Families anxiously await repairs to Lakes Park splash pads

Reporter: Emma Heaton Writer: Emma Heaton
Published: Updated:

With summer heat in full swing, Southwest Florida families are looking for ways to cool off.

Previously, the splash pads at Lakes Park in Fort Myers were a popular spot, but they’ve been closed since Hurricane Ian, disappointing many families.

A local mom shared her 6-year-old son’s question: “Why are they not fixing it?”

Signs at the splash pads read: “Lakes Park Water Features CLOSED Due to Hurricane Ian. Extensive damages require rebuilding. Staff are working diligently. Thank you for your patience.”

Despite the signs, no reconstruction was visible when WINK News visited the park.

Concerned residents have posted on Facebook, stressing the need for normalcy and affordable recreation.

Elle Burgess and her son Adrian miss the splash pads.

“Why isn’t anything being done?” Burgess asked. “If it’s a money issue, why aren’t we having a fundraiser?”

The county stated that both splash pads need a total replacement and are undergoing an engineering study to secure FEMA funds. The damages exceed $1 million, covering complete demolition and replacement.

The splash pads are expected to reopen in the second half of 2025, according to the county. The delay is due to the need for FEMA reimbursement, specific procurement processes and compliance with Florida Department of Health regulations.

In the meantime, the closest splash pad is at Veterans Park and the county has four pools open year-round and a fifth open in the summer.

Copyright ©2024 Fort Myers Broadcasting. All rights reserved.

This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without prior written consent.