With squeals of delight, children enjoyed the newly renovated splash pad at Bergfeld Park under the watchful eye of Splasher the dolphin.
City officials, donors and other community members gathered Tuesday to formally open the public water feature.
Splasher’s presence at the park dates back to the 1960s. A citywide contest in 1968 garnered 300-plus entries, with Splasher selected as the winning name. Originally, the dolphin functioned as a fountain, but over time fell into disrepair due to children’s play, heat, snow and ice.
An initial renovation took place in 2005 when local Rotarians invested in the repair of the splash pad to coincide with the organization’s 100th anniversary.
This time around Rotarians again stepped up to the plate to raise money and the refurbishment was completed with 100% private funding. Private donors are recognized on a plaque near the feature.
Splasher the dolphin has been moved to one side of the splash pad, which offers multiple fountains. The expanded water feature is set farther back from Broadway Avenue and serves as a gateway to the amphitheater. Pressing a button on the ground activates the splash pad for 15 minutes.