GREENSBURG – Area children and the young at heart now have a new way to keep their cool this summer thanks to community fundraising and partnerships between public and private entities.

The city’s new splash pad was officially dedicated with a ribbon cutting ceremony Tuesday morning in Rebekah Park on Greensburg’s far east side.

The new attraction, which is open to the public from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. seven days a week throughout the summer, was made possible, in large part, by a $40,000 donation from Delta Faucet Company. Other donors also helped defray the cost.

A large concrete area featuring several water jets spray cool, refreshing water for 5 minutes at a time when visitors push a red button located on a pole just to the side of the splash pad. This is unlike many similar water features in surrounding communities that feature continually streaming water whether anyone is there to enjoy it or not.

In addition, the splash pad has been painted in such a way that Decatur County’s nine townships are easily identifiable, thus providing a local geography lesson in addition to a way of cooling off.

Greensburg Parks Director Bob Barker said the splash pad idea has been discussed for years and indicated he’s pleased it is now a local reality.

“This is a great day,” Barker said. “We’ve got plans for a larger water playground at the [city] pool. That’s depending on funding, so we need a major contributor to get that off the ground. It’s expensive, but it can be done.”

Barker said the total cost of the splash pad effort is roughly $65,000 and noted nearly $50,000 was saved by selecting a single vendor rather than dealing with multiple entities.

The idea of a splash pad came to light during the Stellar Communities Designation Program bid in 2017, when the community put forth several ideas to improve Greensburg and make it more appealing to current and future residents.

The splash pad was one of many projects suggested, along with a dog park, streetscape designs, and more.

Though Greensburg did not receive the Stellar designation, coordinator David Fry said many of the projects are moving forward through the “Tree-mendous Transformation Group,” which consists of representatives from the Chamber of Commerce, Visitors and Recreation Bureau, Community Foundation, Main Street Greensburg, and the Economic Development Corporation.

“Major improvements at Rebekah Park were identified as something that was necessary to improve the quality of life and help attract new residents to the area,” Fry explained prior to Tuesday’s ribbon cutting.

Keith Moenter, Human Resources Director for Delta, said his company is pleased to support a community project that has to do with water.

“This is awesome, a terrific addition to the community,” Moenter said. “It’s right next to the park, and we’re happy that area kids and families will be able to enjoy it.”

Decatur County Tourism Executive Director Phillip Diewert agreed the splash pad is a big plus for the Decatur County community.

“This is the kind of thing that’s going to draw people into the community,” he said. “This is part of the big picture when it comes to quality of life issues, and I think it’s going to have a big, positive impact on the community.”

Mayor Dan Manus also was on hand for the ribbon cutting. He thanked the many individuals and businesses who contributed to the project in some way and also indicated he is looking forward to area residents making use of the new splash pad.

“I think it’s just great,” the mayor said, “and we’ve got a lot of people to thank for it.”

Those wishing to donate directly to this project can do so through the Decatur County Community Foundation by earmarking contributions for the “splash pad.” Donations can be made in person or online at www.dccfound.org/donate.

Other projects in the works include an amphitheater at Rebekah Park, which Fry said the group is working toward. Duke Energy gave a $12,000 grant to help and fundraising efforts are ongoing. Fry said the project is expected to cost around $100,000.

Also, more murals will be coming to the area soon, increasing the public art available in the ArtisTREE district.

For more information about Tree-mendous Transformation efforts, suggestions for new public projects, or ways to help, email greensburgprogress@gmail.com or call Barker at 812-663-8284.

Kevin Green may be contacted at kevin.green@greensburgdailynews.com or 812-663-3111 x 7056.