Teaneck parks could eventually be home to new handicapped-accessible water play areas under a concept outlined for the town council this week.
The “splash pads” would upgrade the aging, underused wading pool and initially proposed at Phelps or Sagamore parks, said Bernard Pearson, a member of the Teaneck Parks, Playgrounds and Recreation Advisory Board.
“What we’re proposing is a splash pad. A splash pad is an all-inclusive water park,” Pearson said. “It’s a zero-depth water park that allows children to have a great time.”
The new water park would fill the footprint of a current wading pool, according to the proposal. Splash pads would include sprinklers for children to play.
“When we analyzed the parks in town now, we know that they all could use an upgrade in terms of a water feature,” Pearson told council members Tuesday night.
While the project remains in the early conceptual stages, the committee requested a supporting resolution from council to seek grants for the effort. Council members signaled support for moving ahead with exploring the proposal.
Pearson said the group hoped to launch a fundraising campaign for the project, including reaching out to local merchants and selling bricks at the new splash pads.
The Teaneck-based Girl is Good Foundation, which works with local youth, would also help raise money, according to Pearson, who founded the organization. Pearson said the goal was to raise all the money needed for the splash pads, but it was possible some money could come from the Municipal Open Space Trust Fund.
Dr. George Reskakis, chair of the parks advisory board, said the council’s support was a necessary early move to secure grants for the effort.
“We have an antiqued system of water amenities within our parks,” he said. “Here’s an opportunity for us to create a safe, really fun play environment for our kids.”
Deputy Mayor Adam Gussen said details of the concept were being worked out, but he supported taking a first step.
“If we support this in a general conceptual way then I would like to see us provide the endorsing resolution, and let this incredible group of volunteers and employees move forward,” Gussen said.