Splash park a legacy for families and community – Reflections of Ponoka

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An architect’s drawing of the proposed Ponoka Splash Park

An architect’s drawing of the proposed Ponoka Splash Park

You can almost hear the screams of joy from the young children and the laughter of the whole family when the long-anticipated wild and wet Ponoka Splash Park roars into action in July 2012 at the spacious green expanse of the Lions Centennial Park.

A six-member splash park committee, which includes representatives from the Ponoka Lions, Kinette and Kinsmen Clubs, has spearheaded this exciting three-year community project.

With a lot of vigorous fund-raising, enthusiasm and the ongoing support of all facets of our town and county, the Ponoka Splash Park project is now just $50,000 short of its lofty $500,000 goal. The committee was thrilled to announce the initial construction of the magic water wonderland will begin in the spring of 2012, with grand opening festivities in July. The ultra-modern, and safe and sturdy structure will feature three distinct family play sections of cascading, slightly-heated water, including one for toddlers, one for youngsters, and another for the older set. These controlled, but always wet and wild lively sprays will come from colourful and sturdy forms and figures that include a water bug, water garden, spray loop, jet stream, rain forest, power spinner, ground gusher, rooster tail, sidewinder, rainbow, bucket trio, and lots of hilarious and soaking surprises.

There is no doubt that this new splash park will be an ideal location for a birthday party, family picnic, school or church party, or any number of enjoyable gatherings!

The new attraction will be surrounded by the safe and fenced Ponoka Lions Centennial Park, which also includes a playground, benches, picnic tables, walking paths, the popular fishing pond and fountain, and a mini-golf course. It will be an environmentally friendly, recycling water park, with underground storage, and a building with a filter system that will also chemically treat the water for use in the park. Many other communities have used taxes to fund facilities such as this, but the only cost to the town for the splash park will be the annual maintenance. There will be absolutely no standing water in the splash park, which will be safe for all ages, and will also be wheelchair accessible.

This energetic splash park project is similar to many fund-raisers that have been held here in the community to help fund facilities that can be used in many ways by citizens of all ages. This has included our first arena (1947), the first outdoor swimming pool (1964), the Aquaplex, tennis courts, the recreation and culture complex, the community centre, a skateboard park, the new Ag Event Centre, as well as numerous playgrounds and sports fields.

These amenities are vital selling points for a community to attract new families to come and live and shop here now and into the future, as well as enticing new businesses and industry to locate in a year-round family-friendly and active environment!

The splash committee needs your help

To complete the final phase of their fundraising drive the splash park committee is still reaching out to individuals, groups, organizations and businesses in and around the community who may be interested in donating to this project.

Sponsorship categories, which will be acknowledged on a special wall at the site, as well as on the downtown thermometer, are: platinum ($5,000 and up; gold ($3,000 to $4,999, silver ($1,000 to $2,999), bronze ($500 to $999), and Friends of the Park for $499 and under. Kindly donations of any denomination will also be accepted from community or neighbourly events, or for as a memorial or for special milestones. A previous donation to the project is also a roast beef dinner with all the trimmings for 250 people. A local group is invited to host a function of their choice with this food donation, with all the proceeds to the splash park.

Those wishing to make a donation to the splash park project or receive other information are urged to contact: Leah at 403-783-4389, Barry at 403-783-7410, Darlene at 403-783-2648 or by mail to Box 4708, Ponoka, AB T4J-1S5.

Thank you to everyone who have come forth for so many years in support of so many special projects that have made our community such a great place to live and raise a family, and there is no doubt that this wonderful tradition of caring and sharing will always continue.

While we will somehow manage to survive winter, we can all certainly look forward to all that great cool fun in the sun at the new Ponoka Splash Park starting in the summer of 2012.