An anonymous donor has pledged up to $200,000.00 to create a new splash pad park in Dixon. The donor is interested in creating a facility similar to Splash Cannon Spray Park in Oregon, and has asked that the new splash pad be placed in the Meadows near Wooden Wonderland. Park District Executive Director Duane Long and Dixon City Manager Danny Langloss met with the donor earlier this morning and visited the site.
The donor first contacted Director Long last week after reading a Dixon Telegraph article about the potential City/Park District vision for improved splash pad facilities, and then hearing Long on the WIXN morning show. The donor was impressed with the way Long and Langloss were working together to advance the Park District and the City. After hearing about the numerous projects the City and Park District are working on with other community stakeholders, the donor committed to the financial pledge.
This breakthrough comes less than one month after Long has taken the reins as the new Park District executive director. Long and Langloss are currently working with Lee County, the Dixon School District, Dixon YMCA, and the Lee County Industrial Development Association on multiple projects, including the BUILD Grant, the new Splash Pad Park, and a community facility assessment.
Long said, “We are so grateful for the generosity of this family and their passion to advance Dixon. I have been overwhelmed by the support since stepping into this new role. This is so big for our community, and it is just the beginning of great things to come.” Langloss said, “Our community has been asking for water recreation facilities. The splash pad park will fill a major void. We are excited to bring this project to life for the children of our community.”
Mayor Liandro Arellano Jr, who had just reintroduced the concept of a splash pad joint project at a City Council meeting, shared his appreciation as well. "I have been pursuing this vision for two years, but Duane Long's leadership has been the game-changer we needed. With his appointment, the community is clearly entering a new era of cooperation between the City and the Park District. Thanks to this generous donor, that era is launching with a fantastic new project that will bless countless young families!"
Long and Langloss hope to size the splash park for the population of the community. Splash Canyon Spray Park has 4 separate water activities; Long and Langloss hope to create 8 to 10 water activities for Dixon's project. True to recent trends in Dixon, a combination of park district staff and city staff will be used to reduce costs related to the project. The scope of the project includes the splash pad park, sun shades with seating areas, restroom facilities, and the paving of the gravel parking lot near Wooden Wonderland. Additional improvements are also being planned for the Vaile Park splash pad in southwest Dixon.
Preliminary estimates for the facility are around $300,000.00. Long and Langloss are challenging community members and businesses to make further donations, and they plan to work with local contractors to reduce the price of the project. Anyone interested in making a donation can contact Executive Director Duane Long.
Planning will begin immediately. A press conference on the project is planned for later this summer as the project details are finalized.
Photos from the Oregon, Illinois Splash Pad Park