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New splash pad is coming to Washington County Park

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Splash Pad Assembly-04

Bristol Tennessee’s Cameron Clark attaches the water buckets to one of the water features at the Steele Creek Park Splash Pad in May of 2021. Washington County Virginia plans to add a splash pad to Washington County Park and have it open by April 1.

Long-awaited plans to install a splash pad at Washington County Park are finally coming close to reality on the outskirts of Abingdon, Virginia.

The splash pad is a water feature that will serve as a replacement for the park’s long-gone swimming pool, which was removed several years ago and filled in, Tony Fetty, the manager of Washington County Park said.

Ben Casteel, the chairman of the Washington County Park Authority, calls the addition a way “to bring the park into the 21st century.”

The splash pad is slated to be built near Shelters 2 and 3 at the park’s playground.

It’s for kids of all ages, Fetty said.

“Anybody can use it. But you might be hitting your head on some of it,” Fetty said.

In other words, it’s really a children’s area, he said.

The watery play area is set to feature water jets, a water hoop and a mushroom shower.

On Tuesday, the Washington County Board of Supervisors is slated to consider loaning the Park Authority enough money to finish the $150,000 project.

“It will be a good addition,” Supervisor Dwayne Ball said. “This splash pad will be a great asset for the picnic area and the campers, and it will make visiting the park a much more enjoyable experience, especially for kids.”

All money will eventually be paid by the Park Authority for the project, Fetty said.

“It will use no tax money,” he said. “It’s all self-supporting fees collected by the park.”

Washington County Park borders South Holston Lake and was developed decades ago on land owned by the Tennessee Valley Authority. Though most of the park is located in Washington County, a small wooded action stretches over the state border into Sullivan County, Tennessee.

Beyond a boat ramp, picnic area and playground, the park features a small sandy beach plus 140 campsites for RVs and nine primitive campsites for tents.

“We’re trying to make it a nicer, better, more enjoyable place for people outdoors to do things,” Fetty said.

Casteel hopes the splash pad can be constructed over the winter and be ready when the park opens for its full season April 1, he said. “Our primary goal with the splash pad is just to increase use (of the park) by our local community.”

jtennis@bristolnews.com 276-791-0709 @BHC_Tennis

jtennis@bristolnews.com | 276-791-0709 | @BHC_Tennis

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