Warrick County residents can expect to see changes this summer at Lou Dennis Community Park.

A ribbon-cutting for the park will be held June 3 at 11 a.m.

At a Newburgh Town Council meeting on Nov. 12, 2019, revised plans for the park were presented and supported by a vote of the council, according to the Park Pals website.

Park Pals is a non-profit in Newburgh that works with the Parks Board and the Newburgh Town Council as the fundraising arm for the city parks.

One major change to the park is the removal of the pool. The usage of the pool ended in 2018 because of leaks, according to Park Pals President Joe Kuhn. A new accessible splash pad has been put in its place.

The splash pad currently has tube and fountain prays, a spray leaf and flower and benches on the corners. Kuhn said the splash pad is accessible for all children.

“It’s a lot safer for the kids,” Kuhn said.

According to Kuhn, pools only stay open approximately 10 weeks a year, but the splash pad can stay open for six months. The splash pad will be free for anyone wanting to attend.

Next to the splash pad is new playground equipment consisting of spinner bowls, a wheelchair accessible We-Go-Round, sensory panels and more. The park has a wheelchair available for those who may need it to access the We-Go-Round.

Equipment for the splash pad and playground were purchased through grants, bonds and donations through sponsorships.

“We actually go past the city limits asking for volunteers to help enhance our parks and to donate,” Kuhn said.

According to the Park Pals website, the renovations to the parks does not use tax money from the county. The tax money that goes to the parks only applies to basic maintenance.

The pool building has been renovated to include a community meeting and event center, furnished with a kitchen, that can hold 50 to 75 people. The building now includes a breezeway in the center.

The parking lot has been extended to the basketball and tennis courts. New picnic shelters will be added later on in Phase I. The picnic shelters are around $100,000 each.

Phase II of the upgrades will cover updating the Fortress of Fun, a large playground located next to the main parking lot. The fortress was built in 1998. Phase I covers all the park features.

Residents can purchase bricks in honor and memory of their loved ones to be placed at the park. The money from the bricks go straight to Park Pals and their improvement efforts.

“We welcome everyone to donate,” Kuhn said. “Even if it’s $25, believe me, if the whole community donates $25, we’ve got money to do things.”

For more information about Park Pals and the Newburgh parks, visit newburghparkpals.org or call 812-853-1720.

Lou Dennis Community Park is located at 402 Park Drive in Newburgh. Hours for the splash pad will be 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. seven days a week.

Karah Wilson, kwilson@messenger-inquirer.com--

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