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Splash Pad offers way to cool off for Glendale kids

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George Witkowski

Posted: Wednesday, June 8, 2011 9:30 pm

The temperature may hit the 90s and low 100s, but to children in southwest Glendale, it could be warmer for all they care.

The City of Glendale's Splash Pad helps the kids get refreshed on a hot afternoon and Glendale Aquatics Specialist Janelle Dinkgrave, who is in her 13th summer with the city, is pleased with its popularity. It also helps boost attendance since there is no charge per visit.

Although numbers are not kept as to how many people visit the Splash Pad daily since it is a park, and there are no staffers on duty, results are strong for the seven-year-old park.

"The more people that have found out about it, the more have come," Dinkgrave said. "The park serves a purpose, because it isn't a pool, and provides a service for people in the southwestern end of the city. People can go somewhere to cool off in the city and it's free, so it meets that financial need.

"There's more interest every summer. It's just like a park and they come and go as they please. Within the last couple of years, they've added a shade station and a pump area to better serve the Splash Pad. With the use they got, they needed a better system - just more maintenance-friendly," Dinkgrave said.

Splash Pad is open 9 a.m. to sunset seven days a week through Labor Day. Dinkgrave said the city's maintenance department comes out to make sure the property is ready for visitors. Perhaps the biggest feature is the pump system which is provided for the kids. According to Mike Gregory of Glendale's Parks and Recreation Department, improvements to the pump system have increased.

"We've actually increased the capacity of the (pump) system so you don't have to backwash, shut down the system two, three, four times a day (for cleaning)," Gregory said. "Now we can do it at 6 a.m. or at closing. At the time it was built, it was the only recirculating (minimizing water use) splash pad in Glendale.

Gregory said Splash Pad's use is heavier on the weekends than weekdays and it has been a boon in popularity.

"It has exceeded our expectations," he said. "We knew there was a demand for it, because that's a feature the public wanted for the park."

Reach the reporter at gwitkowski@star-times.com, or 623-847-4611.

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