HAVERHILL — Kids looking to beat the heat this summer will soon have a new place to cool off and have some fun. A spray park that was installed at Swasey Field is scheduled to open later this summer and will offer a variety of water sprinkling stations in an area about the size of a basketball court. The stations include a tall fixture that resembles a sunflower and will rain down on children. Another has hoops kids can run or crawl through to get a good soaking, making it cool to be at Swasey on a hot and sweltering day. The water will spray on a preset cycle, creating a bit of suspense for children, and an automatic timer will shut off the flow at night.
“The spray park is unique to the neighborhood,” said Vincent Ouellette, the city’s recreation director. “Many residents in the area don’t have pools and will have the option of going to Plug Pond or coming to the spray park.”
“Kids really love spray parks,” Ouellette added. “It’s a safe way to cool off and also offers a surprise as kids won’t know when the water will be coming on.”
Built in 1910 for shoe factory workers and their families, Swasey Field is undergoing a host of improvements this year and next. The city plans to reopen one section of the park this summer, including an area where a playset was installed several years ago. Other new elements include the spray park, walking paths and stone walls.
“What we tried to do was incorporate the old wall that was around the old wading pool and expand it to fully encase the play area as well as a large portion of the spray park,” Ouellette said, noting the spray park’s base is a hard rubber material that repels water and is typically used in spray parks.