Athens Review, Athens, Texas

March 27, 2013

Go ahead, dig in

Officials break ground on Splash Pad at Kiwanis Park

Jeff Riggs
The Athens Review

Athens — Officials who are overseeing the Splash Pad project at Kiwanis Park gathered for a groundbreaking that they feel will change life for children in Athens and Henderson County.

About 50 gathered in Kiwanis Park Wednesday for the ceremony.

Athens Chamber of Commerce Board member Kim Hodges, who is also a committee person of the Athens Leadership Institute, said the Splash Pad will greatly benefit all residents, but particularly those of low income who can’t afford to go to larger attractions in the region.

“It’s vital,” Hodges said. “A majority of the workforce is in the minimum income bracket. They can’t afford the water parks in Canton or Tyler.”

Hodges said the Splash Pad will be free for children and will be handicapped-accessible.

“It will be very user-friendly,” she said.

Hodges said the target date for the completion of the Splash Pad is Aug. 1. The entire project will require $217,000. Project fund-raisers still need to raise about $50,000 to complete it.

“Now we need to raise the remainder of the money for security fencing on Meadowview Street and provide concrete parking.  We have enough for the Splash Pad right now. Now we need additional money for safety devices,” Hodges said.

Hodges said that without community participation, the project could not be taken to completion.

“It wouldn’t be possible without community efforts. Recently, Girl Scout Troop No. 1999 raised $67 through their Penny Princess Project. Other children around the community have set up lemonade stands in from of their houses. Everyone just seems to be getting involved,” she said.

Keep Athens Beautiful Director Carol Morton said the addition will be a great thing for Athens.

“It will be really awesome for kids of our community,” she said. “Among other things, it will provide a nice afternoon outing.”