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Making a big splash in town
Splash Pad Sign

MONROE — With more hot and humid weather set to make a return to the area next week, the new splash pad at Twining Park is sure to be a very popular destination. The newest aquatic attraction in town was the culmination of a public and private push to get it built just a few years ago.

To celebrate the milestone, a public dedication and ribbon cutting for the new pad is set for 5 p.m. Aug 4 at Twining Park.

It all began in 2019, when organizers first pushed for a family-friendly water attraction in the area to complement the existing city pool and aquatic center. A few years later, Green County’s new Splash Pad held a “soft-opening” on Friday, June 17 in Twining Park. And right away, hundreds of children and families took advantage of the new water feature and warm summer temperatures.

The splash pad project was first proposed when the Green County Leaders announced they were looking to raise about half of the capital costs for the roughly $300,000 project; and donate that to the city. The city would then be responsible for paying half of the capital costs and the yearly maintenance costs -- as long as the splash pad is in operation.

“We feel that we need something to really draw young people to our community and get people to stay in our community as well,” Lona Slack, a member of the splashpad group, assembled by the Green County Leaders, said at the time.

Dr. Laura Hibbard, a member of the Green County Leaders, said early in the process that getting the city’s blessing to seek pledges was something that would help the leaders with their timeline.

“Knowing how many pledges we can get between now and when the city begins considering its budget is going to be a big help,” Hibbard said. “We want to know if we can make good on a promise on our end regarding fundraising.”

That promise, the Splash Pad is open from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. each day, though it may close at any time due to weather, maintenance, etc. 

“The Green County Leadership have been awesome getting this up and running in such a short period of time,” said Alyssa Eberle, recreation supervisor for Monroe Park District. “It’s been a real team effort to get it done.”

Also helping from the parks department side of things were district staffers Josh Trame, parks and forestry supervisor; Margie Johnson, administrative secretary; and Matt Skibba, director of culture and recreation.

To keep the surface area safe for barefooted children, and to uphold the integrity of the structure, rules for patrons include no food, beverage or glass containers; no bikes, skateboards or scooters; no rough play or running; stay off the fresh landscaping; and no hanging on equipment.

The annual maintenance costs for the pad, including water use, is at estimated $7,000-$5,000 per year, down significantly from earlier annual maintenance cost estimates that had been as high as $15,000.

The pad will be closed from Aug. 1 through the end of the ceremony on Aug. 4 for the installation of a shun shade, she said.

“We don’t have any number yet on it but every time someone drive by it’s packed,” said Eberle. “The turnout has been amazing.”