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‘Best of The Globe 2018' now underway

Splash pad coming to Jackson; fun anticipated to begin in August 2018

A conceptual design of what the Jackson Splashpad may look like when complete, which is anticipated for August 2018. (Special to The Globe)1 / 2
A rendering of Jackson Splashpad currently being designed. (Special to The Globe)2 / 2

JACKSON — Fun, free and safe summertime entertainment for all ages.

That’s what the Splash’n Jackson Committee hopes its splashpad project will bring to Jackson and surrounding area residents after its anticipated August, 2018 completion.

“We’re really trying to find something fun for kids to do in the summer,” said Splash’n Jackson Committee Member Kristy Thurmer about the group that convened in April.

The approximately 2,000-square-foot splash pad area being designed in Jackson’s Memorial Park will feature multiple areas of age-appropriate fun, Thurmer said.

“There will be a toddler, school age and teenage area,” she said about the pad being designed by Wisconsin-based Commercial Recreation Specialists/Vortex.

Colorful leaves and daisies that spray water, water cannons and water-bucket dumps, water jellies and a water tunnel are just some of the examples of the different structures with various water pressures that will allow kids to cool down in the summertime, said Jackson Chamber of Commerce Director Sharon Henning.

Water will shoot out at approximately 15-second intervals for 15 minutes at a time once the activator switch is triggered. This feature allows water to flow only when it is being used, Henning said.

There will also be a 5-foot dry zone around the outside of the pad. The cement will have a brushed finish to add traction and prevent users from slipping, she added.

The pad, which will  resemble a flower from an aerial view, was intentionally designed to have a nature aesthetic because of the West Des Moines River and the wildflowers along its bank that will serve as a backdrop.

“It all ties it together,” Henning said.

While the splash pad will be the new, big appeal to Memorial Park, the committee is also planning on adding shaded areas and will renovate the bathrooms.

The splash pad and bathrooms will be Americans with Disabilities Act compliant, Thurmer said. The bathroom will also feature new changing tables.

With the design laid out the excitement to put the pad to use is evident, but there’s still much to do.

“At this point all of our energy is going into fundraising,” Thurmer said.

To date, the committee has raised about $54,000 of the $300,000 necessary to complete the project.

Thurmer said area businesses have been very supportive of the project. Pizza Ranch helped the committee host a “tip night,” and Sunshine Foods will donate a portion of its Nov. 20 sales to the cause and allow committee members and volunteers to bag groceries for tips.

The committee also hopes individuals will support its “Freez’n for a Reason” events scheduled on Dec. 2. The day will begin with an 8 a.m. 5K and continue with a frosty lake splash (polar plunge) at Clear Lake. All proceeds from the event will go toward the splash pad, Thurmer said.

While Jackson continues to move forward with its splash pad project, the potential to bring one to Worthington has been discussed and is moving forward.  

While no specific details of design, cost or anticipated completion have been determined, the Noon Kiwanis and city of Worthington intend to partner on the project. The groups met in August and heard a presentation from a Commercial Recreation Specialists project manager.

Chad Cummings, a member of Worthington City Council and Noon Kiwanis, has committed proceeds from the 2017 and 2018 Deep Freeze Dip events to the project. Additionally, the city has announced it will commit a share of the cost, and the groups have also reached out to the Worthington Regional Health Care Foundation to see if it’s interested in a funding partnership.