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Espanola council discussing splash pad

There is a recommendation before Espanola council for approval of a 2,500 to 3,000 square foot splash pad.
The Recreation and Culture Advisory Committee is also recommending it be located at Sherwood Park.
If council approves the two motions tonight, the next step for the committee will be to come back to council with design plans and a cost of the project.
The splash pad will accommodate 25 to 30 children at any given time.
The meeting will be livestreamed this evening at 7 pm at

Here is the complete report:

Splash Pad Location and Size
Recommendation: Be It Resolved That: #1. That Council approve the construction of a 2500 to 3000 square foot splash Pad as recommended by the Recreation and Culture Advisory Committee.
#2. That Council approve the recommendation to locate the Splash Pad at Sherwood Park as recommended by the Recreation and Culture Advisory Committee.

 Council set up a sub-committee of the Recreation and Culture Advisory Committee to research and recommend a suitable site, design and size of a proposed Splash Pad
 The Committee comprised of two members of Council and two members from the community met over the summer and presented their recommendations to the Recreation and Culture Advisory Committee for their review and endorsement.
 Staff to review mandate of Splash Pad Committee

Site Selection for Proposed Splash Pad
 The following Municipal Park Sites were eliminated as possible sites for the proposed Splash Pad for the reasons as follows:
Clear Lake Beach – no access to treated water
Algoma & Yocom Parks – not enough area to accommodate a pad given the regulated set-backs from all property lines
Ball Fields – risk of flying balls & high water table
Vacant Land across from Ball Field on Marguerite & Algoma – water main runs under the property – it is not recommended to build permanent assets over top of a water main
Recreation Complex – due to property setbacks splash pad location would be a considerable distance from the Complex, would displace the hammer throw and didn’t seem like a compatible user fit so was not part of the committee discussions

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 Site visits were held at the Pinegrove & Sherwood sites:
Pinegrove Site
 There is some limited parking at Pinegrove Park and Second Avenue could accommodate parking on both sides of the street without impacting traffic flow.
 Access to water and sewer is a challenge due to the existing features and the Pinegrove Rehabilitation project which will be completed this fall
 The Splash Pad would be situated behind the playground features; negatively impacting accessibility and requiring additional pathways to meet AODA standards, the distance from the road and the visual obstacles of the sloping hill and playground features would hide a sizeable asset which should be showcased
 Increased opportunity for vandalism due to reduced visibility due to proximity to roadside, sloping hills with trees, traffic flow of existing/well used foot and bike path, and winter use at outdoor
 Concern with background esthetic of Public Works and noise during weekdays. Site has an industrial look.
 The location could accommodate a splash pad however some of the hill and trees would potentially have to be removed to prevent run off into the pad or add additional features like a retaining wall around the base of the hill area
 No natural shade in the immediate splash pad location
 Splash pad would be situated quite close to the playground area which creates more opportunity for tracking contaminates onto the pad and encourages children to run back and forth from the areas in bare feet.

Sherwood Site
 Water and sanitary sewer infrastructure is closer
 Site has a more esthetic look and neighbourhood feel
 Roadside/drive-by view would feature/showcase the investment and reduce potential vandalism
 Tall grasses can be removed at border of tall trees for shady placement of tables and benches while providing natural shade opportunities
 Site visits indicate a steady flow of family use at the park – most of which came to the park by bike or foot
 Existing playground feature is further away from splash pad which discourages children from running back and forth in their bare feet and tracking contaminates onto the pad
 Site provides ample room to accommodate potential additional value-added play and park opportunities i.e. short adventure / explore & learn trails for children
 The natural features and space could facilitate increased opportunities for beautification initiatives with community partners
 Parking along Barber Street would impede traffic flow. The Committee supports the creation of parallel parking by relocating the side walk at an additional cost
 The removal of trees closest to the road to remove tree roots from the underside of the Pad
Considerations in size selection:
*The Committee is recommending a splash pad in the range of 2500 to 3000 square feet based on the following considerations:
 Splash Pad design companies recommend 25 square feet per participant as a minimum
 Splash pads have a buffer zone of 5 feet where no water features can be placed – It should be noted that a buffer zone can consume approximately 40% or more of the pad depending on the design. An increase of 500 square feet of splash pad may seem like a significant size however it really only represents approximately 300 square feet of additional play space
 Committee viewed a 1500 square foot circular splash pad area and a 2000 square foot area which staff marked off on the arena floor. The circles each included the standard 5-foot buffer zone and each were filled with 25 chairs to represent children within the splash pad. Committee determined the 1500 square foot area was too small and at minimum the community would require a 2000 square foot pad. The committee recommends the range of a 2500 up to 3000 square foot pad. A 1500 square foot splash pad has an 800 square foot play space and a 700 square foot buffer zone and 2000 square foot splash pad has a play area of 1260 square feet and a 740-foot buffer zone
 To determine the number of participants that may use the splash pad at any given time the committee referenced Clear Lake Beach which receives an average of 20 children. With a splash pad located in a residential area within town the committee anticipates a higher rate of usage than at Clear Lake Beach because it is more readily accessible to bikers and walkers. The committee felt it reasonable to plan for 25 – 30
children at a splash pad at any given time
 Little Current which has a smaller population confirmed their splash pad numbers were consistent with their beach participant numbers (15 – 25 at any given time) Little Current reports that when 25 children are on their pad it is a tight fit at 1382 square feet
 Some committee members visited the Little Current and Gore Bay Splash Pads and felt the pads were too small to meet the needs of a community of our size
 Committee members reviewed splash pad design examples provided by suppliers ranging from 1382 square feet to 2697 square feet.
 Committee reviewed aerial photos of the Sherwood location each containing a scaled imprint of the proposed splash pad ranging from 1532 square feet to 2697 square feet. All members present felt confident after seeing the photos that the site is sufficient to host whatever size is determined to work best for the community
 A 2500 square foot pad can facilitate 4 inch piping which can ensure enough steady water pressure and the install of more dynamic features
 Size is not the only predicator of cost. The additional square footage is really only granular and concrete but it provides greater opportunity and flexibility for features
Next Steps
 Once Council approves the size and location staff and the committee can review design and feature options. Feature options can vary widely in price and the committee will endeavour to report back at the October Council meeting with an estimated budget.
 The splash pad committee is awaiting a price estimate on a 2500 square foot design which will be used as a starting point on the selection of features

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