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Akron Opens First Splash Pad at Joy Park Community Center

photo of people on the splash pad
Ward 5 Councilwoman Tara Samples accompanies kids onto the deck of Akron's first splash pad at Joy Park Community Center.

Kids living near Joy Park Community Center in East Akron got a chance to try out the city’s first splash pad.

With temperatures around 90 degrees Tuesday, Mayor Dan Horrigan was pleased to see kids enjoying the cool water.

“Kid tested, mayor approved!” he said as kids ran onto the pad. Water shot upward from jets in the 1,600 square-foot concrete pad while decorative fixtures created a shower with the spray. A red frog bubbled water for smaller kids.

The aquatic feature is the result of a city-wide survey last year that aimed to uncover what recreational amenities Akronites want.

More than 3,000 residents responded, placing aquatics and community events at the top of their lists.

“When you set out a goal of trying to improve the activities for kids, and there’s no age limit on this you know, adults can go through this just like everybody else,” Horrigan said. “I think investing in neighborhoods where they haven’t seen that investment for a while, it was very important to do Joy Park first and others. We have a plan to do more.”

Horrigan and Ward 5 Councilwoman Tara Samples joined families who came out to watch kids of all ages enjoy the cool water.

“This is all about the kids, it’s all about them having an activity,” Horrigan said. “We expanded the hours at the pool. It’s important for kids to have aquatic activities in the summer especially now when it’s 90 degrees outside. Other than that we miss out and they go and do something else, and so we need to keep them busy. I couldn’t be more proud of the group that put this together.”

The $215,000 splash pad was paid for with Community Development Block Grant funds.

Horrigan said the city plans to build one in each of Akron’s 10 wards, with Patterson Park in the North Hill neighborhood next in line.