I will be the first to admit I was wrong. I complained that the city seemed to be getting rid of the city pools in the poorest parts of town. Then I complained the city was going to put in splash pads which gave me the impression of a few fountains shooting water out of a hole in the ground. I felt like the city did not get it or did not care about those neighborhoods. I was wrong. When I posted a story about the city doing away with the pools, my high school journalism teacher pointed out that the poor kids could not afford swimsuits or the two bucks to get in the door. These splash pads are free! Jeremy and I checked out Linwood Park’s new spread. It is much more than a fountain shooting water out of the ground. We were impressed, cool water features, hills to sit on and roll down, plants springing to life and lots of shade.
I apologize, I don’t know any of the terminology for the water features. There are a few fountains that shoot water out of the ground. But instead of cement, the earth is covered by a sponge-like substance that helps control where the water goes. There are some fake logs that are fun to skip over and a few showers that look like giant translucent leaves which pour water on the guests. Finally, there is a giant wheel with fountains coming from all directions. That seemed to be where most the kids were hanging out.
I found some better information on the design. According to Waters Edge Aquatic Design (who created the park), “The design incorporated theming from the area’s bygone water mills, featuring faux mossy stones, a log hop across the “stream” laid into the concrete, and an arching spray feature modeled after the water wheels that once provided power to Wichita’s riverside mills.”
The parents relaxed in the shaded area next to the water park. While I was talking to the parents, who appreciated a free place to beat the heat, the water turned off. All the fountains stopped. One of the moms headed over to a short pole with a giant button on the top. I asked her if that turned on the water and she nodded. I think she could see the child in my eyes, so she stepped back and let me do the honors. So cool, one by one each of the fountains sprang back to life. Apparently, the fountains shut off after a certain time to conserve water.
Walking around brought back many fond childhood memories including swim lessons and CPR training at Linwood. I hope this new park will create lasting memories for the neighborhood kids.