Nicole Tesch 0

Oak Harbor Splash Park

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Oak Harbor, Washington is a wonderful place to raise a family. The City of Oak Harbor is committed to creating a vibrant Whidbey Island Waterfront community by delivering quality services, enhancing the quality of life, and fostering economic opportunities (City of Oak Harbor Mission Statement).

Like a lot of parents on Whidbey Island, we have to drive off the island to do certain activities with our children. It costs our family gas/ferry money to get to our location, admission fees, at least an hour long car ride, and a small mommy panic attack if I forgot to pack anything. Its also incredibly hard to find activities that we can do with all of our children together as a family since they range in ages. Wouldn't it be nice if our very own community had something that everyone could enjoy.

A splash pad is a recreation area, often in a public park for water play that has little or no standing water. Splash parks have very little risk of drowning therefore the need for lifeguards is not necessary. If properly designed spray parks offer cost-effective, safe, fun additions to public play spaces and are suitable for all ages. Our children could thrive with this addition to our community. For children, play is natural- its how they learn about themselves, their environment and the people around them.

Family activities help develop strong bonds which can last a lifetime. Through play, children are more cooperative and create a supportive open communication to help with problem solving. These qualities pay off in big dividends by increasing self-esteem, social skills and lets our children know he or she are loved and appreciated. Children who play make-believe or games are more empathetic, less physically aggressive and more cooperative with other children and adults.

Another benefit of adding such a family friendly and fun activity to our community is that it will encourage people to come to the City of Oak Harbor. Tourism brings in large amounts of income into our local economy. Bringing tourists into a community gives it new life, and creates opportunities for entrepreneurs to establish new services and products, or facilities that would not be sustainable based on the local population of residents alone. Tourists are all potential customers, and with the right approach can be targeted in a business strategy that allows for success.

Council members of Oak Harbor, you have the opportunity to make our community even better and create an activity that the people and families that you serve could enjoy for years to come. Please consider using a portion of the funds of the Water Treatment Plan to go toward a splash park.

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