Nova Scotia

Council to consider Dartmouth splash pad proposal

People may soon have a new place to cool off on hot summer days as municipal staff are recommending the construction of a splash pad on the Dartmouth Commons.

Project estimated to cost $650K with $150K to come from fundraising

Friends of the Dartmouth Splash Pad hope to raise $150,000 for the project through individual and corporate sponsors. (dartmouthsplashpad.ca)

People may soon have a new place to cool off on hot summer days as municipal staff are recommending the construction of a splash pad on the Dartmouth Commons. 

The proposed project is estimated to cost $650,000 with the community group Friends of the Dartmouth Splash Pad planning to raise $150,000. 

The remaining $500,000 would fall to the municipality. Halifax Regional Council will consider the proposal at a meeting on Tuesday.

If approved, the plan would be for a 300-square-metre oval splash pad on the northwest section of the common between Wyse Road and Windmill Road.

The site is close to an existing skate park on a section of land formerly used as a beach volleyball court. The staff report said there is another beach volleyball area at Harbour East that community members could use.

The proposed splash pad would be built on a section of the Dartmouth Commons where there's an area that has been used for beach volleyball. (DartmouthSplashpad/Facebook)

Rick Mayuk, who is with Friends of the Dartmouth Splash Pad, said as a parent, it can be a struggle to get kids away from technology and outside to play.  

"And once we do, how do we let them play in an unscripted way where they have adventures, where they fall and they get back up. Where we're not hovering over them as parents," he said. 

Mayuk said they'd like to see an area suitable for infants, another for toddlers and something appealing to older children.

So far, the community group has secured $45,000 from individuals and businesses. It will go toward amenities such as picnic tables, benches, bike racks and creating a shaded area. 

"Things that will really make it a community hub," said Mayuk. 

There are five splash pads in Halifax and one in Sackville, but there are none in Dartmouth. (dartmouthsplashpad.ca)

The project has been discussed for years. Frequent closures at lakes in Dartmouth due to high bacteria levels was a catalyst for the group, said Mayuk. He said another factor is that splashpads are more accessible for children with varying levels of ability.

His group previously proposed building one at Grahams Grove and hoped it would be up and running this year. In January 2019, councillors asked city staff to consider the Dartmouth Commons location. 

Mayuk hopes if the splash pad is approved as a capital project, it could be ready for summer 2021. 

Under the proposed design, some of the water sprayed would be reused for watering gardens and planters. There would be portable toilets at the site for washrooms. 

There are six splash pads in the municipality — five in Halifax, one in Lower Sackville and none in Dartmouth.

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