The Town of Haughton has debuted the new splash pad at Joe Delaney Memorial Park.
Photos posted to their Facebook page has given residents a sneak peek at the fun they’ll have when the temperatures warm up. Park Committee chairwoman Martha McGee said the kids are “going to love it.”
“It’s been a work in progress, but it’s really coming along,” she said. “We’re real excited about it.”
Last June, the town secured a $250,000 matching grant from the Land & Water Conservation Fund Program to pay for the splash pad and several other projects, including pavilions, a walking trail, benches and tables. All of the projects have been approved, but they can only build one thing at a time.
The first item on their list was the splash pad. Now they will move on to the pavilions.
“We’re doing three or four pavilions,” McGee said. “Each will have a table and chairs. We’re also going to put grills out there so families can cook as well.”
When the pavilions are done, McGee said they will do the walking trail around the park.
“It’s going to be real nice,” she said. “I think we’ll be amazed at the number of people that come because of what we’re adding. We’ve never had anything like this in Haughton. Splash pads are very popular and we’re excited to have one at our park.”
Joe Delaney Memorial Park was dedicated Oct. 29, 2016 in memory of Haughton native Joe Delaney. The two-sport All-American at Northwestern State University in Natchitoches and a Pro Bowl running back for the Kansas City Chiefs died June 29, 1983 while trying to save three children from drowning in a pond near Monroe.
McGee said a park was the perfect way to honor Joe.
“When [Joe] reached the pros, he said he was going to come back to Haughton and build a park for the kids. Joe loved kids,” McGee said. “Every time I go by there and see the kids playing, I know Joe is looking down with a smile on his face.”
Future projects include a sand volleyball court and shade canopies for the playground equipment. McGee is really proud of the way Joe’s park has come together over the years.
“This has been a project has been so worthwhile to us,” she said. “We’re honoring someone that needed to be honored and giving the town of Haughton a nice park to enjoy.”
By Amanda Simmons