Butte's playground

BUTTE- After a snowy winter, crews in the Mining City are hard at work finishing up the multi-million dollar renovations at Stodden Park.

The park now includes the new playground, a new archway and of course the Ridge Waters Water Park. A portion of the renovations were made possible by a $5.5 million donation from the Dennis and Phyllis Washington Foundation.

Park officials say they're excited to open Ridge Waters for the second season, which is set to kick off on June 8. The opening day was pushed back due to construction in the park around Ridge Waters. The pools are set to be filled on Memorial Day Weekend.

Parks and Rec. Director J.P. Gallagher says the county is in charge of hiring lifeguards this year and they're already training them to be ready for the June opening. Gallagher says having lifeguards hired by the water park will better help them manage the park this summer.

Butte parent Melanie Wendt says her son, Dean, loves the new playground and she says it's great to see such positive improvements to the entire park.

"It's nice to know we have a park that's build on making sure kids have an excuse in a good way to be active and be healthy and be able to play," Wendt said.

However, renovations aren't complete on the new playground.

Gallagher says they'll close the playground for a week around Memorial Day to put new surfacing down.

"That's what makes that playground an all-inclusive playground. That way people will be able to navigate with walkers or wheelchairs and stuff like that to get to all the apparatuses we have over there," Gallagher says.

Gallagher says they're excited to have the Butte community see all their hard work once the renovations are complete. A ribbon cutting is slated for June 18 with the Dennis and Phyllis Washington foundation to celebrate the new and improved park.

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