By Courtney Bell 
BELLEVILLE – Families in Prince Edward County will have a spot to splash around next summer with the opening of the new splash pad in Picton .
And the co-chair of the splash pad committee said that the support from the community is what made this project possible.
“We are well on our way to meeting our target of April first, that’s our shovel in the ground day,” said Phil St. Jean.
“We hope to turn sod that day. Now we still have some work to do obviously there is another roughly $40,000 that we need to raise,” he said.
St. Jean said it has been a long process, but is happy to see that it is finally going to happen after Picton municipal council approved it last year.
“The project has a very long history , it’s been an amazing process. The next $45,000 will be a lot easier. It is all coming together and what a beautiful Christmas present to get,” he said.
After the approval for the splash pad, the committee started a fundraising program. So far it’s raised $206,000 of their $250,000 goal.
St. Jean said the splash pad committee has reached out to local service clubs and communities for some extra help.
“Numerous service clubs have contributed; the Kinsmen Club  have contributed $10,000, the local firefighter’s association  $1,000, Kiwanis  $1,000 and the Elks Lodge $5000 with a promise of another $5000,” he said.
On Monday, the committee also received a large contribution of $75,000 from the Parrot Foundation ,which brought them that much closer to the end goal of $250,000.
The committee is encouraging people in the community to come up with ways to raise money for the splash pad. The committee also has a sponsorship program for people who make larger donations. That allows you to sponsor a fixture on the splash pad. That includes things like name plaques on trees, benches and sun shelters.
St. Jean said that the committee is really trying to get the community involved directly through donations.
“We also have what we’re calling raindrops and they’re a permanent engraved raindrops in various colours, blue, yellow, red, and green.
The raindrops are for people who donated to the splash pad giving them a permanent reminder of what they made possible.
Susan Quaiff, co-chair of the splash pad committee, said that she loves to see all of the community support.
“The community support individually has been fabulous,” she said.
“I saw this as being a great opportunity to draw families to a location to have fun and get some great physical activity at the same time.”
Quaiff understands the difficulties around summer fun.
“I work with families everyday in the community and I know what a hardship it is on local families, just around transportation, getting to beaches or going to pools with more than one child is always a challenge,” she said.
The splash pad committee is aiming to have the splash pad finished for July 1st 2017.