Wednesday August 25, 2010
Louisville’s newest sprayground at Petersburg Park
is the fourth to open this year and will be matched by four new facilities next year under a Metro Parks Aquatics Plan.
“This summer has been sweltering, and thousands of families from across Louisville are discovering spraygrounds are the perfect way to beat the heat,” Mayor Jerry Abramson said. “With four more of them coming next year, it is our hope that residents of all ages throughout Louisville will eventually have easy access to a sprayground.”
Mayor Abramson joined Metro Parks staff today to open the sprayground at Petersburg Park, located in the Newburg neighborhood, near the intersection of Newburg Road and Indian Trail. Other spraygrounds opened this year in Wyandotte, LaPorte and Shelby parks. New spraygrounds at Long Run, Nelson Hornback, Shawnee and Breslin parks will open next spring.
Design staff is currently working on sequencing for the new spraygrounds to increase enjoyment for children and make the spray features more interactive. The Shawnee Park sprayground, a public-private partnership funded in part by the DREAM Foundation and Olmsted Parks Conservancy, will include a large handicapped-accessible playground similar to one at Iroquois Park in south Louisville.
Prior to 2009, the city had five free splash parks. The Metro Parks Aquatics Plan will more than double that by the end of next year. Currently, there are 11 spraygrounds in the city including Shelby Park, Iroquois Park, Waterfront Park, Louisville Zoo and Mary T. Meagher.
“Our spraygrounds have been packed this summer with kids and families having fun and cooling off,” Metro Parks Director Mike Heitz said. “It proves there is a great demand for them, and we anticipate this one at Petersburg Park will be a big hit as well.”
The four outdoor pools operated by Metro Parks are all closed for the summer, but the sprayground properties are expected to remain open at least through September – and maybe even longer depending on how warm the weather is into October. “Spraygrounds can be open more than twice as long as summer pools, and they cost about $100 a week to operate compared to $10,000 a week for outdoor pools,” Heitz said.
For more information about the Metro Parks Aquatics Plan, visit http://www.louisvilleky.gov/MetroParks/recreation/summerpools.htm