KINSTON, N.C (WNCT) – “We just celebrated our 5 year anniversary,” said Kelly Cannon, executive director of the Woodmen Community Center in Kinston, which includes the Lions Water Adventure Park.
“Bill Ellis, the director, had this vision of a community center and a water park,” added Josh Bass, aquatics director of the Lions Water Adventure Park. “This used to be the Smithfield plant and it’s about the only place around here that would have been big enough for fitting this in Kinston.”
“We’re a fitness facility that is a community center so we have basketball courts, a volleyball net,” said Cannon. “We have all of the fitness equipment upstairs and we are a very safe family friendly place.”
While the Woodmen Center is its own draw, the big attraction every summer is the Lions Water Adventure Park.
“This is our 5th year connected with the Woodmen Center,” said Bass. “We have the lap pool, the therapeutic pool. We have the kiddie lagoon as well as three water slides.”
“I enjoy the shade,” said Kelly Taylor, who visited the water park with her 3 kids. “It’s so nice because I can sit and relax and the kids can swim, they can play on the slide, they can lazy river all the way down and it’s just a great time for the family.”
“I see a lot of them actually go over there and ride down the zebra slide and then go right into the lazy river,” said John Munoz, manager of the Lions Water Adventure Park.
“For the price and how close it is, you can make a whole day of it,” added Bass. “We’re a small water park which makes us feel like a small community area and we really pride ourselves on saying hey to everybody or at least making sure that everybody is welcoming.”
But this park takes welcoming everyone a step further.
“We’re hearing and sight accessible for all people,” said Bass. “We did the noiseless pool when the water splashes on and the zero entry. It just makes it accessible for everybody.”
“It’s amazing,” added Munoz. “It gives the kids something to do. When they don’t have anywhere to go they can come and hang out over here in the gym, play basketball, work out, take a swim especially when it gets hot.”
But the end of summer doesn’t mean an end to the fun.
“The lap pool, the therapeutic pool, that is open year round,” said Bass. “We have a dome that goes over it during the off season.”
“I think back when I was a child and we didn’t have a center like this,” said Cannon. “So I think our youth today are very blessed to have that. I hope that we continue to make an impact.”
They’re hoping that 5 years is just the beginning.
For more information on the Woodmen Community Center, click here.
For more information on the Lions Water Adventure Park, click here.