Kids have fun cooling off in the many water features of the Daleville Water Works splash pad in Daleville on Tuesday as temperatures reached into the 90s. Staff photo by John P. Cleary
Kids have fun cooling off in the many water features of the Daleville Water Works splash pad in Daleville on Tuesday as temperatures reached into the 90s. Staff photo by John P. Cleary
DALEVILLE — Fluffy, cotton candy-looking clouds hung heavily overhead as children splashed and played at the splash pad at Williams Walters Park.

“This is our second time here,” said Crystal Grayson, from Rushville. “It’s got something different from our town’s splash park. They have more things that are fun for my kids.”

She said her family drove an hour so her five children, between the ages of 1 of 10, could enjoy the free facilities that include two playgrounds, a snack bar, a play train, amphitheater and dog park.

Daleville is one of four splash pad facilities open this summer that are free or by donation. Middletown, Chesterfield and Lapel also have smaller splash pads within their communities.

Anderson plans to open its new splash pad at May’s Park in a few weeks.

“I think they like the train the most,” Grayson said with a laugh as she watched her children play inside and around the small wooden train.

Grayson said she packs a cooler of drinks and food in addition to plenty of sunscreen if they plan to visit the park at 8019 S. Walnut St.

The Daleville splash pad is open from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. seven days a week, said Trina Richardson, Daleville deputy town clerk and event coordinator.

Richardson said sometimes the park is closed during those hours for maintenance or cleaning, but the information about unplanned closings is posted on social media.

The Daleville splash pad recycles and treats the water similar to the way pool water is sanitized.

“It’s definitely not drinking water,” she said, adding that the facilities are regularly tested to maintain proper safety levels.

Richardson said the park is a great asset to the community and draws people from surrounding areas because it’s something fun and free to do during the hot summer months.

She said it’s impossible to keep track of how many people use the splash pad, but they have 44 water features and the only thing that costs people money is if they decide to buy something from the concession stand.

Melina Grim, 18, of Middletown brought two of the children she cares for to the Daleville splash pad on Tuesday.

“It’s cool,” she said with a laugh. “It’s a lot bigger than the one we have in Middletown.”

Rusty Conner, parks superintendent for Middletown and Fall Creek Township, said the Middletown Dietrich splash pad, 333 Locust St., is the oldest in the area. He said they have been operating their facility for 20 years.

“We are geared more toward children 10 and younger,” Conner said.

Middletown’s facility is open from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. and also uses treated water. Conner said it is smaller in comparison to Daleville.

“It’s a quiet park that’s safe, clean, and we want people to come over and enjoy it,” he said. “Grandma and Grandpa can bring the grandkids down and have a great day at the park.”

Chesterfield’s Millcreek Spray Ground is open from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m., seven days a week, and is located in the first block of Veterans Boulevard, said Deborah Dunham, clerk-treasurer.

Unlike Daleville and Middletown, Chesterfield does not use recycled water at its facilities, but Dunham said she still would not advise people to drink from the water features.

Dunham said about 35 people were at the splash pad on Tuesday and the facility is considerably smaller than Daleville’s, but fenced.

“It’s our best-kept secret,” she said.

Ed Leonard, president of the Chesterfield Town Council, said one of the nicest things about their splash pad is it is conveniently located in the town park and offers additional security to parents with smaller children because it is fenced.

Lapel’s splash pad, in the northeast corner of Woodward Park, is on a motion sensor that operates from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m., said Paula Lee, deputy clerk-treasurer.

Like Chesterfield, it does not use recycled water, but is currently closed after lightning struck it earlier this month. Lee said the splash pad should be open in the next week.

Anderson Mayor Thomas Broderick Jr. said the city anticipates opening its brand-new splash pad in late July. The city is investing $2.2 million into the park near the intersection of 10th Street and Madison Avenue.

“This is going to be a first-rate park with great amenities for children of all ages,” Broderick said.
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