Nova Scotia

Splash pad proposal aims to cool off Dartmouth

There's a fountain of hope for anyone sweltering in Dartmouth, N.S., where public beaches are frequently closed due to poor water quality: a community group has proposed a half-million dollar splash pad by Lake Banook.

There are 5 splash pads in Halifax, 1 in Lower Sackville but none in Dartmouth

There are five splash pads in Halifax and one in Lower Sackville, but none in Dartmouth, according to municipal recreation officials. (dartmouthsplashpad.ca)

There's a fountain of hope for anyone sweltering in Dartmouth, N.S., where public beaches are frequently closed due to poor water quality: a community group has proposed a half-million dollar splash pad by Lake Banook.

"What we need is accessible, free water play," said Rick Mayuk, one of the organizers behind Friends of the Dartmouth Splash Pad.

The group wants to build the splash pad at Grahams Grove. If the project goes ahead, Mayuk's group plans to raise $150,000 through individual and corporate sponsors. The proposal is for the city to chip in the remaining $350,000.

He said if it gets the green light from the city and fundraising goes well a splash pad could be cooling kids off by 2020.

Albro Lake Beach and Birch Cove Beach, both in Dartmouth, are currently closed due to high bacteria levels. Shubie Beach just reopened Wednesday after being closed last week.

"Even Grahams Grove is often closed and not safe because of the bacteria," Mayuk said.

If the project goes ahead, Mayuk's group plans to raise $150,000 through individual and corporate sponsors. (dartmouthsplashpad.ca)

According to city recreation officials, there are five splash pads in Halifax and one in Lower Sackville, but none in Dartmouth.

"That is a big gap," said Coun. Sam Austin, who represents Dartmouth Centre. "And for the young kids, too. Not everyone can swim, and a splash pad is a place where you can muck around and you don't have that water safety worry."

Friends of the Dartmouth Splash Pad sent the municipality a proposal in early July. The group chose Grahams Grove due to its central location and because a new recreation building is already being considered for the site.

"It's an opportunity to save taxpayers' dollars and align the projects," said Mayuk.

The splash pad group is teaming up with the local Kiwanis Club, which has already submitted a proposal for the new recreation building at Grahams Grove.

Kiwanis officials would like it to include a canteen and an office for the club. They have previously committed $250,000 for the project.

Austin thinks the site could accommodate both proposals. But he adds there are no guarantees that construction of the new Grahams Grove recreation building will "make the grade" for the 2019 capital budget.

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