Charlotte Residents Escape Heat In City Spraygrounds
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CHARLOTTE, NC — With temperatures well above 90 degrees for the 10th day in a row, kids at Veterans Park enjoyed cooling off, while parents were just glad to get out of the house.
“It was hot outside and we couldn’t find a neighborhood pool, so the kids just wanted to get in some water,” said Charlotte resident Shaundra Barkley.
“We get bored at home,” said Charlotte resident Jessica Jones. “We live in a small apartment, so it’s nice to get outside and enjoy the splash park.”
WCCB Charlotte found out all this fun costs the Park and Rec Department $15,000 per operating season–which is about three months–for each of the county’s six locations. That’s $90,000 a summer.
“We need it,” said Charlotte resident Shantia Hill. “A lot of people are not fortunate to pay two, three dollars, so to have something that’s free.”
Across town at Latta Park, moms agree.
“We wouldn’t have a chance to come outside in this heat, because this is what gets us outside, knowing there’s a water park, so it would mean not getting out as often,” said Charlotte resident Jenni Windham.
The money for the spraygrounds comes from the Park Services budget. Park and Rec says it does not anticipate any changes in the hours of operations. In fact, the 2016 budget includes investments in parks.
“The kids are having fun and keeping cool at the same time, so its a plus,” added Hill.
Mecklenburg County spray grounds and pools are free and open through Labor Day from 10 in the morning until 8 at night, seven days a week.