Mill Creek MetroParks to open new wet playground in time for Memorial Day weekend

Mill Creek MetroParks will kick off Memorial Day weekend by opening a new area for its visitors.

Park officials, community leaders and people involved in the project will gather at the James L. Wick Jr. Recreation Area off McCollum Road at 2 p.m. today for a ribbon-cutting ceremony that marks the grand opening of a wet playground at the Juliana Kurinka Children’s Play Area.

“It’s going to be exciting. It’ll be that regional draw that we want the Wick Recreation Area to be,” said Justin Rogers, MetroParks planning manager. “It provides families with another opportunity to experience Mill Creek MetroParks, and we’re looking forward to having a really fun, exciting summer at the play area.”

Work began in April on the $80,079 project. The contract was awarded to Daniel A. Terreri & Sons.

The addition of the wet playground caps off a plan developed several years ago to renovate the children’s play area. Three other parts of the playground previously were completed. The play area featured a wet-play component for many years, but that was removed when work began to revamp the area.

“The original playground featured a concrete basin with four sprays and was very popular,” Rogers said. “The introduction of the wet playground is more interactive. There are features for different ages. It brings colors and excitement to the playground, and really fits in nicely with the scale of the other three components of the play area.”

The project is part of the $29 million capital-improvements plan the MetroParks is undertaking over the next 15 years, with $3.2 million of that slated to take place this year.

Representatives of the companies involved in the project, park board members, Mahoning County Probate Judge Robert N. Rusu Jr., Mayor John A. McNally, city Councilman Mike Ray, D-4th, members of the park foundation, past park board members, the owner of Fitness Together, and a representative of the Rocky Ridge Neighborhood Association are invited to participate in today’s event.

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