Donegan: 'Splash pad' would have recreational, public health benefits

By DANIEL KITTREDGE
Posted 1/29/20

By DANIEL KITTREDGE A resolution introduced at Monday's City Council meeting seeks to make a splash in the city's Gladstone and Arlington neighborhoods. Ward 3 Councilman John Donegan's proposal asks the city to explore the creation of a "e;splash pad"e; at

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Donegan: 'Splash pad' would have recreational, public health benefits

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A resolution introduced at Monday’s City Council meeting seeks to make a splash in the city’s Gladstone and Arlington neighborhoods.

Ward 3 Councilman John Donegan’s proposal asks the city to explore the creation of a “splash pad” at the Calise Field complex located off Dyer Avenue – a project he said would benefit the community in multiple ways.

“A splash pad at this location will give children, families, and all residents a place to cool off for free during the summer months,” Donegan said in a statement. “It will encourage community and improve public health at a time when we’re facing more hot days due to climate change.”

A “splash pad” is a basin or other structure into which water is sprayed but not allowed to pool. Similar facilities exist in a number of Rhode Island communities, including Providence and East Providence.

Donegan announced the resolution’s introduction during a community meeting for Ward 3 constituents last week. He said the proposed site was identified in consultation with Parks and Recreation Director Tony Liberatore, and would provide convenience for residents who may be less easily able to access resources such as the Budlong Pool.

The resolution asks the administration and the council’s grant writer to explore potential funding opportunities for the project. The measure was referred to the council’s Public Works Committee for consideration on Feb. 18.

Donegan’s statement notes that the project is a “community-based effort” among himself, the Cranston Health Equity Zone, the Cranston Family Center and the Cranston YMCA.

“The need for a splash pad off Dyer Avenue is a public health issue,” Kayland Arrington, initiative director of the Cranston HEZ, said in the statement. “The splash pad has the potential to improve the social, economic, physical, and mental health of Cranston’s residents to varying degrees, as well as create a space for people to cool down during increasingly hot summers.”

“Many of the families in the Gladstone and Arlington area do not have access to cooling areas during the summer months,” Grace Swinski, co-coordinator of the Cranston Family Center, said in the statement. “This splash pad would give the children an area where they can play and cool off during those hot summer days.”

“In 2019, through our Power Lunch Program, the Y hoped to connect seniors who might be struggling during the hot summer months with a cool place to have lunch,” Cranston YMCA Executive Director Andrea Champagne said in the statement. “Having a splash pad in our area that is free and accessible recreation space and also provides a respite from increasing temperatures would address a critical community need for even more of our residents.”

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