Overview & FAQ

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A volunteer, community-led initiative to bring a regional splash pad recreation area to Dartmouth.

What is this project?

Our vision is the establishment of a facility that will serve all citizens of Halifax with a focus on the Dartmouth Harbour East district. 

As a community-led initiative, our hope is to rally supporters who will help realize this vision. 

What is a splash pad?

A splash pad is a recreation facility that combines flowing, misting, spraying, jetting and splashing water. The result is fun for youth of all ages with added benefits of enhancing physical, social, sensory and cognitive development. 

As a regional facility, it's expected this facility will be a gathering area that includes picnic and shade structures to complement existing park amenities. This will be a place where children can engage in free play, parents can connect and neighbours can build or strengthen ties with each other. 

What is the current status of the splashpad proposal?

The Friends of the Dartmouth Splashpad presented our project at Harbour East Marine Drive Community Council (HEMDCC) in May 2018. During that meeting Councillor Sam Austin put forward a motion to request Halifax Parks and Recreation receive our proposal and report back with recommendations. Our proposal was submitted to Halifax Parks and Recreation in early July 2018, and staff returned a report to HEMDCC in January 2019.

The staff report recommended, and HEMDCC approved, that staff work with Friends of the Dartmouth Splashpad to complete a technical analysis of the Dartmouth Commons site and secure funding for the project. We look forward to continuing to work with Parks and Recreation to develop the project, engage the community, reach out to partners and pursue fundraising opportunities.

Who are the Friends of the Dartmouth Splashpad?

The Friends of the Dartmouth Splash Pad & Park are a community group with a vision of bringing a regional splash pad recreation facility to Dartmouth. See our team.

When will this splash pad be operational?

Once a report on the proposal is completed and a site is approved through the Parks and Recreation Department, it will go before Municipal Council for consideration in the 2019/2020 budget. If approved, the goal is to have the splashpad open for families in the summer of 2020.

Why do you want a splash pad in Dartmouth?

We want to bring BACK PLAY! Families need play.

Water play promotes happier families and more closely-knit communities. We want to create a community gathering place for neighbors, where children can engage in free play, parents can connect, and neighbors can build or strengthen ties with each other.

We want to create a clean, safe community hub that is inclusive and accessible to everyone, including to those with socioeconomic barriers and citizens who live in communities where opportunities for making these kinds of social connections are fewer. We believe that this can be achieved in Graham’s Grove with multiple transit and walking access options.

Play opportunities foster thriving communities and is crucial to delivering a fun, sustainable, safe water play option.

Inclusive | Accessible | Safe | Eco-friendly | PLAY!

How big will this splash pad be and what will it include?

The proposed splash pad is less than 5,000 square feet, about 0.11 of an acre. The proposal includes three different areas of inclusive play for children of all ages and abilities. These areas will include touching, tipping, and spinning water features with various levels of pressure to maintain interest, encourage teamwork, play and movement within the splash pad. We look forward to the  support of Halifax Parks and Recreation in choosing the appropriate design, size, shape, spray features and surrounding elevations for an accessible, inclusive splash pad. 

 Where will the splash pad be located?

Although there are many possible “neighbourhood” park locations that would be suitable for a small scale splash pad, there are fewer options that align with our desire to be centrally located in the middle of Harbour East – Marine Drive with available space to accommodate a regional-scale splash pad. In the staff report, received January 2019, staff recommended the Dartmouth Common (skatepark area) as the most compatible location for a new splashpad.

Dartmouth Common was recommended due to a number of factors, including:

  • It is a designated active recreational open space area within the Dartmouth Common Masterplan 

  • The splashpad can be integrated with existing recreation infrastructure

  • It is centrally located within Dartmouth and close to a major transit terminal for easy access.

Is there enough parking to accommodate a splash pad at the Dartmouth Commons?

This is a something that is top of mind for our team and Halifax Parks & Recreation. The location proposed by Halifax Parks & Recreation is now going through a technical assessment which considers things like access to parking. We look forward to working with their team to address these questions and find solutions that make the 

There are no washroom or change facilities at the Dartmouth Commons, will you add them?

As parents, we understand how important clean, accessible washrooms and change areas are for families. The technical assessment that is being conducted by Halifax Parks & Recreation will address access to washroom and change facilities on the site.