Tonasket Water Ranch splash park up and running

Lilly, Gunner and Caleb enjoy the Tonasket Water Ranch splash Park, which opened last week for kids to cool off from the summer heat. Katie Teachout/staff photo

Lilly, Gunner and Caleb enjoy the Tonasket Water Ranch splash Park, which opened last week for kids to cool off from the summer heat. Katie Teachout/staff photo

TONASKET – Tonasket’s Water Ranch and Splash Park opened at high noon Friday, July 1. The park, located in Chief Tonasket Park, is free to the public and open daily from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Okanogan County Department of Health gave the final approval for the park to open following approval from Washington State DOH.

“I tell you what, when that guy handed over the permit I kind of started shaking all over, and asking myself, ‘is this really happening?’ I go down several times a day and there are always kids there,” said Linda Black with a laugh of joy and relief at this stage of the project she has held near and dear the last few years.

“Thank you to the private donators, the artisans, and Linda Black and Dave Kester and Hugh Jensen for keeping us focused on the project and to see it to it’s completion,” said Mayor Patrick Plumb. “Because this is the first time this year it has been turned on, if there are problems please call 486-2132 and leave a message.”

The park will be turned over to the city of Tonasket following it’s completion in a month or so.

“I know we need a pool, but I like this because I can sit down here, and not have to worry about her having a lifejacket on,” said Jollie Evans, sitting in some shade while her seven-year-old granddaughter Lilly showed newcomers to the park how to turn the sprinklers on by tapping on any one of the large red buttons located on the concrete floor. “It’s nice because the surface is rough, so they can run around and you don’t have to worry about them slipping.”

The restrooms are open, and a pavilion built by Bob and Jane Thompson of Wizard Works will soon be roofed with benches underneath for picnicking. Meanwhile, there is a picnic table next to the pavilion and benches sprinkled around the splash park.

“The roof and all the donor installations and artwork will be coming in a couple weeks,” said Black. “We wanted to focus on getting the grass settled so we could get this opened.”