1. December 2014 10:48 by Vortex in Awards, NRPA  //  Tags:   //   Comments

We want to congratulate Eric O’Brien from our partner M.E. O’Brien & Sons for being awarded with the Honorable Cornelius Amory Pugsley Medal at the NRPA Annual Congress, in Charlotte, North Carolina.

The Pugsley Medals are the most prestigious awards in the field of Park & Recreation Administration in the United States. The medal is a symbol of recognition for outstanding contributions to the promotion and development of public parks. Each year medals honoring extraordinary service are awarded at the National, State/Regional, and Local levels.

Eric and ME O’Brien have been partnered with Vortex for almost two decades providing aquatic play solutions in Massachusetts, Rhode Island, New Hampshire, Connecticut, Maine and Vermont.

Congratulations Eric! Very well deserved!

For more information on Pudsley Medals can be seen here:

Visit M.E. O’Brien’s website here:


Written by Jessi-Lyna Wan, Marketing Coordinator














An Inclusive Moment

2. May 2014 16:16 by Vortex in   //  Tags:   //   Comments

Imagine, a little boy, age 8, who is painfully shy. So shy that it stops him from asking a question in class,  so shy he has a hard time speaking up in group conversation in the schoolyard, too shy to join in the pickup soccer game because he feels he runs too slowly and can’t kick the ball just right –safer to stand on the side and quietly observe.

Later, you see this same boy, at the park, after school, just on the edge of a group of kids…they are running over to the Splashpad® and now you worry…will he stand on the side and watch? Will he join in to the fun or will his shyness stop him from doing so?

You watch as he walks alone, over to the Spidey Water Spray and lets the water run and bubble over his hands, he stands there exploring and enjoying the cool water for a few moments and then peeks over at the water cannon.  Feeling comfortable with the water sounds, temperature and overall environment…he holds on the water cannon and suddenly he is in charge of the action.  He moves the water cannon ever so slightly and sees the water land on the other kids; luckily they laugh and run to their own cannons. A playful spray fight begins and the little boy who was too shy to join in is now part of the game. The huge smile on his face, the confident giggle shows me that he feels part of the action and no longer feels left out. He feels included.

His barrier to play was his painful shyness, the environment and surroundings of the Splashpad® allowed this boy to overcome his shy feelings and participate in this moment. 

Barriers to participating in playing can be physical such as height and path access, they can be emotional, cognitive or a combination of several things. Designing with inclusive play in mind involves thinking ahead and eliminating these barriers to provide many types of different play experiences that can be enjoyed by all people. 

Learn more about inclusive play, different play experiences and how you can design a Splashpad® where these moments can happen.

About our blogger


Monica Slanik, BSC(OT), faculty member of McGill University's School of Physical & Occupational Therapy (SPOT),  currently consults for Vortex Aquatics International on Inclusive Play and Universal Design. She has consulted on numerous playgrounds, and is an advocate for play opportunities for all people and all generations.  She is currently coordinating a research study project for SPOT, in conjunction with a Montreal-area health care institution, on the development and use of an intergenerational park as part of rehabilitation treatment and reintegration into community living.

City of Roswell Opens Second Splashpad® to Meet Demand

2. April 2014 15:17 by Vortex in   //  Tags:   //   Comments

The City of Roswell’s Splashpad® at Riverside Park had become such an attraction that the park was consistently overcrowded and the city quickly identified that a second one was needed to accommodate the volume of users.

The East Roswell Park was the perfect location, it had an unused batting cage that had been used for the Olympics, and there was an available building with utilities for the mechanical equipment. A second building was added to collect a small admission fee and house a concession stand, and large Shade Cantilevers are placed around the pad to provide a comfortable place for parents and children to relax. An octagonal Pavilion with picnic tables gives families a place to share lunch so the Splashpad® visit can be extended.

Jeff Pruitt, City of Roswell Parks Administrator, had this to say about the Splashpad® and its success: “The East Rowell Splashpad® has been a huge success. It has become a destination point not only for Roswell residents but also for the surrounding areas. We had seen the success that the Riverside Park Splashpad® had and how crowded it was becoming, so we started throwing around adding another Splashpad®. With the economy struggling, we also saw this Splashpad® as an opportunity for family’s to have a “staycation” where it is enjoyable for the whole family. Since its opening, it has been crowded every day and the private rental of it and the pavilion on Wednesdays has offset any cost associated with its maintenance and upkeep.”

Since its opening, the Splashpad® has hosted approximately 10,000 people and over 75 parties. It is set to re-open for the season over the Memorial Day Holiday.



So You Wanna Build a Splash Pad?

13. January 2014 10:23 by Admin in General  //  Tags:   //   Comments

By Glenn Barrie, North East Region Manager, Vortex Aquatics Structures

And why not? It’s a new year, the temperature is below freezing in most of North America and snow blankets the ground… It’s the perfect time to plan your splash pad!

For the past several years, splash pads have topped the request list of recreation amenities most desired by municipalities and their citizens.  These zero-depth aquatics facilities are a cost-effective method for municipal clients small and large, to offer summer time fun in the face of ever-shrinking budgets. Although splash pads have been around since the mid-1980’s (and even before in various incarnations), there are a great many questions that clients have as to how to successfully execute a splash pad project. So what is a municipal official to do?

The answer is simple.  Arm yourself with information. And do so by attending an educational seminar on the subject. More...

Designing a Splashpad: 7 essential steps

7. January 2014 07:07 by Admin in   //  Tags:   //   Comments

By Martina Madlener, Inside Sales support/ Splashpad Designer

Designing a Splashpad that incorporates all the necessary aspects sound easier then it is. A Splashpad needs to be appealing to the eye, be accessible to all and most important of all; be fun. To achieve this well balanced design, you simply need to follow some essential steps. Every Splashpad is different, the shape, the size, the mix of products and the overall look will most likely always vary. But there are some common factors that should be present in all designs to make it the best Splashpad it can be! More...

Entire community helped make Splashpad® possible in South Stormont, Ontario

8. November 2013 11:10 by Vortex in   //  Tags:   //   Comments

Article originally published in

LONG SAULT — After putting up with a few weather-related delays, the new Splashpad® at the Arnold Bethune Memorial Park in Long Sault is almost ready.

South Stormont Parks and Recreation Supervisor Kevin Amelotte said the project had been expected to be wrapped up a few days ago, but due to the rain and recent windstorm, the construction was forced to shut down for a few days.

"But they got a good portion of it completed," said Amelotte. "It's just a matter of pouring the actual pad itself."

Amelotte said all the electrical and infrastructure work has been completed and he was expecting the contractor to be on site shortly to pour the pad, and after that, the only thing left is for the plumbers to connect the plumbing for drainage.

"The rest of the work, like the landscaping, the installation of the benches and garbage cans will be done in the spring," said Amelotte. Although partially funded by grants from the Community Infrastructure Improvement Fund and some money coming from tax coffers, a large part of the project was funded by the residents of South Stormont. More...

City of Pasco WA to buy Splashpad equipment without going for a bid

1. November 2013 09:50 by Vortex in   //  Tags:   //   Comments


Artist rendering of new Splashpad®

Article originally published in The News Tribune

Pasco plans to buy equipment for a new Splashpad® without going out for bid.

The city council discussed at its Monday workshop waiving the bidding requirements so it can spend $93,089 on equipment for a water playground at Kurtzman Park.

City Manager Gary Crutchfield recommended buying the equipment from Vortex Aquatic Structures International of Quebec, Canada, because it also equipped the spray park at the Memorial Park pool. More...

Buttery Brook Park, South Hadley, MA adds improvements including a Vortex Splashpad®

25. October 2013 14:43 by Vortex in openings, Splashpad  //  Tags:   //   Comments


Artist's rendition of new Splashpad®

Original article by Gena Mangiaratti - Daily Hampshire Gazette

SOUTH HADLEY — Buttery Brook Park will close Nov. 1 as work begins on renovations that have been planned for nearly a decade.

Improvements will include a Vortex Splashpad®, new playground equipment and a relocation of the skate park, said Department of Public Works Superintendent James Reidy. More...

Learn how to winterize your Splashpad with Vortex! - LIVE webinar Tuesday October 22nd at 1pm EDT/10am PDT

17. October 2013 14:58 by Vortex in About us, Splashpad, Technical  //  Tags:   //   Comments

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Does your community shut down its Splashpads for the winter?

Not sure what to do to prepare your Splashpad® for the colder climate?

Would you like to avoid damage to your Splashpad® and ensure a smooth spring startup? 

Top 3 tips for winterizing your Splashpad:

  • Make sure no water remains in play features
  • Make sure no water stays in the supply lines
  • Make sure water is completely purged from the water management system 

Properly preparing a Splashpad® before shutting it down for the winter is essential to ensuring a smooth and trouble free spring startup. Following the correct winterization procedure will help avoid equipment damage through cold winter months and facilitate startup during the spring. 


Donald Doucette - Field Technician for Vortex Aquatic Structures will guide attendees through the proper winterization protocols for both FT (Flow-through) and WQMS (Re-circulating) Splashpad® water management systems. 


Vortex introduces Water Journeys™, an innovation in aquatic play for public & commercial spaces.

8. October 2013 10:21 by Vortex in About us, Social, Splashpad, Water Journeys  //  Tags:   //   Comments

The inspiration for this new amenity is a running stream. A stream is an oasis of tranquility in nature where reflection, play and renewal happen. 

Vortex Aquatic Structures International has been a leader in aquatic play for over 18 years, manufacturing safe, economical and sustainable aquatic play amenities. Water Journeys™ is Vortex’s latest innovation and provides landscape architects and aquatic designers with new opportunities to create remarkable landmarks that are cross generational.   Water Journeys™ is a linear ground play area, created in imitation of nature’s water systems and includes: boating, flow management, rivers, and streams in a four module game installation. Like in nature, what happens in one area of the stream impacts the conditions further downstream.  Children will quickly learn how their play affects others.  Each game module offers a different interactive play experience and provides people of all ages a chance to engage in the Water Journeys® meeting place. More...

About Vortex Aquatic Structures International Inc.

World leader in aquatic play solutions with over 5,000 installations worldwide.

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