Efforts continuing to bring splash park to Sylvan Lake

“It would bring families together and provide fun and entertainment for everyone.” Sheryl McDougall

  • Jan. 29, 2015 5:00 p.m.

Treena Mielke

BLACK PRESS

The upcoming Polar Bear Dip seems like a perfect way to raise money for the proposed splash park for Sylvan Lake, and a few hardy jumpers are doing just that.

Splash park fundraising chair Sheryl McDougall said Sylvan Lake councillor Jas Payne, Wendy-Jo Sasosky, Sonya Morrison and Krista Anderson have committed to jumping in the icy waters of Sylvan Lake to raise money for the planned park.

The Polar Bear Dip, a popular Sylvan Lake event, is to be held Feb. 14.

McDougall said raising dollars for the park is ongoing and all help is appreciated.

The project was initially slated to cost about $800,000, but prices have since fluctuated, and a firm cost hasn’t yet been established.

A location for the park is yet to be determined, though McDougall said two sites are being looked at.

She said the fundraising committee is grateful that Booster Juice has agreed to donate a portion of its Wednesday sales to the park, which will add much needed dollars to those already raised.

The park could be built in a couple of years, but progress depends on money raised.

“Realistically, it all depends how quickly dollars can be raised,” McDougall said.

An outdoor splash park would be a great source of entertainment for families, she added.

“It would bring families together and provide fun and entertainment for everyone.”

Mayor Sean McIntyre in an online article last fall noted that Red Deer has now developed two spray parks, while smaller centres like Blackfalds and Drumheller have had spray parks for years. He noted Eckville, with a population of 1,125, has also constructed a spray park.

Spray parks, he feels, offer a new element of safety with fun in the water.

“Especially for parents with more than one child, the safety of a spray park is a huge benefit,” he said. “The unique advantage to this element of safety and fun is watching toddlers enjoy these areas alongside pre-teens and the parents and grandparents minding them; all without the danger or fear of drowning.”

In 2011, council turned down a motion to set aside $7,000 for research and planning for a spray park.

However, the fundraising committee is continuing its endeavours to bring the project to fruition.