Monday May 3, 2010
Building on the popularity of recently-constructed spraygrounds, Mayor Jerry Abramson opened two new aquatic play areas in local parks today. Louisville’s children now have nine free spraygrounds available, with seven more under development.
Abramson joined Councilman David Tandy (D-4) to officially open a $250,000 sprayground in Shelby Park, then visited Wyandotte Park to open that park’s new $200,000 sprayground with Councilwoman Marianne Butler (D-15).
“Spraygrounds are a great investment for our city,” said Abramson. “They operate throughout the spring, summer and fall, and are great places for families to play together. They’re great additions to our traditional aquatic facilities – our four outdoor summer pools and the indoor Mary T. Meagher Aquatic Center.”
Abramson noted that some spraygrounds are drawing more than 500 visitors a day, and cost very little to operate.
Shelby Park’s sprayground project replaces a swimming pool that closed in 2007. The total project cost includes some work to be completed this summer, including a new walking path connecting the sprayground to an existing playground, and improvements to the park’s existing restrooms. The 16-acre park is located at 600 East Oak Street, and the sprayground is located next to the Shelby Park Community Center.
At Wyandotte Park, the sprayground replaces a pool that closed in 2006. A fence was built to separate sprayground visitors from nearby Beecher Street. A new $50,000 playground will open in June, next to the sprayground. The 23-acre park is located at 1104 Beecher Street.
Both projects included new handicapped-accessible walkways leading to the spraygrounds, along with new benches and drinking fountains.
Other free spraygrounds in Louisville are located in Algonquin Park, Baxter Square, Crescent Hill Park (adjacent to Mary T. Meagher Aquatic Center), Farnsley Park, Iroquois Park and Waterfront Park (two separate spraygrounds available). A sprayground at the Louisville Zoo requires paid zoo admission.
Later this summer, new spraygrounds will open in LaPorte Park, Petersburg Park and Riverview Park. In 2011, Metro Parks will open new spraygrounds in Nelson Hornbeck Park, Long Run Park, Shawnee Park and Breslin Park.
A new Louisville aquatics plan, announced by Abramson in 2009, called for reinvestment in the city’s best and most-attended summer pools and the construction of new spraygrounds. The plan also identified the need for more indoor aquatic centers – likely developed through public-private partnerships – when the economy improves.