Friday, August 3, 2007 - 5:29am
With the opening of the Goodman Swimming Pool just last summer, the excitement and anticipation of "wet and wild fun" hasn't cooled off yet. Now Madisonians can now add one more place to their summer fun list. On the corner of Cypress Way and Magnolia Lane on the South side of Madison is the newly built Cypress SprayPark and Genevieve Gorst Herfurth Playground. The spray park will give children and youth another opportunity to get wet during the summer months.
In an effort to begin the revitalization of Madison's south side, City officials and the community alike proposed the concept of building a spray park in this area. In exchange of the Linden Park school property for a parcel of Lincoln School grounds, the City of Madison was able to purchase land adjacent to Lincoln School where the spray park is located. One city official in particular had an instrumental role in the development of this spray park-Alder Tim Bruer.
Coining this spray park as the start of a "revitalization renaissance," Alder Bruer takes personal responsibility when it comes to this neighborhood. "All of this is heartfelt for me," says Bruer who grew up near Lincoln Elementary School. Describing this area as "park deficient," he realized that there were many issues that plagued the neighborhood such as isolation due to heavy traffic on Park Street and Fish Hatchery Road, as well as lack of activities for children. "As kids, we had to play in the street, usually Fish Hatchery Road" Bruer recalls. After identifying the number of children that reside in the area, he arranged the land trade with the school district, making the location of the spray park available. The leadership he and others provided will certainly serve as a future catalyst for other area projects such as the ongoing redevelopment of the Villager Mall and the entrance to the city via Park Street.
The Madison Parks Division has willingly and diligently exercised different approaches to make the pool accessible for everyone in the Madison community and beyond. This includes those who may not have the means to purchase daily tickets or season passes to the pool. However, for some families, the obstacle of transportation still stands in the way. In many households during the summer parents aren't at home and it is difficult for young children to get to the pool. According to Tim Bruer, these "latchkey kids will benefit the most from having active recreation opportunities." The location of the new spray park is strategically placed in a diverse and heavily populated area where the many people who live in the neighborhoods surrounding the Cypress/Magnolia area can easily access it.
So far this summer, it appears everyone's hard work is paying off. In its first month of operation, approximately 2500 patrons have come to the spray park to cool off and enjoy themselves.
It is the hope of many people that this park just may be one of resources that serve as a positive outlet for not only this neighborhood, but the Madison community as a whole. Officer Susan Krause, the neighborhood officer in the Cypress/Magnolia area, has already noticed a change in the neighborhood recently. "There have been a lot of positive feelings around here the last few days, "she notes, "an uplifting feeling amongst the families that live here."
So, if you're looking to cool off in the sweltering sun, check out the Cypress Spray Park!Contacts:
- Laura Whitmore, 266-5949