Lifestyle

City looking to add spraypark to Comeford Park

This graphic shows the features of the planned spraypark, including the “waterway” which winds down the middle of the park and is surrounded by interactive play areas. - Courtesy Photo
This graphic shows the features of the planned spraypark, including the “waterway” which winds down the middle of the park and is surrounded by interactive play areas.
— image credit: Courtesy Photo

MARYSVILLE — The city of Marysville is hoping that, with the help of the community, it will be able to fund and build a spraypark that could be open by next summer.

The planned 3,000-square-foot spraypark will be located in Comeford Park, in the area by the restrooms and existing playground, and will include a variety of water features as well as a seating wall.

“We have been looking at a spraypark for the last two years,” said Parks and Recreation Director Jim Ballew, who added that several possible locations were considered during the process, including Ebey Waterfront Park and Comeford Park. “For a number of reasons, we determined that Comeford Park would be the best location for the spraypark.”

Ballew said that use of the community center in Comeford Park has doubled in the past two years and has become more family oriented.

“We’re seeing a lot more individuals of varied ages, as well as more moms and kids using the center,” said Ballew. “This spraypark would serve them very well.”

In addition, Ballew said the spraypark would also tie in well with the city’s Downtown Revitalization Plan.

The spraypark will feature a main “waterway” and four distinct play zones, according to Patrik Dylan, landscape architect with Eccos Design, who is working with the city to design the spraypark.

“The design’s main feature is the ‘waterway’ that will wind down the middle of the park, and will feature approximately 30 jets that will both randomly and in sync fire to give the illusion of water arching in the same direction,” said Dylan. “We also have a number of features around that ‘waterway’ to provide a diversity of play experiences for the kids.”

Dylan described the main “waterway” as being like a very large sprinkler that kids can run through, while the other areas around the periphery are a lot more interactive, where kids have to work together to get the water to shoot out at different levels or different volumes. He added that the water features do not run continuously and each must be activated by the children using them.

The spraypark also features a seating wall that runs around the outside edge of the park.

“The seating wall is designed to be just at the right height, so parents and kids can hang out on the wall and enjoy the kids playing in the spraypark,” said Dylan. “It is also designed to help prevent little kids from wandering out of the area without their parents noticing.”

Dylan said there were several elements that were important in the design.

“We wanted the design to be timeless,” said Dylan. “We didn’t want something that would be dated in 10 years. We wanted something that wasn’t going to look too playground-ish. We wanted it to be a nice, urban-level amenity for the city of Marysville, and we wanted it to be vandal-resistant, so we decided to go with as many underground features as possible.”

While the water features of the park are expected to be open Memorial Day through Labor Day, both Ballew and Dylan noted that the facility could be used year-round. For example, with the water features turned off, the area could be used to host vendors during the annual “Merrysville for the Holidays” celebration, or it could be used as a picnic area for a local business, organization or family.

Dylan said that in other areas where spray parks have been installed they are very popular.

“There is something universal about playing in a sprinkler in the summer, and every kid grows up with some fond memory of some version of that,” Dylan said. “One of the unique aspects of a spraypark is that it has the benefit of being community focused, so it’s not just you and your neighbor playing in the sprinkler in your back yard.”

Dylan added, “One of my favorite things about the spraypark is that you hear it before you see it. You don’t hear the kids and the crowd like you do at a baseball game. What you hear is almost like the beach. You hear all the kids laughing and playing, and it’s just purely a joyful sound.”

The estimated cost of the spray park is $325,000. Ballew said that the city has received a Community Development Block Grant of $90,000, and the city has allocated $150,000 for the project. The city is hoping that the community will come together to raise the remaining funds to complete the project.

Ballew said there are available sponsorships at various levels, and encouraged local businesses, community groups and others to be a part of the fundraising effort.

If you would like more information about becoming a sponsor or donating to the fundraising, contact Jim Ballew at 360-363-8400, or via email at jballew@marysvillewa.gov.

 

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