MARYVILLE, Mo. — The city of Maryville and Maryville Parks and Recreation announced Friday that a new park featuring a splash pad will be coming to Maryville in 2020.

The Thomson Splash ‘N’ Play, to be built on land donated by Dick and Kay Thomson, will feature a large zero-depth splash pad with spray features, musical play attractions, restroom facilities, shade structures, benches and landscaping, a press release announcing the park said.

City Manager Greg McDanel told The Forum that the park, which will be located on the corner of Highway V and south Munn, will be open to the public and free admission.

McDanel said the park will be approximately 3,000 square feet to start, but could grow based on any additions of amenities. He said he’s hopeful construction could begin by spring and the splash pad could be open to the public at some point next summer.

“In 1966, our parents came to Maryville in a VW bug and moved in with relatives,” said Doug Thomson, son of Dick and Kay, in the press release. “Northwest Missouri supported their businesses and life only got better. This is their ‘thank you’ to the community.”

Doug Thomson told The Forum that the city and family are working with a contractor on the design and construction of the park, “and we’re in the final details of that.”

“Dick and Kay Thomson, through their generous donation, will bring yet another unique asset to Maryville,” McDanel said in a statement. “Splash pads are safe and sustainable recreational attractions that everyone can enjoy regardless of income or socioeconomic status. We cannot thank the family enough for investing in the children of this community.”

Doug Thomson told The Forum over the phone Friday that the idea started when his parents decided they wanted to do something for the community, and asked him to make contact with city officials.

“Greg McDanel and Jeff Stubblefield, of Parks and Recreation, mentioned that what Maryville doesn’t have, and that would put Maryville over the top in terms of towns of this size, would be a splash park,” Doug Thomson said. “(My parents) thought that was a wonderful idea. And it sure beats anything they had growing up, so they were excited.”

Upon moving to Maryville in 1966, Kay Thomson began teaching at Eugene Field Elementary School until the couple’s second child, Jennifer, was born, then returned to the school until retirement. Dick joined what would become the Beavers, Thomson & Beavers law firm, then later joined Nodaway Valley Bank, where he retired as president in 2004. Dick and Kay recently celebrated their 80th birthdays and 57th wedding anniversary. Their children, Judge Doug Thomson and Jennifer Strueby, grew up in Maryville and raised their grandchildren here.

“As a parent and teacher, I’ve seen that when children see a puddle, they are drawn to make a SPLASH!” Kay Thomson said in a statement. “We are so happy to add to the vitality of Maryville with this splash park, which will be free to all.”

The park is being paid for by the Thomsons and Maryville Parks and Recreation will handle maintenance at the site.

“Maryville Parks and Recreation wants to sincerely thank the Thomson family for their vision to provide the citizens and youth of Maryville and Nodaway County with an attraction that is rarely seen in communities this size,” MPR director Jeff Stubblefield said in the release. “The park will provide years of enjoyment for our community regardless of age or abilities.”

Over the next few months, the Thomson family will work with the city of Maryville and Maryville Parks and Recreation to transfer property, complete design and initiate construction of the new park.

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