Merrigum’s newest feature opens with a splash

By James Bennett

With the press of a button, Merrigum youngsters can have fun while remaining cool on hot days.

The town's new $325 000 splash park was officially opened on Friday and is already proving to be a hit.

A giant pouring bucket is the feature item plus cleverly designed water cannons, flowers, mushrooms and circle spray rings.

Merrigum Community Group secretary Rachael Rowe said it was a five-year community-driven effort to get the exciting new water feature.

“It has been an amazing effort, mostly by our former president Sally (Horan),” she said.

“We did sausage sizzles, town garage sales, raffle after raffle, we were lucky to get donations, Australia Day pool party — it's just momentous fundraising over and over again.

“Being a rural town, we have 700 people here, a large majority of that is children. For them to go to the nearest splash park they have to drive to Shepparton.”

Some of the fun is kid-contributed with part of the design coming from local primary school students.

Hannah, 5, and Emily Croxford, 7 from Kyabram.

City of Greater Shepparton Mayor Seema Abdullah said it was a "fantastic example" of what could be achieved when community members banded together.

“The community did a fantastic job of raising $10 000,” she said.

“Merrigum Community Group has been very active in this space. As are part of their planning activities they've been highlighting some important features and requirements in the town.

“It was not only their idea but they actually worked towards this idea and made sure that it happened.

“It took them a while but they did not give up — and hats off to them.”

Cr Abdullah said the Merrigum Splash Park would serve as a good draw-card for the small town.

She said other than Aquamoves in Shepparton, it was the only splash park for 110 km.

“I've heard people from other towns such as Kyabram access this facility. Everybody is looking for something like this for summer in hot weather.”

The adjacent perimeter fence is set to be replaced with a new fence and gate to allow access for when the pool is closed.

“This means the splash park can be used a lot more. People can let themselves in and press the button to start it up,” Ms Rowe said.