After working on the project behind the scenes for a couple of years, the Vinton Parks and Recreation Department will soon begin work on a public fund drive to raise money for a splash pad at Kiwanis Park.
Still owned by the Iowa Board of Regents, the park is officially property of the State of Iowa, and leased at no cost to the City of Vinton. In fact, it was shortly after the City applied for a renewal of its lease that the Regents approached the city with the offer to take over the entire Iowa Braille School campus.
Those discussions caused the splash pad project to be put on hold for a while. But the Vinton City Council gave its approval for the splash pad at the park during a meeting this month.
VPRD Director Brad Barker said the department is excited to begin, but he explains that the VPRD has much more in mind than the splash pad.
“We plan to launch a public fundraising campaign for the ‘Play Vinton Project’ this fall,” says Barker This project will include plans for a splash pad at Kiwanis Park, new playground equipment at Riverside Park to replace the much beloved but aging Riverside Castle structure, and unique natural playscapes at Riverside Park that will create outdoor play environments to reconnect children with nature.”
The timeline, says Barker, will be dictated primarily by the duration of the campaign.
“But we aim to have all projects completed in time for summer of 2018,” Barker says. “In anticipating the timely completion of these projects, we have splash pad operating expenditures already budgeted for the next fiscal year. VPRD believes the addition of these play amenities to the community will provide additional opportunities for children to experience physical, psycho-social and cognitive growth and for families to maintain a high quality of life standard right here in Vinton. We are very excited to get this project underway.”