Allamakee County Community Foundation funding supports splash pad construction in New Albin

In the midst of the pandemic summer, Allamakee County families were able to enjoy a safe, socially-distanced new outdoor opportunity. The New Albin Splash Pad, a play space that sprays, dumps, splashes and shoots water, opened in late August with an abundance of support from local residents and organizations, including the Allamakee County Community Foundation.

“The first day we opened the splash pad, it was almost 100 degrees outside, and children really flocked to it,” said Betsy Whitlatch of the New Albin Improvement League (NAIL), which organized the project. “We’ve heard great feedback that younger kids and older kids all have something engaging to play with on the splash pad.”

The splash pad is one of several amenities planned for a new park in downtown New Albin. The New Albin Improvement League has created a welcoming, inclusive space that is wheelchair accessible and free to all. Basketball hoops have been installed and new playground equipment is on the way. Raised bed community gardens will be used as an educational opportunity, featuring native prairie grasses and a butterfly garden.

There has been abundant community support for the splash pad from New Albin and from surrounding communities. The Allamakee County Community Foundation joined the fundraising efforts with an $18,000 grant for the new splash pad.

The Foundation prizes quality of life and community development in its annual grantmaking. “Quality of life in our rural communities is important, especially now,” said Erin Iverson, Foundation Board Chair. “Things are tough for families, and the splash pad is accessible to everybody.”

Opening during the pandemic provided a helpful outlet for families. “The space was a great spot for children to gather and for parents to feel at least a little safer about kids using it, since it’s outside,” said Whitlach. “Because it is free, people can come and go when they want, so if it got too crowded, families could leave and come back when there were fewer people.”

To learn more about how to partner with the Foundation to make an impact in a local Allamakee County community, contact Betty Steege, Foundation Coordinator, at 563-586-2046 or steebo@acegroup.cc.

The Allamakee County Community Foundation was formed in 2005 as an affiliate of the Community Foundation of Greater Dubuque. The founding members of the organization had a vision to ensure that local communities’ charitable programs were supported - both now, and in the future. The Foundation works with many individuals, families, businesses and organizations to establish endowment funds that will provide grant awards for years to come. To learn more, visit dbqfoundation.org/accf.

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