SOUTH HAVEN, Mich. — When Daxton Halker's older siblings were playing in Lake Michigan Thursday afternoon, he chose to run around and get wet in the city's new splash pad.
When asked how much fun he was having, he replied ‘infinity’ fun.
“Buckets dump on you,” the six-year-old said.
The City of South Haven opened their new splash pad that morning during a ribbon-cutting ceremony. It’s called Friends of Good Will and was created to look like an 1800s sailing schooner.
“We’ve got some water cannons, some jets. We’ve got a sail that oscillates, that moves the water around,” said Kate Hosier, interim city manager and harbormaster. “We’re trying to of course keep the water in the park and not spraying outside of it. But, lots of different things for kids to use, tipping buckets, those kinds of things.”
Dozens of kids ran around the splash pad all day on Thursday while their parents watched from the benches in the seating area. Some joined them.
“I think for the little kids it’s a lot safer to give them something to do,” said Daxton’s dad Chris. “So they’re not always out on the beach and in the current.”
Hosier said the goal of the splash pad is to give kids an alternative to going into Lake Michigan.
“Lots of little kids have been playing in the water and this came out of some safety recommendations,” Hosier said. “Obviously Lake Michigan isn’t always going to be the safest for people who have limited swim capability, as well as young kids. So this was an opportunity to add more recreation here and to have a safety feature when the lake is not very good for swimming.”
Hosier said they began building the splash pad late last year and it was important for them to make it inclusive for everyone. So, they made it wheelchair-accessible.
They also made sure to put up a social-distancing sign, hoping that people will abide by it she said.
“I got the signs up,” Hosier said. “I’m asking people to do your best to practice social distancing ‘cause we are still in a pandemic.”