Shrewsbury officials discovered that local families had to travel up to 15 miles out of town to reach a splash park. They sought to provide an aquatic play attraction that would draw these locals, as well as a share of the 4 million tourists visiting Charles Darwin's hometown.
Originally, the property had a simple wading pool, which was built in the 1960s and had gone under-used and under-maintained for a while.
Converting the wading pool into a spraypad carried many benefits. Among those was the ability to create an open-concept plan to better complement the surrounding architecture and landscape. Before, the pool needed a barrier around it to prevent a child from accidentally falling in. With no depth, the spraypad could be connected to the dray play area, with no partition, so kids could switch back and forth freely.
The design concept pays tribute to Darwin's five-year voyage around the world, which resulted in his fine-tuning of the theory of evolution, which other scientists had already proposed, and taking it to the mainstream. The spraypark focuses on his time in the Galapagos Islands, where he is said to have observed how each island seemed to have its own version of the same species.
This toddler feature was customized to look like a ladybug.
A recirculation water management system was incorporated to minimize energy and water costs and take an environmentally friendly stance, and allow for the management and forecast of future energy costs. An existing pump-house building with existing water and energy supply was retained to keep project costs down. Hardware was put in place for three additional spray features to be added when the budget allows.