Group to launch fundraising campaign for Milton splash park
IF YOU GO
What: “Dash for the Splash,” a 5K run benefiting the proposed splash park at South Goodrich Park in Milton.
When: Saturday, Oct. 22. One-mile run/walk at 8:15 a.m.; 5K at 9 a.m.; registration starts at 7 a.m.
Cost: $15 per person, $25 for two people and $40 for a family. Includes T-shirt.
To learn more: For more information or to volunteer, call Community Services Manager Inga Jacobson at (608) 869-6900, Ext. 4.
MILTON A city committee is planning a fundraising campaign that could rely on residents, local businesses and even Milton students to raise $100,000 for a proposed splash park in Goodrich Square, officials said.
Members of the Goodrich Square Committee, an ad hoc group who presented a $350,000 plan for the splash park earlier this year, are meeting this week to organize the campaign, which they say will take place over the next year.
Preliminary plans call for pledges from local businesses and could include school-based fundraisers involving students, said Goodrich Square Committee member Cori Olson.
The committee, which is made up of Milton residents, business leaders and city officials, is planning a benefit 5K run Saturday, Oct. 22, at South Goodrich Park.
The 5K will start in the southwest corner of the park, where the splash park is planned. Olson said the hope is to draw out community interest in the project.
“We wanted to plan something while it was still nice outside, something that would get people out to the park and see what’s being planned.”
The city council in August started moving forward on plans for the splash park, authorizing spending $21,000 for Madison firm SAA Design Group to draw up preliminary designs for the project.
At the time, City Administrator Jerry Schuetz attached a contingency to the project that puts a freeze on advanced engineering plans and construction on the splash park until the community raises $100,000 through private fundraising.
That effectively puts the ball in the community’s court as to whether the project will get underway by 2012, which was the timeline in earlier plans.
Olson said she’s not surprised the city placed a fundraising contingency on the project. The splash park is part of a larger plan to redevelop Goodrich Park and the city’s east side downtown, a plan officials have said they intended to bankroll through tax increment financing and private fundraising, rather than through property taxes.
Olson said Schuetz, who is chairman of the Goodrich Square Committee, is working with school officials and another member of the committee, Milton East Elementary School Principal Theresa Rusch, on a possible student fundraiser for the splash park.
Schuetz, Rusch and Superintendent Mike Garrow all were unavailable for comment on Monday.
School district policy requires all student fundraising activities to be approved by a school principal.
Olson said a student fundraiser would be just part of the committee’s campaign.
“We understand we can’t just rely on the citizens in this town to pay it forward,” Olson said.
Olson and Community Services Director Inga Jacobson said Monday the committee has begun to approach local businesses to seek corporate pledges for the splash park project.
Jacobson also is a member of the Goodrich Square Committee.
Meanwhile, Blake Theisen, an architect with SAA Design Group, said the firm’s doing a preliminary site analysis for a splash park and could start work on preliminary designs by October.
WHAT’S A SPLASH PARK?
A splash park is a concrete pad with built-in geometric features that spray, cascade or shoot water. Some splash parks have large, umbrella-like structures that shed water in curtains like a waterfall, while others have nozzles or fountains that spray water from the ground. Some have slides or other equipment, such as motion-activated timers.
They’re geared for use by families with young to adolescent children and can be built to use recycled, treated water.