NEWMARKET — The Town of Newmarket’s Recreation Department is very excited to announce the completion of the long awaited splash pad/water park and new restroom facility at the town’s largest community park, Leo Landroche Field, located at 1 Terrace Drive, Newmarket, NH.
Although the splash pad, branded Aqua Land, has only been open for a little more than a week, it has already gained quite a bit of momentum on social media resulting in many community members and surrounding towns’ visitors to flock to the park on bright sunny days. It also helps that this new water park attraction also fits in nicely with all the other park amenities including a fenced in preschool playground, a larger playground for school aged kids, plus, it’s adjacent to a covered gazebo picnic area, making this entire park area an excellent choice for a one-stop shopping for multi-age play dates.
Aqua Land has a footprint area of approximately 2000 S.F. and is packed with a variety of colorful water play features including 8 interactive above ground features and 9 varying height ground sprays all of which cater to a wide range of ages and developmental stages. The new restroom facility includes 4 single use bathrooms, 2 water filling stations, and a set of showers. Aqua Land’s unique design is not only geared for fun, it’s also much safer than a pool, since without standing water, the need for lifeguards is eliminated.
Due to the Town’s repeated draught concerns year after year, conservation and ecological considerations were also a major consideration in this project. Unlike most standalone splash pads, Aqua Land was built with a filtration system and includes a 3,000 gallon storage system buried underground where water is treated and recirculated.
As with most large municipal projects, the Recreation Department had to jump over a few hurdles in order to get the project off the ground. “It truly took a village and a total of 5 years from start to finish” stated Aimee Gigandet, Recreation Director for the Town. According to Ms. Gigandet, they had to rely on the support of many local boards and organizations to assist them, not to mention the additional financial support they received from community members and especially, their Blue Premier sponsors Kennebunk Savings Bank and Cheney Companies. “Now more than ever, it is our hope that their community can enjoy the new splash pad, especially the children, who have been through a lot over the past year. The children of Newmarket have needed this water play area for years and it we couldn’t be happier than to be able to make it finally happen for them,” stated Ms. Gigandet. The Aqua Land theme and colorful water features were chosen to attract their biggest customers she stated – the children - and of course, it also happens to blend well with the existing playground which has been a huge attraction to kids for years.
In terms of funding, the Town of Newmarket received a 50% matching grant back in 2018 from the Land and Water Conservation Fund which is administered by the NH Department of Natural and Cultural Resources – Division of Parks and Recreation. The grant submission was to build an all-inclusive community splash pad and new restroom facility with a goal to create an equitable and accessible water-based play space that would help children’s connect with water and the outdoors in a safe and fun way.
The Town of Newmarket was able to match the L.W.C.F. grant utilizing the Newmarket Recreation’s Enterprise Fund generated through programs fees, Capital Reserve, Impact Fees, as well as, in-kind assistance from the Public Works Department which aided in constructing the concession and restroom facilities at the splash pad park location.
The official Ribbon Cutting Ceremony is on Wednesday, August 11th at 4:30pm, during which the Recreation Department will host a number of key representatives, from the town and state who helped contribute in one way or another in making this new water feature and public restroom in Newmarket’s largest community park complex a reality!
Aqua Land welcomes the general public weekdays, 4:30-8 PM, and weekends 10 AM – 8 PM. After August 13, the hours will be 10 AM – 7PM until Labor Day. Log onto www.newmaketrec.org for more information on the new water park or follow them on Facebook @ NewmarketRec or call the Newmarket Recreation Department at 659-8581