As one of the hottest summers on record draws to a close, county, local and state officials officially dedicated a new resource designed to help children in central and western Niagara County cool down.
On Aug. 30, State Sen. George D. Maziarz had the honor of cutting the ribbon at a new splash park installed in Wheatfield's Oppenheim Park. The joint state-county project, which had a soft opening earlier in the summer, has provided area youth a cool place to play even as temperatures have regularly soared into the 80s and 90s.
Joining Maziarz at the ribbon-cutting were Niagara County Legislator Kathryn Lance, Assemblyman John D. Ceretto, Wheatfield Supervisor Bob Cliffe, County Legislature Chairman William L. Ross and Noelle Kardos from the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation. Not pictured is County Legislator Dave Godfrey.
Oppenheim Park is located at 2713 Niagara Falls Blvd., in Wheatfield. It is open from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily through September. The splash park is accessed through the main entrance. The 92-acre Oppenheim Park also features various pavilions, a band shelter, basketball, volleyball and tennis courts, a small lake that is stocked with fish annually, three restroom facilities and two playgrounds.
The county received $163,968 in Niagara River Greenway funds and $159,560 from the state Environmental Protection Fund to pay for the Oppenheim project. The Greenway money was to be used to meet the matching requirement for the state grant, meaning there was no property tax cost for the project, county officials said when the funds were approved in 2010.
The Oppenheim grants were paired with similar funding for a splash park in Krull Park, Olcott, which opened last year.