Splash Pad open for business

Comings and goings at Maumelle Charter, Pulaski County schools; Neal Moore offers up his take plus news and sports headlines

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Maumelle: Splash Pad has grand opening

On a cloudy Thursday morning, the Maumelle Splash Pad held its grand opening and ribbon cutting.

The Splash Pad is located next to the Maumelle Public Library and is just phase one of a much larger plan, said Maumelle Parks & Recreations Director Phillip Raborn.

Phase Two, he said, is the addition of an inclusive playground as it will become the Maumelle Play and Splash.

“Although Maumelle has several playgrounds for children and families to enjoy, we do not have an all-inclusive play space,” Raborn said. “Our ultimate vision for Maumelle Play & Splash is to create an inclusive playground to accompany the new splash pad — a playground that accommodates all children, with or without disabilities, as well as their caregivers.”

Inclusive playgrounds have additional features that allow those with special needs to use and access the park. In the last few years, inclusive playgrounds have opened in North Little Rock, Cabot and Little Rock, among other cities in central Arkansas.

Donations are still being sought for the playground and he can be emailed at phillip@maumelleparksandrec.com or called at 501-851-6990. 

The Splash Pad will be open daily from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. through October of this year and it cost roughly $250,000 to build. Its daily operation is funded by the city and admission is free.

The Splash Pad is personal for Mayor Caleb Norris.

“I have young children myself, and I can tell you that this is a long-awaited park in our community,” he said. “Residents have seen the construction happening over the past several months and are anxious to begin using the splash pad.”

Splash Pad rules can be viewed by clicking here

Top contributors to the Splash Pad include the City of Maumelle, Ottenheimer Foundation, Arkansas Department of Health, Clark Family Foundation, Maumelle Lions Club, Riley's Warriors Inc., Kimberly Clark Corporation, Kids Being Kids Therapy, Maumelle Rotary Club, Crafton Tull Foundation, Red Basket, Maumelle River Park Civitan Club, Maumelle Baseball Association, Maumelle Soccer Club, Mazzoni Family, Gardner Family and Maumelle Charter PTO.

Partners include the Timmons Arts Foundation, Play 4 All, Cunningham Recreation and RIR Enterprises.

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Moore on Maumelle: My Take 

It’s time for my annual rant about the city-endorsed explosion fest held each year. The City of Maumelle allows a free-for-all each Fourth of July when fiery explosions are permitted from 4:30 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. 

The City ordinance states that “you can’t discharge in or around any group of 25 or more people; shall not be discharged in, on or from any public, commercial or industrial property but not limited to, parking lots, parks, fields, sidewalks and public roadways.” Huh? There are a lot of violations of the public roadways part. Most folks blow things up in the street in front of their homes. 

I have opposed this accident-waiting- to-happen for several years, but the City Council hasn’t mustered up the fortitude to do away with the fireworks, as most municipalities throughout the state have. Why not?  We have had several physical injuries through the years and it’s just a matter of time before there is a major house fire or even a death.  Of course, that’s when we will ban them. 

And it’s not just a kid thing. A few years ago, cornerback C.J. Wilson of the Tampa Bay Bucs lost two fingers and defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul of the New York Giants had his right index finger amputated, both due to fireworks accidents. 

The City sponsors a fine fireworks show and that’s how it should be.  Leave it to the pros. Keep your digits, your vision and other body parts intact. 

According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, there are an average 230 fireworks-related injuries near and on the Fourth of July. In 2014, nine people died from eight different fireworks related accidents, including two who were not the person who ignited the explosives.  Most fireworks injuries are burns, primarily to the hands, fingers, head, face, eyes and ears. 

So, the fireworks stands are already set up in Morgan.  The tents are located outside the Maumelle city limits, so we don’t make a dime on their sales.  

I’ll keep ranting each year. Maybe the Council will have the fortitude to do something about it. I know a lot of dogs who will thank you. 

Comfort a Pet During Explosion Fest 

Maumelle Friends of the Animals is sponsoring a “Comfort a Pet” event at the shelter from 4 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. on July 4.  If you’d like to help keep the animals calm during the explosion fest, you are encouraged to come by.  From their Facebook page: 

Bring a chair and a book, a toy, and a treat, and celebrate with our shelter pets. Human treats and drinks available, drop by or stay the entire time.

By having the extra activity at the Maumelle Animal Shelter, it will help the pets there stay distracted from the loud noises of the evening while giving families and others a chance to meet, greet and just hang out. It was a lot of fun the first time MAS had the event in 2019, with nearly 200 in attendance over a six-hour period. We hope for more on July 4. 

Splash Pad Opened This Week

The long-awaited Splash Pad opened this Thursday, July 1.  It will be open from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. each day until October. The Splash Pad is located beside the Maumelle Library. The touch activator that starts the Splash Pad will only work during open hours and its use is free. Surprisingly, the Splash Pad is unsupervised, although the rules say children under 12 must have adult supervision. But if it’s unsupervised … 

Other rules: 

  • No running or disorderly behavior. No profanity.

  • No climbing or hanging from equipment.

  • No pool toys, floats or chairs on Splash Pad.

  • No radios or audio players unless using headphones.

  • No scooters, skateboards, skates, bicycles, or rollerblades.

  • Proper swimwear required at all times. Swim diapers required for infants and small children.

  • Water shoes or swim socks are recommended.

  • No food, chewing gum or drinks on Splash Pad. No glass containers or breakable objects

  • Splash Pad is defined by the brown concrete.

  • Use of drugs, alcohol, cigarettes and e-cigarettes is strictly prohibited. (City of Maumelle Ordinance No. 907)

  • No animals other than designated service animals.

  • No soaps, bubbles or water balloons.

  • Diaper changing table available in restrooms.

Well, that’s a long list of rules that no one will be around to enforce.  The above information was gleaned from a previous article in ArkansasNewsroom.com. The strange new website of Parks and Recreation does not provide any of this information, but it is on their Facebook page. 

Foodie News 

Milano’s announced they will be closed for a month and will reopen July 29.  Pizza House also announced they will be closed also for the same period.  The restaurants are connected, and it was reported there was death in the family. Our condolences. 

Is it really post-pandemic? 

Today’s Wall Street Journal: About half of adults infected in an outbreak of the Delta variant of COVID-19 in Israel were fully inoculated with the Pfizer vaccine, prompting the government to reimpose an indoor mask requirement and other measures.  This is the same variant that is moving through the United States. 

North Carolina State lost its spot in the College World Series due to COVID issues.  Nobody is reporting the exact details. As of June 28, 276 more Arkansans have COVID; three more have died! Over 900 new cases in the past three days! NOTE: 6.29.21: 479 MORE CASES AND EIGHT DEATHS!

The numbers are going the wrong way, yet many continue to ignore the urging of scientists, government leaders and most rational people to get their vaccine shot. It is truly our ticket to freedom to move about the country, have large gatherings and most importantly, keep people out of the hospital.  Nothing is guaranteed but the vaccine is at least giving us a fighting chance. 

Get your shot. It’s our best shot. 

See you on the Boulevard. 

Neal Moore is a public relations consultant and resident of Maumelle. Send your Maumelle news or comments to neal.moore@sbcglobal.net. Thanks, PJ
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