Waves Of Fun, New Playground Coming
For thousands of people, Waves of Fun and the playgrounds at Valley Park are a great way of enjoying the outdoors.
For the disabled, they are a frustrating example of the many everyday things that are nearly impossible to enjoy.
Soon, that will change – in several positive ways.
According to Putnam County Parks and Recreation Executive Director Jarrod Dean, Waves of Fun is being modified to include ADA access and a new playground is being designed with ADA access including the slides and the ground surface.
“It’s amazing,” says Dean. “We are making fun available to everybody to enjoy.”
The ADA access is part of the $15 million upgrades being made to Valley Park. Until this summer, the pool didn’t have equipment to place a disabled person in the water, and the locker room, (which is being replaced), didn’t have front access for wheelchairs, forcing the disabled to enter through the back door.
“Not anymore,” explains Dean. “Our new shower room is being designed with everyone in mind from the entrance to the interior.”
In addition to the pool access, Waves of Fun will be getting new concrete decks that will have a “slip resistant” surface to make them safer for everyone. What you won’t see, but will benefit everyone, are new electrical system upgrades that are replacing the old “grandfathered” system that was decades old.
Also, look for umbrella rentals and other “summer” features to be available at Waves of Fun, which Dean hopes will be open by Memorial Day Weekend after being closed in 2016 due to issues with replacing the liner and drainage system.
Dean wants to get the word out, about ADA access, so that the disabled know that they can come to Putnam County to better enjoy life, as well as the positive economic impact that local businesses enjoy when patrons come to Valley Park.