New Spray Pad Will Keep Kids Cool at East Watertown Park

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Children enjoy the new spray pad at Filippello Park in East Watertown. (Photo by Charlie Breitrose)

On a warm afternoon, dozens of children waited patiently for City officials to declare the new and improved spray pad at Filippello Park open so they could run through the cooling streams of water.

Friday’s ribbon cutting marked the official opening of the new feature that has 15 spray features, including geysers, an aquadome, a lunar cannon and a palm tree on 2,500 sq. ft. of non-porous rubber play surface. The spray pad had a soft opening on Memorial Day weekend, and the youth of Watertown have discovered it, said Assistant Recreation Director Ernie Thebado. 

“I am so excited to have this spray park here in Filippello Park,” Thebado said. “I have been coming down here the last few days and this place has been packed.”

The children who came out Friday were also treated to ice cream provided by Ben & Jerry’s and cotton candy made by Dan Master of Critter Control.

Dan Master of Critter Control makes cotton candy for one of the children attending the spray pad ribbon cutting at Filippello Park. (Photo by Charlie Breitrose)

City Manager George Proakis said the water feature is just one on a list of several projects in Watertown’s parks.

“The entire City Council has been supportive. I have been spending quite a bit of time working with them on trying to get a list of park improvements put together by the Recreation Department and DPW the last few years — something that (Public Works Superintendent) Greg St. Louis and (Recreation Director) Peter Centola have worked very hard on,” Proakis said. “I want to make sure that we get each and every one of them done and have more ribbon cuttings like this.”

Watertown City Manager George Proakis (in black) cuts the ribbon at the new spray pad at Filippello Park, along with City Councilor Caroline Bays, Assistant Recreation Director Ernie Thebado (in red), Recreation staff, and a large group of children. (Photo by Charlie Breitrose)

Some of the bigger projects on the list include Victory Field Phase 2, which focuses on the oval and courts area, and Arsenal Park Phase B, which includes improvements to the athletic field, playground, and gazebo. The work at Arsenal Park will take place this summer, while plans have not been finalized for Victory Field.

The spray pad adds to the amenities at the park located in East Watertown, Thebado said.

“Filippello Park is one of the special parks in the City, for me,” he said. “We have multiple amenities here: a dog park — probably one of the biggest on the East Coast — we have out pickleball court, we also have a basketball court, we have our futsal court, a softball field and we have a soccer field used by Watertown Youth Soccer. So, this is a very busy, busy park.”

 The spray pad was designed by CDM Smith, and Quirk Construction was chosen to do the work after submitting the lowest bid of $574,150.

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