EDWARDSVILLE - The City of Edwardsville today released a rendering and a more detailed description of the planned Spray & Play Park to be built just south of downtown Edwardsville.

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Slated for completion near Memorial Day 2016, plans for the Spray & Play Park include a splash pad and dry playground designed with special ADA standards built into the site. The park will also will include a walking/fitness track, shade structures, pavilions, restrooms/changing rooms as well as native plantings with interpretive signage and a butterfly garden.

Earlier this year, a committee was formed to help in the planning and design of the Spray & Play Park. The committee consists of local parents, residents who live near the future site of the park as well as those representing area community organizations. At those meetings, ideas were exchanged as to what features committee members would like to see at the park. Many expressed opinions about the functionality of other splash pads visited throughout the region, what works and doesn’t work for different age groups and abilities and how to create something unique and different for the community.

According to Katie Grable of Edwardsville Parks & Recreation, “The committee had a lot of great ideas and helped us work through some options that provide the safest and most usable play features for kids of all ages. We want to create something fun, inviting and of course safe for children of all ages and abilities to enjoy.”

The Spray & Play park will be built behind Edwardsville’s future public safety facility and is already partially funded by an Open Space Land Acquisition and Development Grants grant of $400,000 from the Illinois Department of Natural Resources, a Park & Trail Grant of $300,000 from Metro East Park & Recreation District and, most recently, a grant from Madison County Park Enhancement Program in the amount of $133,000. The total development cost for the park is estimated at $2 million.

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Sponsorships of the Spray & Play Park include a donation of $30,000 from Edwardsville Rotary, $10,000 from First Clover Leaf Bank and $40,000 from the Edwardsville/Glen Carbon Junior Service Club in support of the dry playground.

“Grant funding and sponsorships will make up a large percentage of the funds used to build the Spray & Play Park,” said Edwardsville Mayor Hal Patton. “We are also seeking funds from area residents who would like to make a contribution to the project. Donations of any size may be made through our campaign website using Paypal and there is also an option to make a pledge over a 2-year term if someone would like to spread out the payment of their donation."

Individuals, families and corporations can make donations to a specific campaign, or they may choose to make a general donation to the “A Better Place to Play” campaign. Sponsorship levels are available to corporate sponsors or private citizens to help fund the development of these projects, including naming right of each park and its features. Patrons can donate through PayPal, by becoming a major sponsor or by making a 2-year pledge commitment. The “A Better Place to Play” campaign is a partnership with the Edwardsville Community Foundation making all sponsorships and donations tax deductible. To make a private donation to the campaign, please visit the campaign website – http://www.betterplacetoplay.com.

“I believe we have a lot of momentum in terms of public interest and would like to keep it going. We will continue to look for opportunities to secure funds for the project and will do our best to keep the public informed of our progress,” added Patton. We encourage anyone interested in making it happen to step up with a donation of any amount or lend their time to our planning committee so we can make Edwardsville a better place to play for our current residents and future generations.”

Fundraising efforts for the Spray & Play Park are part of a comprehensive fundraising campaign charged with raising funds for three different parks projects - the Spray & Play Park, Ice Rink/Teen Center and a Sports Park for baseball, softball, soccer, field hockey, tennis and pickleball.

Those interested in learning more about the campaign can find information online at www.betterplacetoplay.com or call (618) 692-7538.  “A Better Place to Play” can also be found on Facebook at www.facebook.com/abetterplacetoplay and on Twitter at www.twitter.com/BP2Play.

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