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Willow Springs Water Park facts for kids

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Willow Springs
Location Little Rock, Arkansas, United States
Coordinates 34°37′42″N 92°19′11″W / 34.628370°N 92.319778°W / 34.628370; -92.319778Coordinates: 34°37′42″N 92°19′11″W / 34.628370°N 92.319778°W / 34.628370; -92.319778
Opened 1928; 93 years ago (1928)
Closed 2013; 8 years ago (2013)
Operating season May through September
Water slides 5 water slides

Willow Springs was a water park located in Little Rock, Arkansas. It closed for swimming in July 2013.

The park subsequently re-opened for fishing but not swimming. It closed permanently in August 2015.

History & description

It was built in 1928. Willow Springs is a sandy bottom spring and well fed lake, similar to Maywood Beach in Mississippi. The water was chemically treated, chlorinated, pH balanced, and clear. Unlike most water parks, visitors could bring their own food and drinks into the park, though a restaurant called Upper Deck Café was located on site.

Season

Willow Springs was open from May through September each year.

Amoebic meningitis outbreak and closure of the park

On July 26, 2013, the owner of the park shut it down indefinitely after a swimmer was diagnosed with amoebic meningitis, 3 years after another swimmer at the park died from the same infection. The Arkansas Department of Health determined that the park may have been at higher risk because the water is shallow and heats up faster (as the causative parasite is somewhat thermophillic). The owner had hoped to re-open the park if it would have been financially feasible to cover the bottom with concrete, since the protist that causes the disease tends to live in the soil at the bottom of lakes.

Attractions

  • Family Atmosphere
  • 400 ft Waterslide
  • Large Kiddie Pool and Playground Area
  • Lifeguards on Duty
  • Two Log Roll and Water Trampolines
  • Lifejackets Available
  • Covered Picnic Tables and Grills
  • Group pricing available
  • Water basketball, Volleyball, and Tetherball
  • Swimming Lessons Available
  • Horseshoe Pits
  • Basketball and Soccer areas
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