Splash pad now open at Poplarville’s city park
Published 7:00 am Thursday, August 6, 2015
Thursday marked the first of many days in which Poplarville children could be seen running through the cooling sprays of water at the city’s new splash pad in city park.
Wednesday, city officials, public works employees, community members and representatives from the Rotary Club of Poplarville and Lower Pearl River Valley Foundation held a ribbon cutting to commemorate the opening of the splash pad.
The idea for a community splash pad was born last June when Rotary president Steve Reid approached the Board of Aldermen with a plan.
“Each year, the Rotary sponsors a community project and we felt Poplarville needed something for the summer months,” Reid said. “I’ve seen them in other communities and when we approached the city, we found out they had similar ideas. We partnered with the Lower Pearl River Valley Foundation to bring the funds. Our club has had some money since Hurricane Katrina and it was earmarked to use for children. It’s awesome and a perfect resource to allow the families of Poplarville to spend good quality time.”
Poplarville Alderman Jason Pearson also spent time working on the project.
“Our city park has been one of our biggest successes,” Pearson said. “We’re excited. A lot of people with children come into town and ask what does the city offer. I know a family from Vermont who visits family here, but before they do, they come to the park.”
Poplarville Mayor Brad Necaise said construction and completion of the splash was a community effort.
The cost of the splash pad was about $90,000, Necaise said. The grant from the Lower Pearl River Valley Foundation and Poplarville Rotary Club, which was awarded in January of this year, totaled about $59,000.
But the donations didn’t stop there, Necaise said.
An unnamed community member donated 250 cubic yards of field dirt in order to raise the splash pad to be ADA compliant, Necaise said.
Poplarville dentist Dr. Jason Estep and his wife Shannon are assisting with overages in designated areas to finalize the splash pad for its grand opening, Necaise said.
Many businesses also sold supplies to the city at cost, Necaise said.
Lawrence Holliday of Holliday Construction sold the city 20 cubic yards of topsoil at cost and Dixie Wholesale Waterworks, Inc. sold the city plumbing materials at cost.
Thomas Earl Whitfield and Alex P. “Pete” Hutchins Jr. of Big E’s Sod donated 24 pallets of sod.
“They ended up surprising the city,” Necaise said. “Sunday morning, their team laid the remaining pallets around the splash pad. None of this would have happened without all the parties involved.”
The city of Poplarville also donated in kind labor and engineering services in the amount of $10,728, Necaise said. The city’s public works employees practically did all of the work, Necaise said.
The splash pad has been formatted to allow for additional and large above ground features, Necaise said. The city is currently seeking a business, agency or organization to sponsor the addition of a water tower to the pad.
The splash pad features a fire hydrant for small children, a Just-A-Bucket, which fills with water and then dumps the contents onto children below. The splash pad also features about eight to ten jets that spray water out of the concrete. The pad is “kid activated,” Necaise said. With the press of a button, children can activate the pad’s cooling features.
The splash pad will be open from April 1 to October 1 during the park’s normal hours.
Poplarville’s City Park is located on Hwy. 26 and is open seven days a week from 5 a.m. to 10 p.m.
“We wanted to provide an opportunity to give children the chance to disengage from electronics and be active for health and wellness,” Necaise said. “The splash pad gives them the opportunity to do that outdoors in the water where it’s not so hot.”