Work starts on splash pad at sports park

Posted 4/27/23

OKEECHOBEE – After years of waiting, work has started on the Splash Pad at the Darrel Enfinger Sports Complex in Okeechobee County.

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Work starts on splash pad at sports park


OKEECHOBEE – After years of waiting, work has started on the Splash Pad at the Darrel Enfinger Sports Complex in Okeechobee County.

At the April 27 meeting of the Okeechobee County Commission, Community Services and Tourism Director Denise Whitehead said her department is “really excited about this grant moving forward.

“I started work on this grant in 2019,” she explained.

After grant funds were approved, the project was delayed due to the covid pandemic and by disruptions in supply chains making it difficult to obtain the materials needed to build the splash pad.

Whitehead said splash pad site preparation has now started. She said construction will take a couple of months.

“We should be splashing around by the summer,” Whitehead said.

Other recreation improvements are also underway around the county. A fitness trail planned for the sports complex is in the engineering phase. Dock and gangway replacements are underway at Scott Driver Recreation Area. An airboat launch area is planned at the Clif Betts Jr. Lakeside Recreation Area (Lock 7).

Whitehead said concrete cornhole game boards have been installed at Kiwanis Park and at the sports complex. These have proven popular. She said they also added a dropdown basketball goal at the sports complex so smaller children could enjoy learning the game.

Grant funds have been obtained for a pump track which will be built near the skateboard area at Kiwanis Park. A pump track can be used by skateboarders, skaters and bicyclists. Whitehead said softball field renovations and other playground upgrades are also planned.

In other business at the April 27 meeting, commissioners accepted the low bid of $57,500 for infield expansion of county softball field #1. The project will be partially funded by the Okeechobee County School Board, which will contribute $35,000.

Work will include grading and removal of existing turf, the utilization of current infield clay to create a base for the newly expanded infield, hauling unusable materials off site, delivering and compacting new 70/30 clay sand mix, ensuring positive drainage to avoid pooling within the infield, and site restoration.

County staff has identified a significant increase in usage of all county sports fields and courts and, over past few years, Since August, Parks and Recreation staff has enforced reservation policies to assist in tracking this usage. In particular, the softball fields at the Okeechobee Softball Fields facility have experienced considerable usage from private travel baseball and softball teams, adult softball leagues, Okeechobee Citizens Recreation Association (OCRA) teams, Parks and Recreation programs, community organizations, and the Okeechobee County School District (for both baseball and softball use). Additionally, the softball fields have been used for kick ball games, soccer games, football practice, field days for Yearling Middle School, sports clinics, co-ed softball tournaments and league try-outs.

Okeechobee, splash pad