Virginia Avenue Park

Best Park Water Feature, August 2010

Backyard sprinklers pale in comparison with the fountains and sprays at Virginia Avenue Park. On a hot summer day, young refreshment seekers run beneath the arcing spurts of water or grab one of the three green “cannons” that turn 360 degrees to soak whoever is nearby. It’s like opening a fire hydrant, except it’s legal and you’re surrounded by greenery. Fat spigots send water cascading out of a wall and down to a glass lithocrete “splash pad” that’s textured, which cuts down on slipping. There’s no need to feel guilty about water waste; here it’s recycled, just as many other parts of the park have been updated with repurposed building materials. On Saturdays it’s an all-out party, with kids running from the fountain to join their parents at the Pico Farmers’ Market on the other side of the park. The fountain gushes midmorning until early evening seven days a week through October. Bonus: clean bathrooms.