The City of Sun Prairie Parks, Recreation & Forestry Department has officially announced the ribbon-cutting ceremony and grand opening date of the new $1.2 million splashpad and playground facility at Wetmore Park, located at 555 North Street. The event will take place on Wednesday, June 30 at 2:30 pm. The public is invited to arrive at 2:00 pm to tour and walk through the facility prior to the ceremony. Attendees will receive commemorative grand opening giveaway items as supplies last.
The Wetmore Park splashpad and playground is a garden-themed, 2,413 square foot wet deck with a total of 36 spray features and a 5,414 square foot playground featuring a 1-story tube slide. Resident involvement and feedback were an important part of the design process. Three different themes were shared with the community via an online survey. The overwhelming popular vote was a garden-style facility. “This facility is an amazing amenity for the community and provides endless hours of free and accessible recreational opportunities for all individuals and families,” said Kristin Grissom, Parks, Recreation & Forestry Director.
The project was first proposed in 2017 as a future capital improvement project. In 2018, the Sun Prairie Parks, Recreation and Forestry Commission worked with staff on determining a location for the future splashpad. City Council approved Wetmore Park and made its decision based on an evaluation of parking, existing water, equity and access, and programming space. In 2019, both a conceptual plan and master plan of the park were completed. These plans determined the location of the spashpad within the park boundaries in relation to programming and future park improvements. Design for the splashpad began late summer of 2020.
During the time of design, an anonymous donor, who will be unveiled at the ribbon-cutting ceremony, came forward with a $250,000 donation for the project with the purpose of it to augment and enhance the existing project plan. This generous donation created the opportunity to replace the Wetmore Park playground, creating a symbiotic wet and dry playscape. With the support of City Council, additional funding was obtained to make other enhancements such as a changing room space, rock wall seating, full ADA accessibility, and other site details.
The ceremony will also serve as the kickoff to Parks and Recreation month, which takes place throughout the month of July. The Mayor will share his June 15 proclamation, which symbolically changes the name of the City of Sun Prairie to the City of Fun Prairie for the month of July. Special guests such as Parker N. Rex, the official mascot of the Parks, Recreation and Forestry Department, the Sun Prairie Media Center, and the Sun Prairie Parks Friends, Inc. will also attend.
The splashpad will operate annually on Memorial Day through Labor Day, seven days per week from 11:00 am – 8:00 pm. Other popular community events, like the City’s Concerts and Movies in the Park series, will also take place at Wetmore Park. For a full listing of events and times, please visit http://rec.cityofsunprairie.com.
The City of Sun Prairie Parks, Recreation & Forestry Commission would like to thank City Council and the community as a whole for their support of the project. They would also like to thank the donor, the design team: Blake Theisen and Katie MacDonald of Parkitecture + Planning, WaterPlay, Lee Recreation LLC, and Parisi Construction Company for making this project a reality.