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Aquatic play area to make a 'splash' | Community Spirit

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Aquatic play area to make a 'splash'
Aquatic play area to make a 'splash'

A new, free community aquatic attraction is set to open this weekend.

The McKee Farms Park Splash Pad is set to open with an official ribbon-cutting on Friday and a community party on Sunday, project leaders said.

In a news release Wednesday, the city of Fitchburg said the splash pad -- a project orchestrated by the Fitchburg Optimist Club -- was about five years in the making.

Joan Mohr, Optimist Club president, served as chair of the splash pad committee. She said she wanted to help create a water recreation area for all children that they can take part in for years to come. Though a pool was out of the question due to cost, a splash pad like the one at Middleton Lakeview Park seemed a more feasible idea for Fitchburg, she said.

"I knew that Fitchburg needed some sort of aquatic facility. I wanted to make sure that kids of all abilities could enjoy the water … and get refreshed on [summer] days," Mohr said. "There’s going to be a lot of people coming to this, a lot of kids, to enjoy this for [a long time]."

The 5,000-square-foot water-play area has multiple water sprayers made to look like farm equipment, a tractor, windmill and farm animals. A red barn houses restrooms.

The city said the Optimist Club raised approximately $250,000, the city pledged $235,000 and Dane County contributed $250,000 for a total project cost of $735,000.

Project coordinators said they have about $95,000 yet to raise for a fund to maintain the pad and for shade structures. The group is selling sponsorships for park equipment, bricks and is accepting donations. Concessions will be sold at the Sunday community party to contribute to the fund as well, Mohr said.

The club is hosting a kid’s celebration at the splash pad Sunday. Organizers said there will be brats, hot dogs, cake, face painting and hay rides to commemorate the project’s completion. The group plans to have some giveaways, like reusable shopping bags, and there will be cake donated from The Rolling Pin, Mohr added.

The splash pad is near Kid's Crossing in McKee Farms Park, 2930 Chapel Valley Road.




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