hgazette.com, Haverhill, MA


May 29, 2014

Water park opens

Will help kids beat the summer heat

The city has turned on the water at its new spray park at Swasey Field — and now it’s just a matter of kids showing up with their bathing suits and towels.

The area was scheduled to open last summer, but poor growing conditions for grass forced the city to reseed the area, which is now in good shape, organizers of the project said.

The water park is open until Labor Day, seven days a week from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Posted rules include no alcohol, no glass bottles, no pets, no skateboarding and no bicycles in the water spray area.

The park is in the inner-city Mount Washington area, where neighborhood children have a tough time beating the heat during the summer. Swasey Field also includes a large baseball diamond for players in teenage leagues, two smaller diamonds for younger players and a basketball court.

Vincent Ouellette, director of recreation for the city, said park staff members will be on hand during operating hours.

He said the new sprinkler devices are operated by a push button, which activates a timer causing water to cycle through 12 different spray stations. After the cycle is complete, which lasts about 10 minutes, the button must be pressed again. The timer shuts off at night.

The stations include a tall fixture that resembles a sunflower and rains down on children. Another has hoops that kids can run or crawl through to get a good soaking, making it cool to be at Swasey on a hot, muggy day.

Ouellette said the spray park is unique to the neighborhood. He said residents in the area who don’t have pools have the option of going to Plug Pond, Haverhill’s only public beach, or coming to the spray park.

The spray area has a base of poured rubber, which provides a cushioned surface. A drainage system prevents puddles from forming.

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