By Nathan Pfau, Army Flier Staff WriterJune 24, 2016
FORT RUCKER, Ala. (June 24, 2016) -- When that familiar wave of heat grips the Wiregrass during the summer months, Fort Rucker is always there to offer a place for people to cool down.
Splash! Pool and Spray Park is one of Fort Rucker's most popular and well-known swimming hot spots that gives families of Soldiers and civilians a unique way to stay cool during some of hottest months of the year, according to Robert Koren, Directorate of Family, and Morale, Welfare and Recreation aquatics manager.
The park is currently open six days a week, Wednesdays--Mondays (closed on Tuesdays) from 11 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Splash! boasts the largest recreational pool on post available to the general public, and features a host of amenities to keep children, teens and adults entertained for hours.
With a little something for everyone, the park houses a pool, which all ages can enjoy, two slides, a rock wall, diving board, and a spray park with multiple spray features that small children can enjoy. There is also the Tiki bar for adults that serves food and beverages, and has tables and lounge chairs, so they can relax as their children play.
The park is a great, local getaway with multiple attractions suited for all ages at an affordable price, he said.
For Emily Simpson, military spouse, and her children, Splash! is one place they said can't be beat when it comes to beating the heat on a local level.
"I think this place is absolutely amazing to bring your children for a day out, especially to cool off when it's getting hot," she said. "I really didn't expect that this would be here on the installation, but my children love it and we have a good time coming out with all of our friends to get our children together and just have a good time."
Simpson said it's not just the location that makes it easy and convenient for her family to get away for a day on the water, but the prices, as well.
"We just get the season pass because we know we're going to be out here a lot," she said. "You really can't beat it. Instead of packing up and heading to the beach, which we still do from time to time, we can just save on some gas, and come here and we'll have just as much fun -- it's really great."
The price for admission depends on military affiliation and age: admission for active-duty personnel, family members and retirees is $3 for ages 3-17, and $4 for 18 and up; Department of Defense employees, family members and contractors is $4 for ages 3-17, and $5 for 18 and up; and admission for the general public is $5 for ages 3-17, and $6 for 18 and up. Children ages 2 years and younger are admitted for free. A 15-percent discount is available for groups of 15-50 people.
Season passes are also available for purchase, and prices start at $40 per person for active-duty personnel and retirees, and season passes will be good through the end of the summer season. For a full list of season pass prices, visit http://rucker.armymwr.com/us/rucker/programs/aquatics.
SPLASH! is also available for rent for private parties after park hours for $125 per hour, beginning at 5:30 p.m. and can be rented as late as 9 p.m. In order to schedule a party, patrons must check with the front desk of the Fort Rucker Physical Fitness Center on Andrews Avenue for availability.
Not only is Splash! one of the most enjoyable facilities on post for people to visit, but it's also one of the safest with more than 60 lifeguards on staff who watch over all of Fort Rucker's swimming facilities to provide a safe, fun swimming environment, said Koren.
Safety at SPLASH! is always a top priority, he said. Between eight to 12 lifeguards are scheduled at the park each day, and each lifeguard is trained in American Red Cross lifeguarding, first aid, CPR and AED administration every two years.
Additionally, the lifeguard staff participates in mandatory in-service training to refresh and perfect lifesaving skills every two weeks.
Army regulation also requires that people utilizing the swimming facilities on Fort Rucker only use U.S. Coast Guard-approved flotation aides. Also, children who wish to ride the slides must be at least 36 inches tall and be able to swim on their own.