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Estacada Parks and Recreation Commission hopes to open splash pad in time for summer

COURTESY PHOTO: CITY OF ESTACADA - The Estacada Parks and Recreation Commission approved a splash pad for Wade Creek Park during a recent meeting.

The Estacada Parks and Recreation Commission is moving forward with a project that will allow for water play at Wade Creek Park.

The group approved a splash pad for the park at Seventh Avenue and Wade Street during a meeting on Wednesday, Feb. 27. If the project is approved by the city's budget committee in June, parks commissioners hope to have the water feature installed later in the summer.

Though splash pads have little to no standing water, they features nozzles, fountains and pipes that spray water. The experience is akin to running through a sprinkler.

"It was so many years ago that the splash pad concept came up," said Estacada Parks and Recreation Chair Jae Chun, who is excited to see the project move forward.

The Parks and Recreation Commission first considered the idea of a splash pad at Wade Creek Park during a meeting in the summer of 2015. Since then, several online petitions have launched in support of the project, including one in 2017 that received 318 signatures.

Linda Parsons, owner of The Country Restaurant, is one of the Estacada residents who advocated for a splash pad at Wade Creek Park.

"It's important because it's our main park," she said. "Families can come. The little kids can be at the splash pad, and the older kids can be at the skate park. It's a centrally located, family-oriented park."

Parsons was also involved with the Estacada Watch Our Waves movement of the 1970s and 1980s, which strived to bring a swimming pool to town. The group eventually disbanded because of costs and logistics, and the funds they raised were donated to the Estacada Community Foundation.

Parsons is excited to see Estacada finally have a water feature.

"The concept is the same," she said. "It's something fun with water for families to play in during the summer."

Along with a splash pad at Wade Creek Park, there will also be a splash pad at Fred Campanella Memorial City Park, the latter of which is outlined in the update to the Parks Master Plan approved by the City Council last summer. The splash pad at Wade Creek Park will be a smaller one, and the one at Campanella will be larger.

"This will be a mini version so kids have something to enjoy this summer," Chun said. "It's not one or the other. We're going to have both."

Several years ago, a cost estimate for the Wade Creek Park splash pad was approximately $35,000. The Parks and Recreation Commission will also seek community donations to help fund the project.

There are many plans in the works for Wade Creek Park. Last month, the City Council approved a plan for the park's third phase, which will focus on the area behind the Estacada Public Library and include a stream, boardwalk, amphitheatre, pavilion, walking trails and greenery.

Those involved with

the splash pad project are excited to see it move forward.

"We'll have a play area for kids 10 and under," Chun said. "It's another step for our city to continue to

prosper, and give places

for residents in Estacada to go."

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