New spray park helps keep kids cool in Kinsmen Park

Kids play in the Kinsmen Park spray park on July 1, 2019. (Jayda Noyes/Daily Herald)

The City of Prince Albert’s newest spray park is now open.

The new spray park, located in Kinsmen Park where the paddling pool used to be, had a soft opening this weekend. It’s themed to animals found in the Prince Albert area.

“I just love it,” said Prince Albert Mayor Greg Dionne during a meeting with media at the site Tuesday morning.

“Yesterday you could see the kids running in it and playing with it.”

While the park was mostly operational, it’s still waiting on some finishing touches, such as a bear decoration on one of the hoop-shaped sprayers. But most elements are there, including animal-themed sprayers kids can aim at each other, a trio of buckets that fill up and dump water on kids below. The water is activated by a pair of large buttons on green posts located on opposite corners of the park.

While the spray park functions, new grass still has to be put in around the concrete pad and work rehabilitating and cleaning the bathrooms still need to be completed. The area that once housed the playground program playroom now contains the pumps and controls for the spray park.

‘We have a few pieces to finish,” Dionne said.

“Whenever you have something like this you want to have a soft opening. That’s what we’re doing here. Once we get all the bugs out and are fully operational, we’re going to cut the ribbon and celebrate with the community.”

The spray park is the latest to be constructed in Prince Albert. It replaced the last remaining paddling pool, which was set to be taken out due to health and safety concerns.

“Paddling pools are a thing of the past because of health issues. Kids will get cold and they’ll have accidents,” Dionne said.

“We have spray parks all over the city. This is the biggest and the best we’ll have. It’s a perfect spot for it. It’s central in the city and everyone can come out and enjoy.”

The spray park was one of three projects funded by Husky Energy as part of a $1 million apology issued to the city in response to the 2016 water crisis.  The remainder of the Rotary Trail and a digital billboard for the Rawlinson Centre make up the other two projects funded as part of the partnership.

This has been a great addition to (Kinsmen) Park,” Dionne said.

“We’ve got the beautiful playground set, we fixed the waterslide and we fixed the pool. It’s exciting for the city that we can move ahead with great facilities where our kids can stay and enjoy the summer.”

Dionne said his favourite feature is the spray park’s centrepiece, the three buckets topped by a howling wolf. He thinks kids will enjoy spraying each other with the buffalo and wolf head sprayers.

“The kids love that — it’s just like when they’re at home and they’ve got the watering hose out,” he said.

“Kids just naturally want to spray someone. These new cannons will work great.”

The mayor also didn’t rule out trying the park for himself when it’s time for the grand opening.

“I might jump through one of these hoops,” he said.

“I might challenge one of the councillors — put your cellphone down and let’s see how quickly we can run through it. “