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WUNC reports from Greensboro about Guilford County and surrounding area.

Greensboro Residents Beat The Heat With Pop-Up Spraygrounds

In the time before COVID-19, people could go to the pool or a waterpark to cool off from the summer heat. But in the midst of a pandemic, those are no longer viable options. To make up for the lack of water-related activities, some cities are offering alternative ways to cool off this summer.

The city of Greensboro teamed up with the Parks and Recreation and Fire departments to create "community hose downs."

"Unfortunately, with COVID-19, our pools and our splash pads are closed," Greensboro’s Facilities and Aquatics Coordinator Kristen Herndon said. "We don't have a lot of in-person events throughout the summer. So we kind of thought why not provide a safe opportunity where the community could still come together, enjoy something and beat the heat?"

Credit Lynn Hey / For WUNC
Armani Perry holds her son, King Perry-Deloatch, 1, under the water spray at Warnersville Recreation Center in Greensboro, N.C., on Tuesday, July 28, 2020.

Every Tuesday and Thursday until August 13, pop-up spraygrounds will come to local recreation centers throughout the city to provide much needed relief from the heat for two hours.

City officials made sure to keep everyone as safe as possible. They allow 25 people to play at one time in the sprayground every 15 minutes if they reach capacity.

They also encourage the six-foot distance and a face mask for people waiting to go into the spray area.

These guidelines are one of the reasons Jasmine Morrison took her two children and niece out to the pop-up spray ground.

"I liked how they had their safety measures online about the kids being six feet apart and all that so I just brought them down and they're enjoying themselves," she said. "I think that [I] made a good choice. It just is nice and relaxing to see them have fun and get out the house."

Credit Lynn Hey / For WUNC
Greensboro Parks and Recreation and Fire Departments are hosting weekly pop-up spraygrounds around the city with the first one held at Warnersville Recreation Center in Greensboro, N.C., on Tuesday, July 28, 2020.

Kids laughed and screamed as they darted in and out of the water cascading from a fire truck ladder. Morrison's son, Josiah, 11, said spending his summer days like this is great.

"I'm enjoying everything," he said. "I appreciate everything that you're doing for us even though it's a tough time out in the world right now. It's fun."

Though the spraygrounds will come to an end soon, Herndon wants everyone to enjoy them while they last.

"Just come out and have fun," she said. "It's safe and we want to see you. We miss you."

Credit Lynn Hey / For WUNC
Luana Damjanovic swings her daughter, Sarah, in the water spray at Warnersville Recreation Center in Greensboro, N.C., on Tuesday, July 28, 2020.

Naomi P. Brown joined WUNC in January 2017.
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