Splash pad opens in Fitchburg
The City of Fitchburg, in partnership with the Fitchburg Optimist Club, had the grand opening of the McKee Farms Park Splash Pad Friday.
The splash pad was conceived and set in motion by the Fitchburg Optimist Club President, Joan Mohr with strong support from Mayor Shawn Pfaff, the Common Council, the Madison Community Foundation and Dane County.
The 5,000-square-foot facility is based on a farm theme with spray amenities including a tractor, windmill, various animals and a red barn that houses restrooms and the mechanical system.
The idea of constructing a splash pad has been in planning stages since 2010, when the Fitchburg Optimist Club, headed by Mohr, approached the City with the concept.
The City agreed to fund a share of the total cost with the Optimist Club fundraising for the remainder. Community support for the splash pad was overwhelming with many businesses and individuals contributing to the effort.
Eventually the fundraising goal was achieved thanks to the efforts of the Optimist Club and the Madison Community Foundation. In 2012, final design was completed which exceeded the initial project budget. At that time, Dane County Board Supervisor Jenny Dye facilitated discussions between the City and County that resulted in obtaining the additional amount needed to complete the project. In the end, the Optimist Club raised approximately $250,000 including a $75,000 grant from the Madison Community Foundation; the City pledged $235,000 and Dane County contributed $250,000 for a total project cost of $735,000.
“Opening the new splash pad park today makes it a great day for Fitchburg,” said Mayor Shawn Pfaff. “Through our collaborative efforts with the City, the Optimists Club and community residents, we have made the investment to build this important public amenity – just like our new library and our bike trails –to continue making Fitchburg an even better connected community for families and children from all walks of life for generations to come.”
Joan Mohr, President of the Fitchburg Optimist Club stated, “Kids have always been special in my heart. I wanted to give kids of all abilities a special place to have fun and cool down in the summer. The splash pad project became a passion. May families enjoy it for a long time.”