A splash pad is the latest in a series of improvements to enhance the park experience for residents and visitors in Oneida County.

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo Friday announced the opening of the new $180,000 splash pad at Verona Beach State Park.

The water feature is the latest in a series of projects at the park including a new bathhouse, enclosed pavilion, three picnic shelters, and parking lot upgrades. The improvements are supported by an investment from the Governor's NY Parks 2020 program.

The new 2,000-square-foot splash pad includes:

* 17 spray fountains underground;

* Six spray fountains above ground;

* A natural plant and beach theme;

* Three activators that control different spray zones; and

* A computer controller to sequence the spray features.

Some of the featured devices allow children to interact with the splash pad by spinning or shaking, and placing hands and feet over the fountain to increase pressure to other splash pad features, making them spray higher.

The splash pad is connected to the municipal Onondaga County Water Authority system, and will be open 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. seven days a week, weather permitting.

The project, designed and installed by State Parks regional staff, complements the architecture and modernization of other new improvements at Verona Beach. A total of $4.3 million was invested to construct the new bathhouse, enclosed pavilion, three picnic shelters, and parking lot upgrades, which were completed earlier this year.

"The splash pad is a fun new option for families with young children to safely cool off while visiting the revitalized beachfront at Verona Beach State Park," said State Parks Commissioner Rose Harvey. "Not only will children have a good time at the splash pad, it will help encourage children to engage in healthy, active play, and park a lifelong connection to parks and the outdoors."

Oneida County Executive, Anthony J.Picente said: "The new splash pad at Verona Beach State Park is a wonderful addition to an already popular Oneida County amenity. Many county residents and travelers enjoy visiting the park to swim, picnic and camp at Oneida Lake, and this new feature will make it an even stronger asset and attraction. I would like to thank Governor Cuomo for the funds that were dedicated to making this a reality."