The City of Alton, American Water Charitable Foundation (AWCF), National Recreation & Park Association (NRPA) and Illinois American Water are pleased to announce the completion of the Alton Splash Pad located at 1 Riverfront Drive. The splash pad is open to the community and complies with Center for Disease Control guidelines and state health recommendations.
“This project would not have been possible without the generous collaboration from our City of Alton team, American Water Charitable Foundation, National Recreation & Park Association, and Illinois American Water,” said Mayor David Goins. “Because of the collaborative effort, this educational water play area is truly unique to Alton. It features play features voted on by residents and artwork from a local artist. Residents and visitors alike will enjoy the new splash pad for years to come.”
The City of Alton received a $250,000 Building Better Communities grant from the American Water Charitable Foundation (AWCF) for an inclusive community splash pad to create an equitable and accessible water-based play space that inspires children to connect with nature and the outdoors. The program is administered by the NRPA. Illinois American Water also partnered on the water play space. The City of Alton received additional financial support through the Tax Increment Financing (TIF) program to aid in constructing concession and restroom facilities at the splash pad/amphitheater location.
Karen Cooper, Illinois American Water Director of Business Development, said, “We are proud to partner with these great organizations to create a fun and free place to explore water. Now more than ever, we hope our community can enjoy the new splash pad. Our community, especially our youth, have been through a lot over the past year. They deserve a place to have fun and learn about water. The nature-based play area will help educate our future environmental stewards, increase physical activity and support healthier habits.”
During today’s ribbon cutting the City of Alton revealed educational signage created by local graphic artist Jennifer Hayden. The artwork includes the Clark Bridge and Mississippi River. The nature-themed elements of the splash pad also connect to the community’s location along the Mississippi River.
“We are pleased to have the Alton splash pad come to life. Through our work, we have found splash pads are a wonderful way to support water access for all, while engaging community members in environmental education,” said Carrie Williams, president, American Water Charitable Foundation. “Giving back to communities we serve is part of the culture at American Water and we are pleased to partner with the City of Alton so families can enjoy the wonders of water, while also learning the valuable role we all play in protecting our environment.”
AWCF has partnered with NRPA for the past eight years to bring water and nature-based play amenities to communities across the country through its Building Better Communities Grant Program. The goal of the program is to connect and educate individuals, families and children on environmental stewardship practices related to water and other natural resources.
“We are proud to support the essential work of park and recreation professionals in the City of Alton to residents and visitors with equitable water-based education and inclusive play opportunities,” said Kellie May, NRPA vice president, programs and partnerships. “NRPA is proud to support this important work through our partnership with the American Water Charitable Foundation.”
The City of Alton was one of two communities awarded a Building Better Communities grant in 2019. It is the first educational splash pad of this type in Alton.
For information about the Building Better Communities program, visit https://www.amwater.com/AWCFSignature-Program.
The American Water Charitable Foundation was established in 2010 with a founding contribution from American Water, the American Water Charitable Foundation is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization that provides a formal way to demonstrate the company’s ongoing commitment to being a good neighbor, citizen and contributor to the communities where American Water and its employees live, work and operate. The Foundation helps support American Water employee-identified nonprofit endeavors.
The National Recreation and Park Association is a national not-for-profit organization dedicated to ensuring that all people have access to parks and recreation for health, conservation and social equity. Through its network of 60,000 recreation and park professionals and advocates, NRPA encourages the promotion of healthy and active lifestyles, conservation initiatives and equitable access to parks and public space. For more information, visit www.nrpa.org. For digital access to NRPA’s flagship publication, Parks & Recreation, visit www.parksandrecreation.org.
About Illinois American Water - Illinois American Water, a subsidiary of American Water (NYSE: AWK), is the largest investor-owned water utility in the state, providing high-quality and reliable water and/or wastewater services to approximately 1.3 million people. American Water also operates a customer service center in Alton and a quality control and research laboratory in Belleville.