Pelham bringing misting rocks to City Park

Published 1:57 pm Thursday, August 19, 2010

Visitors to Pelham City Park will soon have a cooler outdoor experience, as the city is working to bring a pair of misting “Rock Fans” to the park.

The misting devices, designed by the Muscle Shoals-based Rock Fans company, are synthetic rocks designed to look like large limestones, and will continuously spray streams of mist about 30 or 40 feet from the fixture, said Pelham Parks and Recreation Director Billy Crandall.

“You basically have a large synthetic rock that you can’t tell apart from all the other rocks around here,” Crandall said. “It shoots mist about 30 or 40 feet around the rock, and lowers the temperature by about 10 degrees in that area.”

The rocks could help make Alabama’s scorching summer heat a little more bearable for walkers at the park, and could serve as a cool break for those playing in sports on the city fields, Crandall said.

The city will purchase the two fans with the help of a land-water federal grant, and the Parks and Recreation Department will provide in-kind services to match the grant.

Rock Fans could deliver the misting rocks in about three or four weeks. Parks and Rec officials will install one of the rocks near the City Park pavilion, and are still trying to decide where to install the second one.

“It’s technically portable, so we are going to place it a few different places to see how it works before we actually install it,” Crandall said. “We are looking at maybe putting one out at the Racquet Club as well sometime in the future.”

The rocks will be the first of their kind installed by the Rock Fans company, said company owner Jay Gautney.

“We have already installed the misting rocks at several places, but I just changed the way we design them,” Gautney said. “I use an actual rock mold to make them now, and the ones we are putting in Pelham will be the first ones we’ve done that are designed like that.”

The city is also using the federal grant to install concrete slab picnic areas, tables and grills at Coker Park off Shelby County 72 and at Fun Go Holler Park near the Racquet Club.

“The grant also helped us repair nine tennis courts at the City Park, which we have already completed,” Crandall said. “We’ve really got a lot going on right now.”