One issue brought before City Council this week was the lack of updated playground equipment that would address the issue of summertime temperatures.

The lack of such amenities may keep young families from settling down in Corpus Christi.

Several mothers appeared before Council, some with children in tow, to complain about playground equipment at parks around the city that was too hot for their children to play on. They're hoping for some relief.

"I have four boys ages nine through two," Alice Oblatt said. "The equipment is just too hot to play in the summer. Lack of shade is a problem, and in the heat of the summer, our time spent outside really can only be done when we're playing in water. Which is why I'm wondering why we do not have public splash pads."

"In Waco, Texas, and in Sugarland, there was a splash pad, and it was really easy to use. You go up and hit a button and my kids ran around," Dr. Marilyn Brodeur said. "It was hot. It was the summer and we were able to extend the amount of time we had outside. So if those cities can figure it out, we can figure it out."

Parks and Recreation Director Jay Ellington showed some artist renditions of shade structures that are already planned at one City park, and more are in the works. He said it's good for citizens to ask for splash pads so that Council knows what residents think is needed.

The splash pads can be expensive, from $25,000 all the way to $250,000.

Ellington said his department has included updated equipment in design plans for many parks and it is just a question of such projects being funded.

"We've changed those surfaces out on these new playgrounds that we're replenishing parks with now, and we still lack shade," Ellington said.

The City has started some equipment upgrades, such as work being done at Salinas Park where surfaces are all designed to reflect the heat rather than absorb it. They are also erecting a shade structure there and hope to continue to make those kinds of upgrades in the near future.

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