Free Splash Pad and Park Now Open in Northwest Florida

Gaskin, Fla. - It's official. The ribbon has been cut and Walton County residents can now splash into summer at a brand new splash pad. And the cool thing about this splash park behind me, is you don't have to pay to play. 

"It's a gathering place. It's the place where children and families can come and have fun. It's just bringing back the tradition of families back to our area," said Chairwoman Cecilia Jones, Walton County Board of Commissioners. 

For one local family, the Splash Pad Ribbon Cutting was more than just a ceremony, and, the park is more than just a place to play. To the Alford family, it's a place where they can go to remember their father. 

"My husband had worked for Walton County for years and passed away in 2015. We are from this community, so, how more special than to dedicate a park in his name," said Kristin Alford.

"It's special to me because it's my dad's park," said Kinley Alford, 10-yrs-old. 

After the death of a beloved father, county employee and friend, the community came together to remember and to honor J.C. Alford, by naming the park the J.C. Alford Park. 

"It was so special, because we had a county employee, J.C. Alford that passed away and so we named the park after him," said Chairwoman Jones. 

Chairwoman Jones said, her goal is to eventually have a splash pad at every park in the County. Each Splash Pad costs around $12,000. 

"We have one swimming pool, one public swimming pool in the whole county and so, we are trying to do just splash pads. They are not as costly and not as hard to keep up," said Chairwoman Jones. 

"It's something the kids can always look at and you know, tell other people how special, you know, the park is named after my father, right here close to where we live," said Alford. 

After a year in the making, this new project is open and ready for the summer heat. J.C. Aflord Park is now complete with a full playground, nature walk, full restroom facilities and the splash pad.

If you would like to make a splash and visit the new park, you can find it located at 104 County Highway 181 E., DeFuniak Springs.

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