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The KLR Splashpad is the first aquatic amenity at Michigan's Seymour Lake Township Park. The splashpad itself is universally accessible and includes a range of interactive features designed around a U.S. map created on the surface.

The colorful map is stimulating for autistic children and enables them to learn geography and develop through free play.

Water-play features are grouped into three areas: toddler bay, to help develop motor skills for little children or those with disabilities; family bay, which encourages interaction and socialization; and teen bay, which helps older children develop a sense of independence and confidence.

Throughout, there are several activators that trigger the various aquatic features. Ground-level sensors enable individuals using wheel chairs to activate the amenities.

The park includes several canvas awnings, benches, picnic areas, nylon shade sails, sports fields, the Kids Kingdom (dry) playground, and concession facilities for splashpad users.

The KLR Splashpad has a natural recirculation system that is used for irrigation. Waste water is captured in a pond (home to various amphibians and waterfowl) and used to irrigate four softball fields.

In the fall, when the facility’s need for irrigation is reduced, the pond size increases dramatically; when winter arrives, it becomes a community ice skating rink.

Also, the waste water provides an additional resource for the fire department, making it possible to quickly fill numerous trucks during an emergency.

Best Practices

Since the opening of KLR Splashpad, visits to the park have tripled. A major challenge is handling crowds.

From the start, on busy days traffic was exceeding capacity, so operators decided to implement a traffic-style stop light. Each child receives a red, yellow or green bracelet before entry. The traffic light periodically flashes different colors, allowing all children to come in and play at various times.


JUDGES’COMMENTS

“This park is a wonderful example of how inclusive sprayparks can be for children of all ages and abilities when done with careful thought and design.”

HIGHLIGHTS

  • 4,285-square-foot universally accessible spraypark
  • King Kingdom dry playground and concession facilities
  • 3 play zones to accommodate children of different age levels and abilities
  • Features, including spray cannons, designed around a colorful map of the United States
  • Flow-through water system, with water recaptured for irrigation  
  • Traffic light-inspired crowd control system