DIXON – The Water Wonderland and Vaile Park splash pads could open July 1 depending on the governor's executive order.

Water Wonderland had its grand opening in July 2019 in Meadows Park as a $550,000 project with the bulk funded by community donations.

The 70-by-70-foot splash pad has 23 water features and two zones geared toward children 2 to 5 and 5 to 12, landscaping, a pavilion, restrooms and a paved parking lot.

The goal is to open July 1 with a wristband system so there would only be 50 people at once, and it would likely be staffed by two people, district Executive Director Duane Long said.

"We're ready to go; we're just waiting on word from the governor," Long said.

The plan could change depending on what restrictions or guidelines are put in place, he added.

"We're going to do whatever it takes to get the splash pads open," Long said.

About $5,000 worth of new tables and umbrellas will be installed at the Vaile Park splash pad this month, as well as other district improvements.

At Wooden Wonderland, staff are doing $9,000 in improvements and new woodchips, and a 16-by-16-foot sun shade will be installed at the Park 4 Paws dog park. The new playground for Haymarket Square has come in, but it likely won't be installed until after July.

The Water Wonderland splash park project was a year in the making and kicked off after longtime residents Tom and Kathi Sherman pledged $200,000 for a splash pad after hearing of renewed interest with the city and Park District collaborating on such an effort.

The Park District and city both committed $100,000 and raised $140,000 in community donations; local businesses and volunteers donated labor.

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