Cypress Cove Family Aquatic Park, a Woodridge Park District facility, has set the industry standard with exceptional detail that coordinates architecture, landscaping and layout.

The center’s overall Cajun theme is incorporated throughout the facility design, signage and furnishings. The greenery mimics vegetation typically found in the southern Louisiana bayou, and that region’s architecture is reflected in the double-sloped roof with gables, cedar siding and perimeter veranda with decorative columns. Signage for each feature displays wildlife, plant life and terminology typical of the bayou.

While the facility draws guests of all ages, it was built with families in mind. Developers noticed the growing market for attractions geared toward younger children who can’t enjoy some waterpark amenities due to manufacturers’ height restrictions. In August 2008, construction began on a new children’s spraypark, bayou-themed to fit the center’s overall character. This 5,260-square-foot area consists of two separate and distinct spray play areas, as well as an ADA-accessible body flume slide for children under 42 inches tall.

Behind the scenes, Cypress Cove has strived for innovation since opening in 1997. In keeping with the green movement, it implemented facility recycling in May 2008 and the majority of site furnishings are constructed from recycled plastic. Additionally, variable frequency drives were installed on all new and existing pumps throughout the facility to decrease energy usage.

Currently, there are 190 staff members, all of whom undergo extensive pre-season training prior to the opening. Lifeguards are certified by Starfish Aquatics and have received its 4 Star and 5 Star Safety Awards. Also, guards attend multiple pre-season and in-service training sessions.

Supplementing the facility’s paid employees, the swim lessons rely on volunteers to operate a successful instructional program. Some volunteers are recruited through the Junior Swim Instructor program, which teaches them the skills used by the paid swim instructors, and allows the participants to aid in actual instruction.

To ensure its success, Cypress Cove implements an extensive marketing program each season. Information goes out via local radio, Web commercials, monthly e-newsletters, direct mail and newspaper advertisements. In 2009, the operators formed a partnership with a nearby municipality to help provide aquatic recreation to residents of a community without access to a public pool. The partnership also included a comprehensive combined marketing campaign.


JUDGE’S COMMENT

“This nicely sized family aquatics center … has exceptional staff training and coordinates live practice exercises with the local EMS authority. The facility has shown growth in attendance and in scope as new amenities were recently added.”

AMENITIES

Open green space and 8 acres of water attractions, including eight water slides, a 600-foot lazy river, two competition pools, zero-depth area, spraypark, diving well and two concessions.

PROGRAMMING

Learn-to-swim, learn-to-dive, lifesaving, water fitness, competitive swimming and scuba/ snorkeling.