Six-year-old Isla Clifford strikes a pose to celebrate the new water feature. PAULA CLIFFORD

There has been no official ribbon cutting ceremony yet, but that hasn’t prevented Pelham kids from enjoying the municipality’s latest water amusement, a splash pad at Centennial Park in Fenwick.

“The grand opening will happen later this summer, but we had a soft opening last week, when the splash pad was commissioned by Public Health,” said Pelham’s Communications Specialist, Leah Letford. “So far, it’s been busy. I’ve driven by a few times. There were lots of kids on Tuesday. We were very fortunate that our camp kids were able to use the splash pad.”

The Centennial Park pad includes a superwave water wheel, and sunspray and jet stream sprayers, within the design located beside the playground area.

The $350,000 project was funded primarily by a Canada infrastructure program through the Covid-19 Resilience Fund. More than a third of the cost is covered by federal and provincial funding, with the remaining portion paid from development charges revenue.

“The proposal was actually put forward to Pelham council back in December of 2020,” said Letford. “Both splash pads were tendered and awarded in the summer of 2021. They run throughout the summer months, closing in September.”

Additional improvements now in place at Centennial Park include a playground, resurfaced tennis courts, and newly renovated and expanded outdoor Pickleball and multi-purpose courts.

Marlene Stewart Streit Park is awaiting a splash pad as well, but Covid-related delays have set that project back to a likely August opening.

“We’re looking very optimistically to early August, and hopefully earlier, if all of the subcontractors are able to finish the pieces that are still pending,” said Letford.

Marlene Stewart Streit Park’s splash pad is designed with a nature-inspired theme, and includes a butterfly, water bloom, and frog among the elements.

The new Riverview Estates Park, located on Bergenstein Crescent in the east end of Fonthill, opened in late June, and has a water feature — a cool mister — incorporated into its design, but is not slated for a splash pad. The park also includes a playground area and personal fitness amenities.

“It’s a lovely way to be able to service the majority of Pelham where we have significant youth populations looking to use these recreation facilities,” said Letford.

The municipality’s only outdoor swimming pool, located at Marlene Stewart Streit Park, had a slightly delayed opening this year, on July 1. The pool is slated for an overhaul in 2025 through another grant. A picnic pavilion, similar to one at Harold Black Park, will be added adjacent the splash pad and pool at Marlene Stewart Streit. The pavilion will provide welcome shade and seating areas, and be available for public use and private rentals throughout the season.

“These splash pads are a great replacement for what would have typically been kiddie wading pools,” said Letford. “They really opened up the number of people who are able to access the facility, without the safety concerns of a swimming pool.”

The splash pads, unlike the pool, are unguarded, and open from 9 AM to 9 PM daily.