83.7 F
Charlotte Amalie
Wednesday, July 24, 2024


March 29, 2002 – The 10-foot-high yellow mushroom is sprouting bright streams of water into the Easter weekend sunlight at high noon Friday as the blue, green, yellow and orange tumble buckets dump water on a handful of youngsters racing to pounce on yellow lemon drops and see more water shoot out.
Darlan Brin's fanciful notion of more than 18 months ago is a now a happy reality. Brin is senior planner for the Port Authority, and the water park is his pet project, although he shies from taking credit for it. In July of 2000, the park was a cement slab adjacent to Phase I of Lindbergh Bay Park, the little area with the colorful slides and natural wood gazebo at the west end of the beach.
Back then, Brin one day was flipping through the pages of an issue of the magazine Landscape Architecture. "It all came from an idea I saw in here," he said then, anxious to show pictures of the equipment. He expected the park would open in the fall of 2000, but it wasn't all that easy
There was a Coastal Zone Management permit to get, and solar panels to install that would provide energy for a windmill to pump seawater to the park. The water doesn't come directly to the park but is filtered through sand at 750 gallons a minute and then pumped on a circuitous route back to the sea through a series of drains.
For the safety of the children, the water doesn't accumulate; it drains right back out.
For this reason, the park provides an opportunity for children to have fun playing in the water without knowing how to swim. It helps them get over any fear of water they may have.
The park's floor is a bright blue and green rubberized surface designed to prevent young feet from slipping. It was the park's most recent hurdle before this weekend's opening.
Albert Brooks, a VIPA carpenter, leaned against the wood railing, smiling at all the kids running around jumping, getting water all over themselves and anything else that was handy. "I've worked with Darlan since it started," he said, "and it's had a lot of problems to deal with. Getting the water from the sea and back out again, and putting that rubberized coating on, wow!"
"But," he said with a big grin, "it's nice now, just like the other park. That's all Darlan wants, for it to be nice and cared for."
Brooks' pride in the project is evident as he shares the enjoyment of young mother Anna Placid, who looks on as her children run through the mushroom, or umbrella, the buckets and the drops. "I've got three kids there," she said. "Jose and Jason, they're 9 and 10, and Jordan, who's just a year and a half." Jordan looks even wetter than his big brothers. "They just love it," Placid said of the older boys. "And they're taking care of Jordan."
The park is open through Easter Monday from noon to 5 p.m. Regular hours will be Tuesday-Friday 2:30-5:30 p.m., Saturday 10 a.m.-5 p.m. and Sunday noon-5 p.m. It will be closed on Mondays. A small admittance fee will be charged.

Publisher's note : Like the St. Thomas Source now? Find out how you can love us twice as much — and show your support for the islands' free and independent news voice … click here.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Keeping our community informed is our top priority.
If you have a news tip to share, please call or text us at 340-228-8784.

Support local + independent journalism in the U.S. Virgin Islands

Unlike many news organizations, we haven't put up a paywall – we want to keep our journalism as accessible as we can. Our independent journalism costs time, money and hard work to keep you informed, but we do it because we believe that it matters. We know that informed communities are empowered ones. If you appreciate our reporting and want to help make our future more secure, please consider donating.