Lansing Splash Pad now open for use

The Big Splash Project already making a splash with local youth ... The Lansing Splash Pad is now open to the public for use, as of June 22, with many children taking advantage of its cooling and refreshing features already this past week. Among the splash pad’s features are several ground-based attractions that squirt water up in the air, along with a series of overhead fish that dump water from up above. The splash pad will be open daily from 1 p.m. to dusk through mid-September. Submitted photo.

by Susan Cantine-Maxson

The Lansing Splash Pad, also locally known as the Big Splash Project, officially opened for public use Monday, June 22 at the Lansing City Park behind the ball diamond along South Front Street.

Arlen Wonderlich, along with Steve Casterton, on behalf of the City of Lansing and its Park and Recreation organization, spent the past two years raising money for the construction of the splash pad, adjacent to the new “Our Ship of Dreams” playground made possible by the Lansing Lions Club three years ago.

While the splash pad team will be making a few more tweaks to fine tune the water pressure on the splash pad, it is now open from 1 p.m. to dusk daily from now until mid-September. Those using the splash pad can hit a giant red button that sits atop a white post (pictured at far right in the photo at right) to start the water flow. The water will run for three minutes, when it can then be reactivated for continued use.

Children of all ages are welcome to enjoy the splash pad, and those under 10 must be accompanied by a parent for supervision. Toddlers in diapers must wear a swim diaper. During the COVID-19 pandemic, parents and patrons are urged to maintain a six-foot physical distance, frequently wash or sanitize their hands, and to refrain from coming to the park if they are not feeling well or have a fever, per the recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC).

Wonderlich stated, “The Lansing Park and Recreation Board, Steve Casterton, and myself want to thank those who generously supported the Big Splash Project monetarily or with an ‘in kind’ donation.”

Recently, as the splash pad was being activated,  a few children were anxiously awaiting to see what the features would do. Orca, the small blue and white whale, began to spew water into the air and the children’s eyes opened wide. Then one of the Flying Fish dumped its water onto the concrete surface and the kids roared with approval.

Because of the generosity of businesses, organizations and interested citizens, children of all abilities and of all ages (toddler to senior citizen) will enjoy the comfort of cooling water on a hot, humid day. The splash pad has surface and over-head water features which generate a gentle spray or a gush of cool water. With no standing water, there is no need for a lifeguard staff.

“This beautiful addition to the playground area will attract additional visitors to our community,” Wonderlich said. “I think we should all be Lansing Proud! Again, I personally want to thank you for your support! Without your help, I would not have been able to hear and see the excitement coming from the children who were anxiously watching and waiting as we calibrated the equipment. When I gave them permission to try it out, they were exuberant!”

Wonderlich went on to tell the story of an 11-year-old boy who came up to him and asked, “So, do you own this?”

Wonderlich replied with, “No, this belongs to the Lansing Park Board and was made possible because many people and businesses cared enough to provide this for you and your friends.”

The boy replied with a jubilant “Thank you!”

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