New splash pad opens at Haller Park; worth the wait

ARLINGTON – Arlington’s new Splash Pad opened in Haller Park over the Memorial Day weekend, and as the park’s frog mascot sculpture might say, the place was hopping.

A hot, sunny Memorial Day holiday drew a huge turnout of kids and families before noon to immerse themselves in a colorful river-themed park that featured interactive in-ground and above-ground water sprayers and jets, and custom river animals and flora that includes ducks, otters, salmon and two towering cattails on a blue-green surface designed to create a river feel.

For all the fun ways it uses water, the splash pad is more than a community water park. It’s a physics lesson in flow and fluid dynamics.

But who cares about hydrodynamics and Newton’s laws of motion when a cartoon raccoon in a bucket above you is about to shower a crystal dome of pressurized water down on you and your friends?

Not Tyler Cook, 10, who dashed out of the wall of water laughing and screaming along with the other kids.

“That was awesome!” Tyler said of the “tidal barrel,” dubbing it his favorite feature at the splash pad. “The bucket thing was cool because you didn’t know when the ton of water was going to shoot out.”

Parent Kayla Harrington said her family already liked coming to the park in recent years before there was a splash pad.

“Now it’s going to be leaps and bounds better,” she said.

Colton Blaisdell of Arlington, who turns 2 this month, sat on one of the river otters to take in the scene while his parents kept an eye out from the concrete rim seating that encases much of the splash pad.

“It’s so awesome that the city did something like this for the kids,” said another parent, Stephanie Padgett. “I love that the kids can run around and play, cool off, and when they get tired of one water jet they can go splash in another.”

Her 5-year-old daughter Emma staked out a favorite spot between the Arlington Rotary Club water wheel and a pair of ducks that sprayed jets of water from their mouths in any direction kid riders pointed them.

“She’s having a blast,” Padgett said.

For the city and numerous partners who raised $1.3 million in grants and community donations to make the 3,300-square-foot splash pad a reality, they said it was a great investment even for the extra time and effort it took to get it built.

“We’re super happy that it’s finally complete,” said Sarah Lopez, the city’s community revitalization project manager. “The wait for the project was well worth it.”

Lynda Byrnes, a champion of the splash pad with the Rotary Club, said the project turned out beyond expectations.

“It’s everything we ever hoped it was going to be, and more,” she said.

The splash pad was the third phase of a Haller Park makeover that started with a playground built in 2014 with donations raised through Rotary’s Great Stilly Duck Dash. Restrooms and a concessions and picnic area were added next funded by the city, Snohomish County and a federal grant.

The splash pad was funded through a $500,000 state recreation grant, with a $550,000 match from the Stillaguamish Tribe, and $150,000 contributed by the Rotary through their Friends of the Splash Pad fundraising efforts.

“The money was raised by the community for the children, to give the children a safe place to enjoy the water,” City Administrator Paul Ellis said. “This was done without any taxpayer dollars.”

Mayor Barb Tolbert thanked city staff and volunteers from the Arlington Parks, Arts and Recreation Commission who helped with the vision for splash pad.

Also included in the project are sidewalk connections from the restrooms and playground areas to the splash pad, and a building to house the circulation/filtration system.

Byrnes said Rotarians also laid new turf surrounding the splash pad so that families had the option to bring beach blankets, coolers and tents to relax in the grass, or sit along the concrete rim seating to keep an eye on frollicking kids. The then had an automated irrigation system installed.

Stillaguamish Chairman Shawn Yanity spoke at the opening ceremony. He reminded that historically the ground in Haller was a gathering place for the tribe, where relatives would come up river for a visit, go to other villages, hunt, and fish.

He was happy to see it continue as a gathering place, celebrating children with a safer place to play than going down to the river to swim.

Byrnes gave a lot of the design credit to fellow Rotary Bryce Duskin, both of whom also worked tirelessly to secure donations for the project.

With his children, Duskin’s a bit of a splash park aficionado having visited several over the years, so in terms of interactive features, he knew what would give Rotary and its partners the biggest “splash” for the buck.

Marysville-based Reece Construction was contractor for the project.

Just prior to opening, Garden Treasures Nursery and Organic Farm donated and planted shade for the park, and Rich Bellene and Sherri Phelps with the Arlington Kiwanis Club also helped plant more trees and shrubs.

The Stilly Snack Shack concession stand run by owners of the Grocery Outlet also opened at the splash pad. They serve naan bread, pizza, hot dogs, Slushies, snacks and drinks. Ten percent of all proceeds are donated to the Arlington Food Bank.

Byrnes said making the splash pad a fun place to spend the day was what the project was all about.

“I’ve been driving by the park practically every day to go see how busy it is, and every day I’m still smiling,” she said.

Splash pad hours are 11 a.m.-7 p.m. daily Memorial Day through Labor Day, weather dependent.

Clockwise from left, the dragonfly fill and spill drops a random cone of water on splash pad users; a boy doesn’t dash fast enough to avoid the ducks’ crossfire jet sprays; the Arlington Rotary Club water wheel spins high above guests, while custom giant cattails add to the scenery; the Stilly Snack Shack is open during the splash pad months with plenty of drinks and treats; Park-goers relax on the new grass installed by Rotarians, while Garden Treasures Nursery and Organic Farm and Arlington Kiwanis Club members planted trees and shrubs for added beauty; river otters make the perfect ride-on feature for the kids, spraying water onto the Seahawks green and blue splash deck colored to look like a meandering river.

Clockwise from left, the dragonfly fill and spill drops a random cone of water on splash pad users; a boy doesn’t dash fast enough to avoid the ducks’ crossfire jet sprays; the Arlington Rotary Club water wheel spins high above guests, while custom giant cattails add to the scenery; the Stilly Snack Shack is open during the splash pad months with plenty of drinks and treats; Park-goers relax on the new grass installed by Rotarians, while Garden Treasures Nursery and Organic Farm and Arlington Kiwanis Club members planted trees and shrubs for added beauty; river otters make the perfect ride-on feature for the kids, spraying water onto the Seahawks green and blue splash deck colored to look like a meandering river.

Clockwise from left, the dragonfly fill and spill drops a random cone of water on splash pad users; a boy doesn’t dash fast enough to avoid the ducks’ crossfire jet sprays; the Arlington Rotary Club water wheel spins high above guests, while custom giant cattails add to the scenery; the Stilly Snack Shack is open during the splash pad months with plenty of drinks and treats; Park-goers relax on the new grass installed by Rotarians, while Garden Treasures Nursery and Organic Farm and Arlington Kiwanis Club members planted trees and shrubs for added beauty; river otters make the perfect ride-on feature for the kids, spraying water onto the Seahawks green and blue splash deck colored to look like a meandering river.

Clockwise from left, the dragonfly fill and spill drops a random cone of water on splash pad users; a boy doesn’t dash fast enough to avoid the ducks’ crossfire jet sprays; the Arlington Rotary Club water wheel spins high above guests, while custom giant cattails add to the scenery; the Stilly Snack Shack is open during the splash pad months with plenty of drinks and treats; Park-goers relax on the new grass installed by Rotarians, while Garden Treasures Nursery and Organic Farm and Arlington Kiwanis Club members planted trees and shrubs for added beauty; river otters make the perfect ride-on feature for the kids, spraying water onto the Seahawks green and blue splash deck colored to look like a meandering river.

Clockwise from left, the dragonfly fill and spill drops a random cone of water on splash pad users; a boy doesn’t dash fast enough to avoid the ducks’ crossfire jet sprays; the Arlington Rotary Club water wheel spins high above guests, while custom giant cattails add to the scenery; the Stilly Snack Shack is open during the splash pad months with plenty of drinks and treats; Park-goers relax on the new grass installed by Rotarians, while Garden Treasures Nursery and Organic Farm and Arlington Kiwanis Club members planted trees and shrubs for added beauty; river otters make the perfect ride-on feature for the kids, spraying water onto the Seahawks green and blue splash deck colored to look like a meandering river.

Clockwise from left, the dragonfly fill and spill drops a random cone of water on splash pad users; a boy doesn’t dash fast enough to avoid the ducks’ crossfire jet sprays; the Arlington Rotary Club water wheel spins high above guests, while custom giant cattails add to the scenery; the Stilly Snack Shack is open during the splash pad months with plenty of drinks and treats; Park-goers relax on the new grass installed by Rotarians, while Garden Treasures Nursery and Organic Farm and Arlington Kiwanis Club members planted trees and shrubs for added beauty; river otters make the perfect ride-on feature for the kids, spraying water onto the Seahawks green and blue splash deck colored to look like a meandering river.

Clockwise from left, the dragonfly fill and spill drops a random cone of water on splash pad users; a boy doesn’t dash fast enough to avoid the ducks’ crossfire jet sprays; the Arlington Rotary Club water wheel spins high above guests, while custom giant cattails add to the scenery; the Stilly Snack Shack is open during the splash pad months with plenty of drinks and treats; Park-goers relax on the new grass installed by Rotarians, while Garden Treasures Nursery and Organic Farm and Arlington Kiwanis Club members planted trees and shrubs for added beauty; river otters make the perfect ride-on feature for the kids, spraying water onto the Seahawks green and blue splash deck colored to look like a meandering river.

Clockwise from left, the dragonfly fill and spill drops a random cone of water on splash pad users; a boy doesn’t dash fast enough to avoid the ducks’ crossfire jet sprays; the Arlington Rotary Club water wheel spins high above guests, while custom giant cattails add to the scenery; the Stilly Snack Shack is open during the splash pad months with plenty of drinks and treats; Park-goers relax on the new grass installed by Rotarians, while Garden Treasures Nursery and Organic Farm and Arlington Kiwanis Club members planted trees and shrubs for added beauty; river otters make the perfect ride-on feature for the kids, spraying water onto the Seahawks green and blue splash deck colored to look like a meandering river.

Clockwise from left, the dragonfly fill and spill drops a random cone of water on splash pad users; a boy doesn’t dash fast enough to avoid the ducks’ crossfire jet sprays; the Arlington Rotary Club water wheel spins high above guests, while custom giant cattails add to the scenery; the Stilly Snack Shack is open during the splash pad months with plenty of drinks and treats; Park-goers relax on the new grass installed by Rotarians, while Garden Treasures Nursery and Organic Farm and Arlington Kiwanis Club members planted trees and shrubs for added beauty; river otters make the perfect ride-on feature for the kids, spraying water onto the Seahawks green and blue splash deck colored to look like a meandering river.

Clockwise from left, the dragonfly fill and spill drops a random cone of water on splash pad users; a boy doesn’t dash fast enough to avoid the ducks’ crossfire jet sprays; the Arlington Rotary Club water wheel spins high above guests, while custom giant cattails add to the scenery; the Stilly Snack Shack is open during the splash pad months with plenty of drinks and treats; Park-goers relax on the new grass installed by Rotarians, while Garden Treasures Nursery and Organic Farm and Arlington Kiwanis Club members planted trees and shrubs for added beauty; river otters make the perfect ride-on feature for the kids, spraying water onto the Seahawks green and blue splash deck colored to look like a meandering river.

Clockwise from left, the dragonfly fill and spill drops a random cone of water on splash pad users; a boy doesn’t dash fast enough to avoid the ducks’ crossfire jet sprays; the Arlington Rotary Club water wheel spins high above guests, while custom giant cattails add to the scenery; the Stilly Snack Shack is open during the splash pad months with plenty of drinks and treats; Park-goers relax on the new grass installed by Rotarians, while Garden Treasures Nursery and Organic Farm and Arlington Kiwanis Club members planted trees and shrubs for added beauty; river otters make the perfect ride-on feature for the kids, spraying water onto the Seahawks green and blue splash deck colored to look like a meandering river.

Clockwise from left, the dragonfly fill and spill drops a random cone of water on splash pad users; a boy doesn’t dash fast enough to avoid the ducks’ crossfire jet sprays; the Arlington Rotary Club water wheel spins high above guests, while custom giant cattails add to the scenery; the Stilly Snack Shack is open during the splash pad months with plenty of drinks and treats; Park-goers relax on the new grass installed by Rotarians, while Garden Treasures Nursery and Organic Farm and Arlington Kiwanis Club members planted trees and shrubs for added beauty; river otters make the perfect ride-on feature for the kids, spraying water onto the Seahawks green and blue splash deck colored to look like a meandering river.

More in News

Inslee: Stay home for 2 weeks

By Jerry Cornfield and Zachariah Bryan The Herald OLYMPIA — Gov. Jay… Continue reading

Fences have been put up around Marysville playgrounds to keep kids off. (Steve Powell/Staff Photos)
Marysville leaders concerned as (almost) everything’s closing

By Steve Powell spowell@marysvilleglobe.com MARYSVILLE – Within hours of Gov. Jay Inslee’s… Continue reading

Briefly

Beware of coronavirus scams SEATTLE – U.S. Attorney Brian T. Moran is… Continue reading

Jennifer Thompson, left, and her father Ron Thompson secure a new remembrance plaque to the Oso slide site gate on Sunday, near Oso. Ron Thompson handcrafts a new plaque for the gate every year. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Community remembers Oso slide victims, survivors

By Ben Watanabe The Herald OSO — The power of remembering the… Continue reading

People gather to pick up special allergy meals before leaving Lakewood High School on Wednesday in Marysville. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Districts taking meals to students since schools are closed

By Stephanie Davey The Herald LAKEWOOD — Children wearing pajamas stood outside… Continue reading

Jon Nehring
Letter about coronavirus from Marysville Mayor Jon Nehring

This is an edited version of a letter Marysville Mayor Jon Nehring… Continue reading

DOUGLAS BUell/Staff Photos
                                Lead cook Keina Gowins with Presidents Elementary hands out free grab-and-go breakfasts and lunches to students and parents outside the school Wednesday. Presidents and AHS serve as central kitchen sites for preparing meals, which starting next week will expand to 12 delivery sites from Silvana to Oso. Right, Arlington Food Bank executive director Carla Gastineau and Mike Simpson, food bank board president and owner of Arlington Grocery Outlet, partnered with the district with their Meals Til Monday program, and gave a woman a box of donated food while at Presidents.
Arlington students won’t go hungry during the COVID-19 school closures

ARLINGTON – Arlington schools are closed through April 24 to help fight… Continue reading

Scott Beebe hands out Chromebooks to people in their cars. (Steve Powell/Staff Photos)
Marysville parents anxious to pick up school materials for kids

By Steve Powell spowell@marysvilleglobe.com MARYSVILLE – A few days ago Marysville schools… Continue reading

Jon Nehring
Marysville leaders’ trip to D.C. productive

MARYSVILLE – City leaders recently obtained advice on how to get more… Continue reading

Crews will blow garbage into the street and sweep it up over the next few weeks. The city is asking people to move their cars, trash cans and recycle bins when they come around to help them do a thorough job. (Courtesy Photo)
Marysville shuffles workers due to virus, seeks public’s help for sweepers next week

By Steve Powell spowell@marysvilleglobe. MARYSVILLE – From working from home to teleconferencing… Continue reading

Arlington closed until April 24 amid COVID-19 outbreak: what’s next?

ARLINGTON – When Arlington public school leaders met for a special meeting… Continue reading