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New Splash Cove policies take effect after weekend closure prompted by fight

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DECATUR — New policies take effect Monday at the Splash Cove water park, prompted after police intervened in fighting among youth at the facility. 

The park district canceled open and family swim at the water park on Saturday and Sunday as officials worked to retool the policies. The new rules were released Saturday night. 

The young people who had been involved in the fight that prompted the closure were released into the custody of their parents after the altercation Friday, said Clay Gerhard, the park district's director of operations. The park district said Saturday night that the minors involved and their guardians had been banned from the facility for one year. 

Moving forward, additional security will be present at the facility during operating hours, the district said. 

The new policies are as follows:

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  • All minors 15 and under must be accompanied by a parent or guardian 18 and older to be admitted into Splash Cove.
  • All visitors age 5 and older will require a Splash Cove-issued identification card. Splash Cove identification can be obtained at Splash Cove or the Decatur Indoor Sports Center front desk beginning Monday.
  • Completed registration form and signed acknowledgement of our code of conduct required when obtaining identification. Forms can be found online at Decatur-parks.org.
  • No re-entry allowed.
  • Open swim will now close at 6:30 p.m. daily. Passholders admitted at 11:30 a.m., non-passholders admitted at noon.
  • Capacity (currently 999) will be voluntarily reduced by 25%.

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Splash Cove

Splash Cove, located in Nelson Park, was closed for the weekend after an incident involving a group of minors.

Additionally, officials said they would continue to enforce the following rules that were already in effect:

  • No running, dunking, horseplay, rough housing or foul language will be tolerated. Any person deemed as not following this rule will be asked to leave the facility with possibility of being banned.
  • No outside food or drink allowed. There are two water stations available for filling of empty bottles.
  • Bag check required upon entry.
  • Only Coast Guard approved flotation devices are allowed.
  • Riders must be at least 48” to ride water slides and zip line. Experienced swimmers age 5 and up may utilize the diving boards and rock wall.
  • Only official swimwear may be worn in the pool and is up to manager’s discretion.
  • No smoking of any kind, including vaping, is allowed inside pool fence.
  • All purchased food and drink must stay in concession area.
  • No refunds regardless of weather, attire or length of stay.
  • Lock up your valuables. The Decatur Park District is not responsible for lost, stolen or damaged items.

Splash Cove has been open to the public since Memorial Day weekend. A long-planned element of the park district's lakefront development efforts, it had been scheduled to open in 2020 before the coronavirus pandemic prevented that. 


Contact Allison Petty at (217) 421-6986. Follow her on Twitter: @AllisonAPetty

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