Joan Prather, chair of the committee working on creating a splash pad for Stevensville, wants the public to know that the project is still ongoing.
“We had hoped to break ground in August and have it completed by the second week in September,” said Prather. “However, there were some things we had to deliver to the state before they would give us a permit. So, we now have the engineering firm Professional Consultants, Inc. on board and they are going to have all that finished by the end of the year so that come spring, we will be ready to break ground and be up and running by summer of 2022.”
The splash pad will be built at Lewis & Clark Park. It will be shaped like a trout, utilizing colored cement. There will be six different features, such as a water curtain, dumping buckets, fountains, a frog, and a mushroom, all involving water. The features are designed by the Rain Deck company. Kids will be able to turn the features off and on, and the entire splash pad will automatically turn off at a pre-set time.
“It will be fun for everybody,” said Prather. “Everyone can get in there and get cooled off.”
She said a contest among school kids produced a name for the splash pad – Trout Spout.
Prather also mentioned that the splash pad will use recirculated water, something that was included at the request of the Stevensville Town Council. “It’s a recycled water system, so we don’t have the waste of water,” said Prather. “That will be really nice.”
The entire project was initiated by the Stevensville Civic Club. Along with Project 59870, the club’s companion 501(c)(3) organization, the groups have raised about $142,000 of the $145,000 that was the estimated project cost.
“We have really accomplished a great goal through the interest and help of the community,” said Prather. “There was tremendous support. We worked with the Town of Stevensville and anticipate more help as we go along to the completion. It’s so great to have folks that you can work with and are eager to see these improvements to the town’s parks. Even people outside the community can come and enjoy that.” She said the most recent grants that are getting the project to the finish line have come from the Stevensville Community Foundation and the Rapp Family Foundation. Prather said they are also getting tremendous “in kind” help from local businesses like Schrock Construction, Snow Mountain Electric, Donaldson Brothers and Bitterroot Shedz.
“One of the great things that we have included in this plan for the splash pad are picnic tables with umbrella canopies over them so that parents, grandparents and families can watch the kids and stay cool,” said Prather. “Also, we’re trying to keep as many trees as we can around the area.”
She noted that the splash pad is accessible for all abilities, including people with disabilities. People in wheelchairs will be able to go out onto the splash pad; there will be no abrupt edges.
Prather said that the financial support “has been phenomenal, but we can always accept more funding to help keep it sustainable for the community as time goes on.” Anyone interested in donating can call Joan Prather at 406-531-8401.
“We are really looking forward to getting this completed,” said Prather. “The committee, the Civic Club, and Project 59870 just want to thank everyone for their awesome support on this. It’s been amazing.”