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New splash park at Clement Park officially opens

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By Deborah Swearingen

Foothills Park and Recreation District celebrated the grand opening of its new splash park last Thursday, and nothing paints the scene better than the smiles on the faces of those in attendance.

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“We’ll be here this summer. That’s for sure,” said Dominica Lopez of Denver as she watched her 2-year-old daughter, Jaslynn Flores, splash around in the water.

Located near the ball fields in Clement Park, the splash park is part of the park and recreation district’s continued efforts to improve the 31-year-old regional park. Clement Park upgrades officially began moving forward in December 2013 when the Foothills board of directors approved a master plan that included $24 million in new features and repairs to the park’s decaying infrastructure.

“This takes a village to get this created,” said board chairwoman Lori Bosanko at the grand opening. “From construction and funding and finally implementation today, it took a lot of people.”

Among other people and organizations, executive director Ron Hopp credited Jeffco Open Space for providing $3 million for the improvements.

Later in the evening, as Hopp glanced out at the mass of families enjoying the splash park, he said it felt awesome to finally be able to share the amenity with the district.

Daniel Shaw of Littleton scooped his 2-year-old son, Brylan, up after the pair played for a bit in one of the park’s many water fountain features. Shaw said his family is a huge supporter of the district and loves attending events like Red, White and You, Foothills’ annual Fourth of July celebration.

The splash park celebration was no different; it was a must for Shaw’s family to support.

“We’re so excited this is here,” he said.

Alex Giunta of Littleton lounged on a blanket in the grass with some of her neighbors as her daughter, 9-year-old Madison Olson, joyfully frolicked through the splash park.

It was not Giunta’s first visit to Foothills’ newest offering. Her family lives close enough to ride bikes to Clement Park, and they made a trip to the splash park the week prior to the official grand opening.

“It’s a great idea,” Giunta said. “(The kids) absolutely love it.”