Summer in December

Leslie D. Rose @DvilleNewsie
City and Parish leaders cut the ribbon at the Donaldsonville Splash Park, set to open on the first day of spring 2016.

     DONALDSONVILLE – It was a cold, winter day in the city, as city and Parish officials joked about who would run through the water sprouting from several sprinklers in the newly completed Donaldsonville Splash Park, located on Thibaut Drive . 

     The ribbon cutting ceremony, held on Dec. 3, occurred just thirty minutes before the Parish officially dedicated its new West DPW building, so it was an eventful day for all who attended. 

     “What a great day in Ascension Parish,” said Ken Dawson, Chief Administrative Officer for the Parish government. “Not only are we known for the increase in industry and that type of growth, but also for quality of life growth, and having a wonderful spray park.” 

     The Rev. Charles Brown said a blessing over the grounds, asking for safety and security upon the area. 

     The project took four years to complete, and outgoing Parish President Tommy Martinez, who brought up the initial idea for the splash park, joked that he just made it under the buzzer for completion under his presidency. 

     “A lot of planning went into this,” Martinez said. “This is the second ribbon cutting we’ve had in two days on the west bank and it’s about two million dollars worth of investments – and it’s all for quality of life. I know the mayor is going to take this to another step – another level – and keep building new buildings all in this area and in the city.” 

     Mayor Leroy Sullivan thanked Martinez and the entire Parish government for building the spray park in Donaldsonville. 

     “It took some time to get it done, but it is finished and I know the citizens are going to enjoy using this spray park,” Sullivan said. 

     Sullivan also pointed out that District 1 Councilman, Oliver Joseph, was instrumental in ensuring the safety of the children who will soon get to play in the water. The park is equipped with its own restrooms and is closed off from the neighboring Frank Sotile Pavilion. 

     “Quality of life is for everyone in Ascension Parish,” Joseph said. 

     While the park isn’t very large, Joseph said that it is a product of the organizers settling for what could be afforded after a larger recreational tax failed to pass. 

      “It’s small, given the population of Donaldsonville – we have over 5000 kids in this area and this is the first water spray park , so we feel that it will be packed,” Joseph said. 

     Also instrumental in the completion of the spray park is Ajia Mitchell, who has been the recreation coordinator for Dept. of Public Works West for the entire four years of the park’s development. 

     “My definition of recreation is kids having fun,” Mitchell said. “Having something for kids to do during the summer – they have a lot of activities to encourage growth and physical activity, and this is one part of it – this is a tiny part of what we are trying to do one the west bank – I’m excited.” 

     The park will officially open on the first day of spring, 2016. The hours of operation have yet to be released.