Bellevue park’s opening makes a big splash —

Bellevue park’s opening makes a big splash

Lindsay Larin, Bellevue Reporter, June 11, 2008

The grand opening celebration of the Crossroads Water Spray Playground that took place this past weekend was a big splash.

The much anticipated opening of the new water-themed play area at Crossroads Community Park brought more than 350 community members, local leaders and neighborhood families together for a day of fun activities.

The afternoon celebration included a ribbon-cutting ceremony, balloons, high-flying kits, loads of laughter and water fun.

Despite the cloudy weather, the kids still came out to play but instead of swim trunks and sunshine, the kids sported weather-appropriate rain boots.
Although the main play area was roped off due to an unfinished surface, the kids played in the water spouts along the walkway and splashed around the Floating Granite World.

Kris Weller’s daughter, Katryn, was all smiles as she played with the spraying water.

“This is awesome,” Weller said, about the new play park. “We live just down the street and we walked here. This will be great in the summer time.”

The spray play park was designed with an international theme reflecting Bellevue’s diverse community.

The play area features an array of larger-than-life objects that are kid-friendly and safe; including, a giant orca, a Loch Ness Monster, huge climbing rocks, and a sinking ship.

The play area was uniquely designed to cater to kids of all ages and abilities, with wheelchair accessibility.

The layering of the play area’s surface is weather dependent and due to the recent rainfall, the spray play park is one layer shy of completion.
For the past week, the play area has been covered by a large tent protecting the ground surface.

According to Bellevue Parks and Community Services Project Manager, Pam Fehrman, once the weather clears up they will lay the last layer of surface that will be ready for use within 24 hours.
She explained that the surface, which will be blue when finished, not only absorbs water but also has an element of cushion to it.

“This park was designed for year-round use, so the kids can play on the toys even when there’s no water.” Fehrman explained. “If the kids are climbing on the toys and they fall they won’t get hurt, they’ll sort of bounce on the surface.”

Open to the community all year, the water aspect of the play area will work on an automated system that will run daily from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. during the summer months.

Once officially open, the Water Spray Playground will be a place where people of all ages, abilities and cultures can come together to play, get wet and have fun.

The planning and funding for the Water Spray Playground was made possible in part by a $300,000 grant from the Washington Wildlife and Recreation Program, leveraging funds from the Bellevue Breakfast Rotary, the City of Bellevue, King County Parks and other sources.

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