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PHOTO GALLERY: Beat the heat — Splash Park opens in North Valleys


Story and photos by Vega | CLICK HERE to view a full-screen slideshow

Washoe County announced today the grand opening of the North Valleys Water Splash Park. The 7,100 square-foot, aviation themed park is located at 8085 Silver Lake Road in Stead. The park is open 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Washoe County is offering free admission on opening day.

The park features over 60 spray heads and 20 different water features, and is supported by two miles of water pipe. The park features a state-of-the-art water filtration system for minimal water loss. A splash pad surface covering the water area reduces the risk of slipping and keeps the surface temperature low to prevent burnt feet. A concession stand and restroom facilities are also available.

The parks features include copies of the Stead Airport, including the air tower and runway. Many airplanes, reminiscent of the air races, populate the landscape. A tribute to RareBare, many time participant of the Reno Air Races, tops the tallest water feature.

Brett Steinhardt, project manager, said the park is a zero-depth water feature.

“It works like a pool,” he said.

The park is graded to allow the water to drain to a common point. All the water drains into a filtration system and through a pump house where it is treated with ultraviolet light and recycled back into the park.

“This was a great opportunity for the community, the county staff and the design team to come together and produce a great result,” said Steinhardt.

Bill Weare, aquatic supervisor, manages the park, along with Lazy 5 Regional Park and Bowers Mansion swimming pool. He noted this park has provided five new jobs, three which are staffed by local high school students.

Washoe County Commissioner Bonnie Weber. Image: Chris Vega.

The park’s construction began in March of 2013 but was delayed due to insufficient manufacturer’s parts and an electrical system that needed upgrading. The $3.2 million for the project was funded by the sale of Sierra Sage Golf Course groundwater rights.

Bonnie Weber, in her role as County Commissioner, said she was able to make sure the money from the sale of the water rights went back into the local community. She wanted something future generations could enjoy.

“We needed something for our families,” said Weber. The North Valleys Park was scarce on features.

“The only building on the property was mistaken for a fire station,” said Weber.

After her work with the Commission, she said she is proud of having something her grand kids are able to enjoy.

Regular hours/admission:

  • May 18 – June 15: weekends only
  • June 16 – Aug. 9: open daily
  • Aug. 10 – Sept.-1: weekends only
  • Hours of operation: 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. all season
  • Daily admission: $3 per person, per day. Ages 2 and under and seniors (62+) are free.
    5–visit punch pass is available for $13.50 and 10-visit punch pass is available for $24.
  • More information: www.washoecounty.us/parks/aquatics


Christopher Vega
Christopher Vega
Christopher Vega, born in Madison, Tenn., is married, father of three boys and a late bloomer to education. He has 15 years of experience working with disadvantaged youth and is completing two degrees in Journalism and Art.




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