A value-added community amenity: Splash pads
Spray park installations have been identified as highly-desired amenities for all types of recreation environments. They’ve been implemented in municipal parks, community recreation centers, family fun centers, public swimming pools, aquatic centers and water parks. What makes these systems so successful?
Innovative community enhancement
Splash play areas provide a unique way of bringing vitality to their communities. Families and neighbors come together in a secure and open central gathering point featuring colorful, impressive structures. Various designs can be used in the park’s construction to complement the environment. Flowing lines and bright colors complement green spaces while stainless steel and architectural shapes add an artistic touch to a city neighborhood.
Sharpening community value
Quality amenities are determinant factors when choosing a place to live. Buyers look for a community as well as a residence. It’s also increasingly true as families are traveling less and looking for places to enjoy the outdoors that are closer to home. A splash pad gives families an exciting place to gather and meet, where parents can socialize and enjoy the outdoors while kids are playing and enjoying the water.
Safe and environmentally sustainable
With no standing water in splash pads, the risk of drowning is eliminated. Structures are designed to be as safe as possible and considerations are made to effectively eliminate pinch points, protrusions and risks of head entrapment. Parents can sit and relax, fully clothed, while they supervise their children, as opposed to having to accompany their kids in a swimming pool at all times.
As the popularity of splash pads grows, so does the responsibility of using water in the most effective, sustainable way possible. Recirculation systems and capture and repurposing systems offer advanced technology for water management and serve as superior water conservation options to traditional drain-away systems. Certain physical attributes of the play structures can reduce water usage, and play features are activated
by users on demand only and can be sequenced so that water flow from feature to feature is distributed proportionally as opposed to all at once.
Modest investment for high value
While a splash pad can’t replace a full-service pool, it is an affordable way to add a water amenity for a relatively small investment. Less time is required to upkeep the system, and the need for trained staff and lifeguards is lessened, therefore reducing labor costs. The structures are built to be durable and vandalism resistant, making repairs and part replacements minimal.
An increasingly popular option to generate revenue from splash pads can be “Pay for Play” concepts. By charging minimal or no fees to residents, and slightly higher fees to non-residents, the investment in a spray park can bring funds back into the budget.
Information provided by Patricia Rothschild, marketing and design specialist, Vortex Aquatic Structures International.
Our community town council is gathering information about putting in a splash pad. Presently we are looking at a location and want to know how far from the playground equipment surrounded by sand that it should be located. In other words, What role does sand play in the upkeep and mechanism of the system?