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Victoria's new splash pad opens (Video)

By Melissa Crowe
April 6, 2013 at 8:04 p.m.
Updated April 6, 2013 at 11:07 p.m.

Joshua Morales, 6, throws his arms up as the water shoots from all around him during the opening of the Lone Tree Creek Splash Pad.

Flopping on his belly past sprayers, spigots and spouts, Joshua Morales, 6, was in heaven.

He rushed back and forth between the Tidal Barrel, the Fill 'N' Spill and Big Sqwerts, catching splash after splash from Victoria's new water playground Saturday afternoon.

The opening weekend of the Lone Tree Creek Splash Pad gave families and children a reprieve from afternoons spent indoors and marked the coming of summer vacation.

Joshua's mother, Jean Morales, 36, of Victoria, said she can already tell where Joshua will want to spend his summer: the splash pad at 4009 E. Airline Road.

"He's an outside baby," she said.

More than baseball or video games, Joshua loves water, she said.

The $1 million facility opened to the public Tuesday after 18 months of planning and construction. It features 2,500 square feet of pours and splashes, geared toward toddlers to 12-year-olds.

The 4,000-gallon facility is part of Lone Tree Creek Park, which also includes five baseball fields, a football field and a soccer field.

"It's good for the kids," Morales said. "They can get out of the house and not get in trouble."

She said the fencing around the facility and the clean changing rooms make her feel secure and comfortable.

"We'll be out here a lot," she said.

That was the overall sentiment Saturday afternoon.

Mary Johnson, 68, of Victoria, said the splash pad was a great activity to entertain her 5-year-old grandson, Gage McLaughlin, who came to visit for the weekend from Austin.

"We're burning up some of that energy," she joked, as Gage shook off near the picnic tables.

With the addition of the skate park and little league fields a few years ago, Johnson said this project was needed and appreciated.

Gage's mom, Ginger Salinas, 37, said they were worried it might be too cold and windy Saturday but that didn't stop her rambunctious son.

"Victoria has grown by leaps and bounds since I was here," she said. "This is an opportunity to bring more into the community and have it grow."

Although Gage came without any friends, Salinas said he was getting along fine playing in the water and making new friends.

"We're big on the outdoors," she said. "This is right up our alley."



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