City responds to Spray & Play concerns


By Brandon Klein - [email protected]



Olivia Hilliard, left, talks to a friend while drying off her 3-year-old daughter, Emma. The mother visited the recently opened Spray and Play at Veterans Park from Prospect Village in Marion County.


Brandon Klein | The Gazette

Carrie Grubbe and her children came out Thursday morning to the Spray and Play at Veterans Park for the third time.

The Powell resident mingled with other moms, while watching her son, Logan Grubbe, 5, and her daughter, Claire Grubbe, 3, play in the playground.

“They like the playground, but they also like the splash pad,” she said.

While some moms expressed concerns about the safety of the Spray and Play and the playground, Grubbe said she didn’t have that many concerns.

“It’s big so you got to keep an eye on your kids,” she said.

At the Spray and Play, Olivia Hilliard of Prospect Village in Marion County watched her daughter Emma, 3, cooling off in the water. Hilliard said she’s impressed with the facility, which she heard about through social media.

“Of course, it’s a nice area,” she added.

Hilliard, who came out with a group known as Mothers of Preschoolers, or MOPS, said she also didn’t have many concerns about the dinosaur-themed Spray and Play.

“At first I wasn’t sure about [the Spray and Play] being concrete,” she said.

But those concerns went away as she watched her daughter and other children interact with the water coming up from the ground and the fossil-like structures to climbed around and duck under.

“Everything looks sturdy,” she said.

Some parents said improvements are needed. Melissa Jacquemin-Stroupe of Delaware said the turf for the playground gets too hot when they visited the park on Monday.

Her 2-year-old daughter’s sandal came off while running in the playground, Jacquemin-Stroupe said. Her daughter carried the sandal in the shade to have her mother to help put it back on, but the moment she started walking on the turf that was in direct sunlight, she started screaming.

The turf was also too hot for her feet, Jacquemin-Stroupe said.

Also, parts of the turf were pulling off of the ground, creating a tripping hazard, she added.

“[But] I think it’s great that we have [the Spray and Play],” she said. “I hope they add to it in the future.”

The Spray and Play has been busy and popular since it opened June 4, said Lee Yoakum, community affairs coordinator for the city of Delaware.

Because it’s a free park with no membership or daily fee, the city doesn’t have the ability to track attendance, he said.

“We have received some comments regarding the turf and have been in touch with the contractor who will be on site next week to fix the issue. We will continue to monitor,” he said.

Olivia Hilliard, left, talks to a friend while drying off her 3-year-old daughter, Emma. The mother visited the recently opened Spray and Play at Veterans Park from Prospect Village in Marion County.
http://delgazette.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/07/web1_DSC_0030-1.jpgOlivia Hilliard, left, talks to a friend while drying off her 3-year-old daughter, Emma. The mother visited the recently opened Spray and Play at Veterans Park from Prospect Village in Marion County. Brandon Klein | The Gazette

By Brandon Klein

[email protected]

Brandon Klein can be reached at 740-413-0904 or on Twitter at @brandoneklein.

Brandon Klein can be reached at 740-413-0904 or on Twitter at @brandoneklein.

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