As summer days approach, parents in Thurston County are looking for spray parks and pools where their children can play. The new addition to the list of water activities for kids is the Woodruff Park Spray Pad that will be open sometime in July 2019. This project was made possible by a matching grant of over $440,000 from the Washington State Recreation and Conservation Office.
In 2017, the City of Olympia presented three options for a spray park at Woodruff Park to the residents of Olympia. After a public vote, the city administration chose a design and over the past year has been busy bringing it to life. When asked why they chose Woodruff Park, Project Manager Jake Lund said, “One reason is the size and sunny exposure of the park.”
The park will undergo a series of upgrades. The first phase, “Was to install the spray park and update the shelter and the bathrooms” Lund said. The spray park is open to the public going forward from Memorial Day to Labor Day, seven days a week from 10:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. The new shelter is non-reservable and the community is encouraged to be courteous and share the space. The spray park is appropriate for use by kids of all ages. This will be the second spray fountain pad where children can play in and cool down. The other is downtown at Heritage Park.
When asked about the major difference between this spray park and the Heritage Park fountains, Lund explained that they have a different mechanism of action. The Heritage Park fountains are powered by air pressure, while the Woodruff Park fountains are powered by water pressure. If you have ever taken your young children to the Heritage Park Fountains, you may have noticed the strong water pressure can be intimidating.
Vicki Jovanovic, an Olympia area resident and a mom of two young kids, is delighted for the new Woodruff Spray Park to open. “I’m so excited to have an option to cool down during the summer on the Westside of Olympia for my kids that will be safe and age appropriate”
This project also has a second phase. In this next phase, the city will be redoing the tennis court area. Currently the park has four rarely used older tennis courts. Upon completion of phase two, the park will have two new tennis courts and six pickle ball courts.
“The popularity of pickle ball is on the rise,” said Lund, “and this will be one of the few courts in Thurston County.”
In the second phase, the parking lots will also be revamped and allow for more parking.
This spray park is a wonderful addition to our current line up of engaging parks in the Olympia area. The new improved bathrooms and shelters allow for parents to feel safe and comfortable while their children enjoy this colorful and exciting spray park at Woodruff Park.
Woodruff Park is located at 1500 Harrison Avenue NW in Olympia.