Keep Veterans Field's Splash Pad Free for Everyone
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Anyone with kids knows what it's like to want to get out of the house to enjoy the sun shine and cool off on a hot day. During the warmer months after school, after sporting events, and when it's just plain hot, I take my four boys (you read that right!) to the Splash Pad at Veteran's Field next to the play areas. It has been a great way for us cool off while meeting our neighbors, making new friends, and exercising. However, the Recreation Advisory Board recently began charging residents and non-residents to use this splash pad. This new fee would end up costing my family a minimum of $100 for our usual summer playtime.
While I understand that there are costs associated in maintaining the splash pad, I believe that burdening families with a fee is exclusive and does not represent what our community is all about. It should be a way to encourage our children to exercise (play), while learning to enjoy water and nature, as well as teaching them to take part in their community by making friends and maintaining a clean park. Children learn life skills when they play at Veteran's Field and that helps grow them into contributing members of society.
Charging a fee for the splash pad discourages families from coming to the park. It's not just the fee: it's the challenge of keeping their child out of the water and solely on the playground equipment when they are in the same area. It's the several free and larger splash pads nearby that will draw our families away. It's that it discourages hosting a fun playdate at the park in a community where most home and apartments are small and have no greenspace. When other families are visiting our community (think soccer matches or baseball games for example) we now have to say, "stay out or pay!" Those families will take their children and money elsewhere. I feel that it discourages commerce of any kind. All in all, it's poor planning and poor taste to charge for this splash pad.
Here's what you can do to help:
Firstly, don't pay the fee. Then, sign my petition to keep our splash pad free and email everyone you know in the town of Edgewater and have them sign it too! There is a Recreation Advisory Board and they make the decision to charge (or not charge) for the splash pad. There is no meeting currently scheduled on the city community center's website for the entire summer so we need to get a meeting scheduled.
Next, you can email Gregory Franz the Borough Administrator who works with the board. He has expressed that the park, its playground, and its policies are a work-in-progress and seems to be helpful and receptive. He told me personally that he would take our emails to the board.
Ph: 201-943-1700 ext. 3131
Also, if you know anyone on the Advisory Board, please reach out to let them know we would like a meeting to discuss our points and/or to reverse their decision to charge for the splash pad. Their names are listed below.
Mary Beth Stewart
Vince Monte, Council Liaison
I love Edgewater and it's children. I hope with your help we can keep Edgewater a place where all children can come together and play freely. Please sign my petition if you feel that way too.
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