Mt. Vernon Prepares to Open Water Park


By Fanna Haile-Selassie
By Jared Roberts

MT. VERNON -- The countdown to summer is on for many people, especially those in the Mt. Vernon area, hoping to try out the new water park that is opening soon. After six years of planning and $6 million, the city is finally putting on the finishing touches, and there is a lot to do at the Aquatic Zoo. 

You want a lazy river? Mt. Vernon has it. How about a kiddie water section? The city has it too. And then there are the water slides. One uses tubes to splash your way down and another generates three G-forces as you slide down it.  
"By the time you think you're going to scream, you hit the water. So that's what's so great about it, it's a thrill," exclaims Mt. Vernon Park Director George Bryant.
He says city officials really listened to the public when they designed the Aquatic Zoo, adding features you'd typically see at a water park in a much larger city.  
"This facility is the result of the community's suggestions," says Bryant. "We had countless meetings, not only with groups, but individuals. We went to the schools, asked the kids to draw pictures. This is their facility, their ideas."
Mayor Mary Jane Chesley says the park is a great addition for Mt. Vernon. It will add 60 to 80 jobs this summer and hopefully bring more traffic to the city.  
"The thing that excites me the most is the fact that it's going to provide entertainment for individuals and also for families from all over the area," she says.
The water park is $6 a day for kids, $8 for adults, and there are also summer-long pool passes to check out. The Aquatic Zoo officially opens Memorial Day weekend on May 24.
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