Photo courtesy of the Town of Haughton Facebook page

The Town of Haughton has opened the splash pad at Joe Delaney Memorial Park.

The splash pad is currently open seven days a week from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. and again from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. The town’s Facebook page says these will be the operation hours until further notice.

“We’ve never had anything like this in Haughton,” Park Committee chairwoman Martha McGee said. “Splash pads are very popular and we’re excited to have one at our park.”

It’s the latest addition to the park, built in honor of Haughton native Joe Delaney, and there’s still more to come. The next phase includes building pavilions and seating areas.

“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. Other future projects include a sand volleyball court and shade canopies for the playground equipment.

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.

“It’s been a work in progress, but it’s really coming along,” McGee said.

Joe Delaney Memorial Park was dedicated Oct. 29, 2016. Delaney, a 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.

Building a park was the perfect way to honor Joe, McGee said.

“This has been a project has been so worthwhile to us. We’re honoring someone that needed to be honored and giving the town of Haughton a nice park to enjoy. I know Joe is looking down with a smile on his face.”

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