Where can I find places to cool off in Schenectady?

SCHENECTADY — The Mont Pleasant neighborhood has a new way to cool off this summer.

Park-goers can now cool off with the new Wallingford Park paddling pool, a project that has been in the works for years and is now open in the neighborhood.

The water sprinklers have been flagged as a possible project for the city’s Thriving Neighborhood Cities program, the joint annual public-philanthropic fundraising effort that helps community projects.

The Schenectady Foundation contributed $120,000 to the effort, which officially opened to the public on Friday.

“You’d think it’s so bad that kids wake up on Christmas morning,” said Pat Smith, president of the Mont Pleasant Neighborhood Association. “Watching these kids was like having a new Ferrari.”

Wallingston Park is located at the corner of Congress Street and Fourth Avenue, approximately one mile from the new swimming pools included in the Schenectady Boys & Girls Club complex located next to Mount Pleasant Middle School.

The Schenectady Foundation has received more than two dozen letters from neighborhood children requesting a wading pool, including drawings.

Support also came from Trustco Bank and Capital Region Land Bank.

Wallingford Park is a community gathering center offering space for free summer lunches as well as basketball courts and playgrounds, but it is relatively undeveloped and lacks shade, officials said.

“It’s in an underserved part of town and a neighborhood that needs investment,” said Robert Carreau, executive director of the Schenectady Foundation. “There’s not much for kids.”

The Wallington Park location is the third wading pool the Schenectady Foundation has helped build. The others are in Tribute Park on Eastern Avenue and Woodlawn Park.

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