Committee seeks amenity at Veterans Park with grant support
The City of Booneville is raising money to add a splash pad to one of its parks.
Mayor Jerry Wilkins created a committee Nov. 23 to head the effort to put in a splash pad at Veterans Park, said Vanessa Wyrick, a committee member and one of the people who originally brought the project to the mayor.
Committee member Leslie Oliver said the cost of the splash pad can range anywhere between $75,000 to $100,000. The group is basing its design off a splash pad in Perryville. The more money the members raise, the larger the splash pad can be.
The city has yet to pledge a specific amount of money to the project, "but they are behind the project and want to see it completed," Wyrick said. She expects the city to commit money after seeing how much the committee can raise.
The group is applying for a grant with the Arkansas Department of Parks, Heritage and Tourism. The grant will match however much money the committee can gain for the project, Oliver said.
The deadline for the grant is at the end of August, but the members will still be able to raise money until 2022, Wyrick said. The city will know by October or November if it will receive a matching grant.
Construction for the splash pad should begin in the spring of 2022, Oliver said. It will be open on the same schedule as the city pool, running from about May to Labor Day.
The committee is organizing fundraisers to bring in money for the splash pad. The first fundraiser will be a fun run on Feb. 20.
The fun run will begin at 8 a.m. Oliver said she hopes to raise between $1,500 to $2,000.
Thus far, about 20 people have signed up for the run. The goal would be for 50 people to participate in the race. Oliver said she expects about 40 people to attend.
People have to sign up for the race by Feb. 10. It costs $25 to run. The race will be 1.75 miles.
The race is not timed, Oliver said. It's just for fun. People can walk or run the distance.
“A lot of people will say 'well I can’t run.' Well you can walk," Oliver said.
Race organizers are asking everyone to wear masks and practice social distancing.
Although there are not any dates set for additional fundraisers, the committee is considering having a cornhole game and golf tournaments. The committee is trying to have events every two to three months.
Oliver said the group is also encouraging individual donations from community members and businesses.
“So I think something for the younger kids, the splash pad will be a perfect addition to parks," Wyrick said.
It is important to add a splash pad to give kids something to do, Oliver said.
“One of the things that we hear over and over again when any type of community focus group is we need more things to do," Wyrick said.
Wyrick added that the splash pad is a good fit for Veterans Park, as the city has done a lot to improve the parks in the past few years.
“They’ve done a lot of upgrades," Wyrick said.