Since its opening in 2017, the splash pad at Doubletree Ranch Park has become a popular summer destination for Highland Village residents and visitors alike.

As time has gone on, it has also increasingly become a favorite summer spot for day care field trips. Parks & Recreation Director Phil Lozano said that last summer, he saw six full day care buses visit the splash pad in one day.

“The day cares were well-managed and respectful of the site, but the sheer number of kids from the daycares took the splash pad over and created some challenges for the mommy groups and families also enjoying the site,” Lozano said. “Quite simply, they were overwhelmed by the day cares. So the question at hand is: Should we continue to operate as we do now, knowing that the splash pad will grow in popularity as time goes on? Or do we start looking at a policy for day cares?”

The Highland Village Parks and Recreation Advisory Board is set to discuss at a May 18 meeting whether the city should implement some kind of policy to prevent day cares from overwhelming other visitors at the splash pad going forward.

Lozano said the board will discuss a variety of policy options, including the possibility of setting designated days on which day cares can use the splash pad, prohibiting day cares from using the splash pad altogether or charging them for use of the splash pad, among other options.

After the discussion, the board is set to craft a recommendation that will be presented to Highland Village City Council at an upcoming meeting.

Due to restrictions put in place on county and state levels to help mitigate the spread of the coronavirus, the splash pad is currently closed. Lozano said the city will not reopen the amenity until it is allowed to do so without any occupancy restrictions, as monitoring occupancy levels presents a logistical challenge for the city.

“Our residents and guests love visiting and spending time with loved ones and look forward to [the splash pad’s] opening each year,” Lozano said. “Under normal conditions, we wouldn’t be concerned with occupancy loads, but [COVID-19] has changed our way of thinking and affected the way we do business. Our goal is to open the splash pad safely and effectively while complying with the county and state orders. When the orders provide us the opportunity to open the splash pad safely and effectively, we will be ready.”