Youngstown turns the water on two new splash pads
City opens taps on pads at two parks
By David Skolnick
As soon as water from a new splash pad at John White Park shot straight into the air, 6-year-old Marlon D’Altorio was off and running.
Marlon ran through and around the water. He also danced and spun around Wednesday with a big smile on his face.
The city opened splash pads Wednesday at John White on Kimmel Street on the East Side and at Homestead Park on Dewey Avenue on the South Side.
“This is great for the kids,” said Carolyn Taylor, his grandmother who helps take care of Marlon when school is closed. “There’s not too many things to do around here, and there’s not too many kids on my street [Miami Avenue] for him to play with. He’ll enjoy coming here to play in the water. I may join him.”
With Youngstown’s only public swimming pool on the North Side, not every kid can get there, said Robert Burke, the city’s park and recreation director.
“The kids on the East Side now have a place to go to enjoy playing in water,” Burke said of those at John White.
The same can be said for those on the South Side who will use the splash pad, which shoots and sprays water, at Homestead, he said.
The city spent $140,000 for the two splash pads. Also, a $35,000 grant from the Hine Memorial Fund was used to build sidewalks near the pads to allow kids with medically diagnosed disabilities to have access to the water.
The pads can be used daily until around Labor Day from 11 a.m. to 8:30 p.m.
Lauren Gordon, who lives on the West Side of the city, says she spends a lot of time on the East Side, and her four children will use the splash pad at John White.
Three of them were with her Wednesday.
“The kids like it, and it’s nice to have it in the city,” Gordon said.
Her 9-year-old daughter Ezraiel said, “I like running through the water. It’s a lot of fun.”
Burke said his department will search for additional grants to pay for other splash pads in the city, but there are no definite plans right now.
At John White with his wife and four daughters, who range in age from 1 to 9, Councilman T.J. Rodgers, D-2nd, said, “You hear that nothing is going on the East Side, so it’s good for the East Side kids to have this. It’s great for the kids in the summer.”
His ward includes John White Park.
Councilwoman Basia Adamczak, D-7th, whose ward includes Homestead Park, said: “It’s wonderful for the kids who are not able to go across town to the North Side Pool to have an opportunity to enjoy the water. It keeps them busy, and keeping them busy keeps them out of trouble.”