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Water park opens for season

It was a pleasant 75 degrees when the Wetlands water park in Great Bend opened for the season on Saturday, but it was a bit cooler when lifeguards arrived at 8 a.m. to test the 300 gallon tipping pool.
Six-year-old Gage Grove and his brother J.J., 8, were among the local residents who came on the first day.
“We’re here even though it’s maybe not so warm,” the boys’ mom Nicole Grove said. “We’ve been counting the days.”
Megan Hammeke from the Great Bend Recreation Commission is the pool manager this year. She said the city has employed more than 30 lifeguards this summer.
“They’ve been at boot camp since Thursday night,” Hammeke said.
There are also a dozen concession workers. These summer jobs are open to people 15 years of age or older. All of the jobs for this year have been filled.
The pool is open daily, weather permitting, from 12:30-5:30 p.m. Starting the second week of June, it will also be open from 7-9 p.m. for family nights on Tuesdays and Thursdays.
A forecasted high temperature of 75 degrees or more is needed for the Wetlands at Great Bend to open. The decision is based on what the high temperature is expected to be for the day, so a cool or rainy morning won’t necessarily keep the pool closed all day.
All of the favorite features of the water park are back this year, including the slides and an area for water balloon wars. The Great Bend Recreation Commission will also offer swim lessons. For information on lessons call the Rec Center, 620-793-3755, or email

A few things parents should know:
• All persons entering the pool enclosure, including supervising adults, must pay the appropriate fees (age 2 years and under, free; youths 3-17, $3; adults 18 and older, $4; discount pass, 15 admissions for $40; family swim nights, $2 per person with children 2 and under free). The pool accepts cash, check, debit cards and credit cards.
• Children ages 7 and under will not be admitted to the aquatic facility without appropriate supervision (i.e., responsible person 15 years of age or as determined by Aquatics Director or designee).
• A baby-sitter registration form must be filled out and signed by a parent or guardian if a baby-sitter is allowed to bring children to the pool. Forms and season passes can be picked up/purchased at the front desk of the pool.
Rules are posted on the water park website, Here are a few things to note about the slide:
• All riders must meet minimum height requirements as designated (40 inches tall on water feature).
• No combs or foreign objects are allowed in pockets while riding the slides. Swimwear (including life jackets) with zippers, buckles, rivets, or any other metal ornamentation will not be allowed on the slides.