"It's not just for little kids. I think adults can have fun there, too."
Chandra Tietjens and Jessie Godfrey are working to create a place for families to enjoy in Little River this summer by raising money for a splash pad.
Godfrey has taken her children outside of the county to enjoy splash pads in other cities during the hot summer months, but she wishes there were options close to home.
"We go to Hutchinson and it's so fun to sit and watch the kids play," Godfrey said. "We just don't have a lot of summertime things in Little River for our kids to do."
Fundraising for the splash pad began at last year's Fall Festival in Little River.
"That actually brought a lot of awareness to it," Godfrey said. "We were trying to raise $65,000."
Donations from the Fall Festival came to nearly $1,000, to which the Little River Chamber of Commerce has added $8,000. A grant of $45,000 came from the Little River Community Foundation. The Little River senior center gave the proceeds of a freewill donation breakfast to the splash pad fund as well.
"We've just had really great support of it," Godfrey said. "We've applied for tons of grants."
The goal is to have the splash pad built and operational by Memorial Day weekend.
"It's going to go in our city park," Godfrey said. "We actually have all the parts of it ordered already."
The splash pad structures will come from SplashPadsUSA and will include dumping buckets, rainbow, a mushroom shower and a flower shower. Installation of the splash pad will be done by volunteers.
"We'll hire somebody to come in and do the concrete," Godfrey said.
Though the splash pad means an increase in the city's water bill, Godfrey said the cost was not prohibitive. A sensor will be installed so that the water will shut off automatically after twenty minutes and must be manually reactivated to cut down on water waste.
The city will maintain the splash park, and the costs will be much less than those of a swimming pool, since no lifeguard is required to be on duty.
"We've had posters up everywhere and the kids are very excited about it," Godfrey said.
The splash pad is not just for children, as Godfrey noted she has seen seniors come out for fresh air and to watch the children at play.
"It's not just for little kids. I think adults can have fun there, too," Godfrey said.
Not only do Godfrey and Tietjens hope to provide activities for children in the nearby area, they also think the splash pad will boost income for local retailers.
"We thought it'd be a nice addition to our town," Godfrey said. "Our hope too is that we can draw outside people in."
Donations for the splash pad are still being accepted. Donors of $150 to $499 dollars will receive an engraved brick and those who make donations of $500 or more will receive an engraved paver to be placed alongside the splash pad.
Donations can be sent to the Rice County Community Foundation in care of Jessie Godfrey, PO Box 3, Little River, KS 67457.