Park ‘sprayground’ could be built in 2007 |

Park ‘sprayground’ could be built in 2007

Scott N. Miller
NWS Playground Fun BH 6-28

EDWARDS – This summer, kids will just have to use the garden hose for splashy summer fun.Next summer, though, kids in the middle part of the valley may have a new addition to the playground at the Berry Creek park and playground. It’s called a “sprayground.”Essentially a fountain that kids to play in, the idea to put a sprayground at the park in Edwards came from County Commissioner Tom Stone, who was captivated by a similar small water park while visiting Australia last year.From that visit came the idea to build a squishy play area in Edwards. The question, as always, is how to pay for it.Looking at an early estimated price tag of about $120,000, county officials got pledges of $20,000 each from the Western Eagle County Metropolitan Recreation District and the Edwards Metropolitan District. But the sprayground may need more money to build.At a Tuesday work session, commissioners Peter Runyon and Arn Menconi – Stone was absent – sent the sprayground plan back to the county’s engineering department for a little more work, a little more research, and a request to see if they could get some money from Great Outdoors Colorado, a state agency that provides grants to community park, recreation and open space projects.Steve Russell, director of the Eagle-based recreation district, which would manage the park, said he had a few worries about the sprayground, including putting it near to a playground that is already getting plenty of use.

“It’s a small park, and use is increasing all the time,” Russell said. “Within one to three years, it will be overwhelmed.”Menconi said he has the same worries, and wondered if a sprayground next to the playground would be the best use of money in the area.”I’m worried we’re putting 10 pounds of potatoes in a five-pound bag,” he said. At the park, though, the message was clear: Bring on the water.”Water, definitely,” said Luke Randall, 9, who was riding his skateboard at the park Thursday. Randall’s au pair, Virginia Caetano, 23, said she’d love to see water at the park, too.”I’d use it,” she said.Watching his 3-year-old son, Cal, playing at the playground, Steve Hill thought for a moment when asked if he’d prefer a bigger playground or a place to splash.”I think the water might be better,” he said. “It would add a little variety.”Skateboarder Cory Kelley, 13, also said he’d like to see a sprayground at the park. Told he’d probably have to get off his board to use it, Kelley had a quick reply.

“Water’s not good for skateboards,” he said.Staff Writer Scott N. Miller can be reached at 748-2930, or Daily, Vail Colorado

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