CONCORD, CA — Editor’s note: Sixth in a series on Concord and Clayton parks.
On a recent weekday afternoon at Meadow Homes Park, a dozen children splashed and giggled as they cooled off and tried to aim the sprayers at each other. Others waited for buckets of water to fall on them.
Some wore swimsuits and others were fully dressed, perhaps not expecting to find a watery wonderland so close to home. Parents and caretakers watched over them from comfortable spots in the shade.
Karla Rodriguez, a Concord mother, said her 3-year-old Alayna loves the park.
“The water is warm, and it’s perfect for a hot day. We took her to Waterworld, but the water was so cold that she didn’t like it. And this place is free.”
The small park, located at Detroit Avenue and Sunshine Drive, is the perfect community gathering spot for warm summer days. In addition to the spray park play area, there are separate play structures for kids 2-5 and 5-12 and a large sports field with a gravel track where all ages can get some exercise.
The park also offers several built-in chess boards and two shaded group picnic areas for family gatherings or parties. The large areas can be reserved at www.cityofconcord.org/picnic.
Meadow Homes Park got its play structures and spray park in 2017 after a community effort by parents and members of the Central County Regional Group to push the city for more amenities at this popular Monument neighborhood park. The effort took four years and $1.1 million. It included improvements to Meadow Homes Park as well as Ellis Lake Park.
The water splashes from 12-6 p.m. every day during the summer at the spray park. Once school starts again in August, it will run 3-6 p.m. on school days and 12-6 p.m. weekends until the last Sunday in September.
Some days, you may even find ice cream vendors ready to help cool everyone off.
Kara Navolio is a freelance writer, telling stories of real life heroes and interesting people for several local newspapers since 2015, including The Pioneer and Lamorinda Weekly. She is also the editor of a local magazine, Northgate Living, and her debut children’s picture book Everybody Can Dance! was released by Brandylane Publishers, Inc. in May 2019. She has lived in Walnut Creek with her husband for 30 years and is the mom of two now grown children.