DANBURY, Conn. — Danbury old-timers fondly remember spending their summers swimming at Lake Kenosia. But since the lake was made off limits to swimming, residents on the city's west side have longed for a new way to cool off.
That wait came to an end Thursday, as the city of Danbury officially dedicated a new spray park on the playground at Kenosia Park.
Mayor Mark Boughton turned out on a cool and cloudy Thursday to officially cut the ribbon to open the 5,800-square-foot concrete spray park. It was unfortunately too chilly at the ribbon-cutting for anyone to jump in, although a number of kids watched longingly from the nearby playscape.
The water sprinkling out from the apparatus and from the multiple ground sprayers comes from the city supply.
"You always get a fresh spray of water -- it's not recirculated," Mayor Mark Boughton said at the ribbon cutting. The water is not reused as it drains directly into the sewer system.
The park will not waste water, either. It will be open daily from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., but the water must be activated by hand. And after running through a cycle of 12 patterns, it shuts down until restarted again by pressing a nearby button. Each pattern lasts 45 seconds.
It is the city's third spray park — the others are at Rogers Park and Highland Avenue.
The park cost $170,000, which was paid for from a city bond for recreation, Boughton said. In addition to the spray park itself, the city also landscaped the area and set up benches and picnic tables for parents and families to use nearby.
"It's a good day for Danbury's children ... and they need a place for recreation with the long summer ahead," said Boughton, mentioning that school has already been out since June 9.
Swimming at Lake Kenosia was halted by the Health Department because it can be used as a public water supply, Boughton said.
The spray park was actually built last year after the swimming season had ended.
Childscapes President Tim Pesko, the contractor for the project, says the spray park took about three weeks to complete. Pesko praised spray parks as the way to go for water recreation.
"There is no chlorine, no need for a certified pool official, no liability issues," he said. "No water is wasted, and kids love it! It keeps them guessing where the water will come from next!"
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