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Harrisonburg spraygrounds to include 36 spray features for kids of all ages

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Harrisonburg Parks & Rec Facilities and Projects Manager Scott Erickson talks with kids from the Boys & Girls Clubs of Harrisonburg and Rockingham County at an engagement event this spring for the Spraygrounds at Ralph Sampson Park. (Submitted)

The community is invited to see how their input has shaped the design of spraygrounds planned for Ralph Sampson Park in Harrisonburg.

The designs will be unveiled at a public meeting on Thursday from 4:30 to 6:30 at the Lucy F. Simms Continuing Education Center.

The public is invited to see the designs, see up close images of spray features, talk with project designers and celebrate the upcoming project with others.

Harrisonburg Parks & Rec staff, along with project consultants Nielsen Builders, Kimley-Horn and Southern Playgrounds, held two community engagement sessions and two pop-up events this spring to get feedback on the project.

The community input was used to create an engaging park design.

“It’s been amazing getting to meet with kids from across our community to hear directly from them about what they would like to see included at the spraygrounds and to see how excited they are for this project,” said Vic Garber, Harrisonburg Parks & Rec deputy director.

“This design, which was created based on our community’s input, is really incredible and I’m so excited to see everyone’s reaction when we reveal it.”

The spraygrounds, at approximately 6,000 square feet in size, will include 36 spray features spread across zones tailored for toddlers, teens and families.

Interactive elements will allow children to enjoy different experiences across the park with water spraying up from the ground, dropping out of elevated sprayers and even jetting out of features children can move around themselves.

The project will include a number of other amenities for families, such as shelters and seating areas, restrooms and green space for picnics and other activities.

Construction on the project will begin this fall.

The spraygrounds will be built where the current Ralph Sampson Park baseball field is located, replacing the under-utilized field and adding to the revitalization of the park.

The spraygrounds is one of nearly two dozen American Rescue Plan Act-funded projects, including six Parks & Rec efforts, approved by Harrisonburg City Council in December 2022.

The Continuing Education Center is located at 620 Simms Ave. in Harrisonburg.

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Sprayground to open at Harrisonburg’s Ralph Sampson Park in summer of 2025
Published date: April 17, 2024 | 5:35 pm

Crystal Graham

Crystal Graham

Crystal Abbe Graham is the regional editor of Augusta Free Press. A 1999 graduate of Virginia Tech, she has worked for nearly 25 years as a reporter and editor for several Virginia publications, written a book, and garnered more than a dozen Virginia Press Association awards for writing and graphic design. She was the co-host of "Viewpoints," a weekly TV news show, and co-host of Virginia Tonight, a nightly TV news show. Her work on "Virginia Tonight" earned her a national Telly award for excellence in television.