The Town of Marana Parks and Recreation Department knows one thing for certain: Kids love splash pads.
More than a dozen excited children in colorful swimsuits helped the town break in its newest parks amenity last Thursday in ceremony capped off with laughter—and plenty of splashing—at Crossroads at Silverbell District Park (7548 N. Silverbell Road).
Part excitement, and a little reprieve from the Arizona heat, the splash pad is an octagonal slab of color-laden concrete with geysers of water shooting in various directions and cheerful tunes playing in the background. The Crossroads facility is the second such splash pad in town, joining the one at Heritage River Park.
The 2,400 square foot facility was devised in the mind of Marana parks and recreation deputy director D. Tyrell McGirt, who oversaw the site’s development from start to finish. For McGirt, the splash pad’s inception is yet another example of the town’s commitment to providing family-friendly options for residents of all ages.
“This is one of our most popular parks,” he said. “We have the current splash pad and pools that are positioned up in North Marana, and this gives people in South Marana an aquatic experience.”
Vice Mayor Jon Post touched on a similar thread at the Aug. 30 ribbon cutting ceremony, saying that the Town Council is “really pleased with where the parks and rec department is going.” With a capable town staff, Post said the council can ensure residents have access to the highest quality services possible.
“Parks is one of the services we need to give to our community, and we truly believe that’s our main focus as council members—too make sure we continue to do that for our residents,” Post said.
Speaking before an excited crowd of staff, elected officials and excited children during last week’s ribbon cutting ceremony, parks and rec director Jim Conroy said the opening of the splash pad, and all of the work parks and rec performs in the town, is made possible through a strong sense of teamwork that starts with the Town Council and senior staff.
That cohesion means that Marana residents, in this case, have access to some pretty fun parks.
“This is going to be a pretty outstanding parks and recreation situation,” Conroy said. “These amenities will really, in a big way, expand our ability to serve people.”
McGirt said the goal was to open the facility in time for the busy Labor Day weekend, allowing families maximum water time during the busy holiday. He believes the splash pad will transform the lives of residents on the southern fringe of Marana, allowing them to have access to the same level of facilities as the rest of the community.
“We’re all about building community here in Marana, so having amenities where people come together is always a great thing, recreating year-round,” McGirt said. “Amenities like this allow people who live in Marana the opportunity to do so.”
The splash pad will be open all week from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. The fun won’t end there, however. From 7 to 9:30 p.m., the site will operate as public art with a water and lights show.
Contributions to this story were made by Logan Burtch-Buus and Christopher Boan.