Splash Pad Nearly Complete — But Unlikely to Open in 2020

Originally scheduled for opening Memorial Day weekend — and later rescheduled several times — the long-awaited Canby splash pad is (finally) almost done.

Whether children and families will be able to take advantage of the city’s newest recreational feature this year is an open question — but it appears increasingly unlikely.

After a series of delays this year, the splash pad itself is now virtually complete, with testing systems planned for next week and a ribbon cutting ceremony tentatively set for Sept. 2 to represent the completion of the project.

The actual opening, however, is dependent on state and countywide executive orders related to the coronavirus pandemic, and well, it’s not looking good.

Part-playground and part-pool, splash pads fall under the same phase of reopening: phase 2. Clackamas County remains in phase 1, and while its coronavirus outlook has improved somewhat in recent weeks, it remains linked to its Portland metro area neighbors Multnomah and Washington counties, which have the first- and second-most confirmed cases in the state, respectively.

These counties, and the region as a whole, still fall well below several key indicators the governor’s office requires to move onto the next stage of reopening.

It’s anyone’s guess when the counties will advance to phase 2, and it could happen sooner than expected. But, with cooler weather just around the corner, it’s unlikely to occur in time for being drenched in water to be a welcome or enjoyable experience. (Sorry, kids.)

The Canby Now Podcast tried to get clarity about what the normal, non-Covid schedule for the splash pad would be, including months, hours and regular conditions of operations, but Zeiber said those decisions have not yet been made.

Sadly, like so many fun things and experiences, the official grand opening of the Canby splash pad will (probably) have to wait for 2021.

The project will follow a nature theme in line with Canby’s reputation at the “Garden Spot,” with sprayers and other elements in the shape of grass, flowers and insects.

The budget is $475,000, financed through SDC (System Development Charge) funds, which are fees paid by developers to support increased capacity to city infrastructure such as streets, sewer, stormwater and parks.

The splash pad will be built in place of the tennis courts at Maple Street Park, which are to be rebuilt at a different location during the 2021-2022 fiscal year.

The splash pad has been in the works since at least January 2019, when the city announced it would begin moving forward on the project in earnest. After considering several locations including Wait Park and other sites downtown, the council opted to place the splash pad at Maple Street Park.

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