use trigger systems for children to activate the water flow only when the park is being used.
The idea is to utilize the space at the Lions Park to build the water spray area.
“It would certainly be an asset to the park,” Reeve Carlson remarked.
“We’d love to make this a real attraction for the town” echoed Dunn. “That’s kind of our hope anyway—that we’ll see people coming from other places in the district.”
He indicated a water spray park is a great alternative to swimming pools because it’s much safer, but still allows children to cool down on those hot summer days while having fun.
With no pooling of water, there are no risks of drowning and the area wouldn’t need to be staffed with lifeguards.
And Dunn noted the cost to build a water spray park is not prohibitive, with a comprehensive one going for about $150,000 and a basic park costing around $30,000.
“We were thinking possibly $150,000,” Reeve Carlson noted. “Why not go big?”
“We’d like to try something that’s fairly comprehensive, fairly big, to maximize the space [at the Lions Park],” Dunn added.
At their meeting Monday night, the committee discussed different ways they could fundraise for the project. Dunn said they may begin by raffling off a large item.
“And we’ve got some other event ideas, too,” he added.
But since it’s a large task to take on, Dunn stressed anyone interested in joining the committee to help share the work load is welcome.
“It would be great to have a couple more people,” he said, adding they are hoping to break ground on the project by this time next year.
“It’s exciting,” Dunn stressed. “I think it’s going to come together pretty quickly.”

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