On today’s front page, you’ll find a story sharing some of the complaints that have come in since the Atoka splash park opened on July 5.
Some of these complaints range from concerns over secondhand smoking to complaints over the water being too cold.
Yes, you read that right. Someone is complaining, on a day with a heat index of 104, that the water is too cold.
Who’s going to make sure those heinous criminals known simply as bored teenagers won’t loiter?
Who’s going to be the fashion police?
Who’s going to make sure food isn’t brought into the fenced-in area?
Who’s going to ensure children don’t slip and fall while they’re running around on a wet surface?
And then there was the false report that a busload of “inner city kids” from Memphis was utilizing the splash pad and that it just wasn’t right.
Are you kidding me, Atoka?
Last week I took my niece and nephew to splash around in the sprinklers and pretend to play volleyball on the new sand courts. They are four and five and enjoyed shooting at each other with the water guns, digging in the sand, waving hello to friends.
There must have been 200-300 other people there that night, and, much to my surprise after reading the posts in the Fans of Atoka group on Facebook, we had no problems.
No one was smoking, drinking or doing drugs. At least not where this overprotective aunt could see.
Everyone was appropriately dressed.
The teenagers there were not terrorizing anyone.
There was no food on the splash pad or volleyball court.
The water temperature was appropriate given the outdoor temperature.
In fact, everyone was happy or content. The children were having fun and the adults even seemed to be enjoying themselves. The park was clean, parking wasn’t an issue and two police officers were walking the grounds as we left.
At the risk of sharing a positive experience about the park, we had a great time that night and plan to return.
There’s been much discussion by residents who want the park to be an Atoka-only facility, but I disagree with that sentiment (especially because I live in Covington). The alleged busload of “inner city kids” was actually a bus carrying a load of children from a YMCA camp in Munford, but that shows you how people are overreacting.
What if it was true, though? What if children were visiting from Memphis? Show them some hospitality, show them why you love living in Tipton County. Who cares where they live?
Instead of finding issue with this park, I want to publicly applaud city and elected officials for making this happen. You did a fine job, ladies and gentlemen.
I wish Covington could have something so nice, but … well, it’s Covington and here juveniles burn down entire volunteer-built playgrounds instead of just pavilions.
Enjoy your upscale amenities, friends, and look on the bright side. You have a really great thing going.
This column was published in The Leader on July 18, 2013. Copyright © 2013 The Leader/Echo Day. Not to be republished without written consent.