Summer is back with a splash
New and renovated aquatic parks across St. Charles County offer family fun and cool relief from sweltering heat
By Brett Auten
The time is upon us. Sunglasses, flip-flops and sunscreen are soon to become week-to-week staples.
Area residents and visitors can now test drive a new water park, and some of their old favorites revamped for the opening weekend.
St. Peters is prepped and ready to unveil The Cove. Located next to Rec-Plex South at 5270 Mexico Rd., The Cove at St. Peters is a new type of outdoor aquatics park. It has been two years since The Cove, the result of the passing of Prop Q and the first-ever “water park style,” outside aquatic facility in St. Peters, broke ground.
“The warm weather already has everyone getting that summer feeling, and if it continues, it should make for a great opening weekend,” Brian Bacyinski Recreation Superintendent for the city of St. Peters, said. “The people are excited to see what they voted for and what they are going to get. I feel like we are going to give them something to be proud of.”
Catching everyone’s eye will be the waterslides where those of all ages and are at least 48 inches tall can take a trip down two intertwining waterslides that start from a 21-foot high platform. One is a 175-foot long open flume body slide and the other a faster 120-foot closed body slide.
Bacyinski believes that the 3,200-square-foot Activity/Sports Pool will help separate The Cove for other water respites. The Activity/Sports Pool is versatile with its basketball hoops and is ideally suited for water volleyball and basketball but can also be used for aqua aerobics, water walking, lap swimming and rentals.
The Cove features an 8,000-square-foot leisure pool with a wide zero-entry beach that has shade structures on each corner. The leisure pool has an elevated play structure with steps and multiple water features including a dumping bucket, and a slide from a high platform. The rest of the leisure area includes underwater benches and peninsula barriers that separate activities from more relaxing areas for parents and families.
“It is going to be fun and exciting but not big and crazy,” Bacyinski said. “We may not be able – nor do we want to – compete with all of the water slide parks. We feel we offer something for everyone.”
For more information on The Cove, including how to rent out party pavilions, visit www.stpetersmo.net.
In other summer splash news, there will be a celebration for the new Wapelhorst & Blanchette Aquatic facilities.
The city of St. Charles Parks & Recreation Department is having a dedication celebration and official ribbon cutting for the new Wapelhorst and Blanchette Aquatic Facilities on Thursday from 6 to 10 p.m. at the Wapelhorst Aquatic Facility. After the ribbon cutting, there will be music, games and, of course, the new facility for all to enjoy. The event is free and open to the public.
“These are premier facilities that we are sure residents and visitors to our city will enjoy for many years to come as we continue the aquatics tradition,” Maralee Britton, director of the city of St. Charles Parks and Recreation Department, said.
The renovation of the Wapelhorst Aquatic Facility, along with the Blanchette Aquatic Facility, was possible due to the passing Proposition P in August of 2016. The residents approved a half-cent sales tax for Parks and Stormwater projects. Over the 15-year life of the sales tax, it will generate $21 million for the parks & recreation department. Of that amount, $18 million was set aside for the replacement of the Blanchette Aquatic Facility and renovation of the Wapelhorst Aquatic Facility. The remaining $3 million was allocated towards playground replacements, athletic field light upgrades and ball field improvements. St. Charles Mayor Sally Faith expressed gratefulness to the city’s residents for supporting Proposition P.
“We are so excited to share the results of that effort with the opening of our new aquatic facilities,” Faith said.
The Wapelhorst Aquatic Facility is located at 1875 Muegge Road in St. Charles. For more information, contact the Parks & Recreation Department at 636-949-3372.
And the ever-popular Alligator Creek has received a facelift as well.
O’Fallon’s Alligator’s Creek Aquatic Center, located at O’Fallon Civic Park, has expanded to twice its original size. Among the new features are a modern bathhouse, a new concession stand, a longer lazy river with a zero-depth beach entrance, a new splash pad for kids of all abilities, a floating bridge and a new pool with a fun waterway that connects a larger pool with a newly-installed interactive water playground. Also, the pool will open an hour earlier each day at 11 a.m. The facility will be open from Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day. For information on admission or hours of operations, visit ofallon.mo.us/parks&rec.
CUTLINES: Submitted photos
Cover-Water1&2 The Cove, located next to Rec-Plex South in St. Peters is a new type of outdoor aquatics park that features an 8,000-square-foot leisure pool with a wide zero-entry beach that has shade structures on each corner.
Cover-Water3 The renovation of the Wapelhorst Aquatic Facility was possible due to the passing Proposition P in August of 2016. The Wapelhorst Aquatic Facility is located at 1875 Muegge Road in St. Charles.
Cover-Water4 The renovation of the Blanchette Aquatic Facility was possible due to the passing Proposition P in August of 2016.