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Orange County Register (California)


It looks like an oasis in the summer haze.

A lily sprays water; it rains from beneath a leaf; the concrete spouts a small geyser.

At 2,400 square feet, the newly installed splash pad in Ponderosa Park is already a welcome refuge for Anaheim residents as school ends and summer begins.

Daniela Carmona, 18, watched as the plaza filled with children screaming and playing in the water. She said her little sister was in one of the four classes invited from Ponderosa Elementary School to the unveiling Tuesday as part of an attendance incentive.

She was happy to see the improvements to the park completed after two years of construction.

The splash pad caps the 9-acre park's $16 million renovation, which included a skate park opened in 2016 and a community center opened in 2017. An estimated $500,000 was invested into the splash area, according to contractors present

at the opening.

Ponderosa Park, 2100 S. Haster St., also now has an updated playground, outdoor plaza, outdoor exercise stations, a community garden and picnic areas. The splash area is adjacent to the community garden.

The renovations were funded with the fees paid by developers building in the nearby Platinum Triangle.

The park's splash pad opened Tuesday afternoon, but Community Service Director Larry Pasco said children have been sneaking behind the fences waiting for the water to start spraying.

"They're just chomping at the bit," he said. "They can't wait to get out here and enjoy it."

Tamara Garcia, 36, lives down the street from the park, and said her family will be beating the summer heat playing at the splash pad. She brought her daughter, Delilah, 2, to the ceremony.

"Before the way the park looked, it was decent. But this, they went above and beyond here, and I really love the park area," she said of the community center and other amenities. "I've already contacted my friends and family and told them that they have to check the park out. It's great for the community and gets kids off the street and out of trouble."

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June 21, 2018


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