Moose Jaw’s spray parks and splash pads are about to open for the summer season, providing a cooling option for all ages on those hot days when sunscreen and shade aren’t quite cutting it.
The City of Moose Jaw has five spray parks and two splashing/paddling pools — depending on a person’s height and flexibility — at the following locations, operating from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily:
- Spray Parks
- 1996 Summer Games Playground at 16th Avenue Southwest
- Crescent Park spray park on the 200 block of Fairford Street East
- Co-op Community Spray Park at Ninth Avenue Northeast and Ominica Street East; (wheelchair accessible)
- Elgin Park on the 1000 block of Eighth Avenue Northwest; (wheelchair accessible)
- Kinsmen West Park Spray Park on Meier Drive
- Splash pads
- Optimist Park at Fifth Avenue Southwest and Lillooet Street
- Park Hill Park at 10th Avenue Southwest and Duffield Street West
Summer heat events are becoming more common as climate change disrupts established weather patterns and gradually increases average temperatures. Urban environments, with large surface areas of concrete, asphalt, and other heat-retaining and -radiating materials, fewer green spaces, and industrial activity, can be several degrees Celsius warmer than surrounding urban areas.
Environment Canada defines a heat wave as more than three consecutive days of temperatures at or above 32°C, which means residents in the city could be experiencing a heat wave while those just outside city limits are not.
Protecting oneself during a heat wave could mean staying inside, particularly if you have complicating risk factors. However, if you’re out, about, and loving it, protect yourself and your family with strong, water-resistant sunscreen, hats, plenty of drinking water, breaks from prolonged direct sunlight, and, of course, playing around in the water.
For family members with more fur, Moose Jaw’s two dog parks are located next to each other on the 1500 block of High Street West. Keep in mind dogs are also susceptible to heat illnesses, so watch them carefully and take advantage of the running water at the parks to keep them hydrated.
The Moose Jaw Urban Community Forest is another option for a cooler outdoor environment, with snacks to boot. Trees and growing things offer more than shade: They actively cool the surrounding air and retain less heat than artificial surfaces. The forest is on Thatcher Drive between Simcoe Street and VLA Gate and produces free fruit between July and September.
The city’s other major green spaces are Crescent Park and Wakamow Valley. Crescent Park includes lawn bowling, tennis courts, one of the spray parks, and the Moose Jaw Public Library and Moose Jaw Museum & Art Gallery — both air-conditioned public spaces with plenty of community attractions and activities.
Wakamow Valley is the Moose Jaw River valley park. It has seemingly unlimited recreational options, including disc golf, canoe and kayak rentals, picnic areas, playgrounds, and over 20 kilometres of walking trails.