The North Aurora riverfront's latest recreational amenity is proving popular with kids.
"I don't want to go!" said Emerson Massie of Aurora, when her parents announced it was time to leave the "Water Wonders" stream on the northern part of Island Park Tuesday. Not even the promise of using the Slip 'n' Slide at home enticed her.
Emerson and her brother, Kaiden, were splashing in the "beach" area of the 125-foot man-made stream, around a rock that spouts water.
"They do so love getting their siblings wet," said mom Shelly Massie.
Word-of-mouth is drawing people like Massie; a friend mentioned it "would be another alternative to cooling kids off during the heat," Massie said.
Construction was finished a few weeks ago. Signs explaining the various features, such as a wetland area, though, remain to be installed. There are native plants, and a micro hydroelectric station is planned.
There is a swift-water waterfall, steppingstones and pools of water. Massie's children used stones from the streambed to build dams to see how the water's flow would change.
It is designed to run on rainwater collected off the roof of village hall nearby. The RainXchange collection and filtration system features a 3,000-gallon reservoir under one end of the stream, and a recirculation pump.
The project was organized by the North Aurora River District Alliance, a nonprofit group promoting increased use of riverside parks in the village. Money came from the North Aurora Mothers Club, the Fox Valley Park District, private donations and the village, and grants from the Kane County riverboat casino fund and the Kane County Forest Preserve District. In the last several years it has worked to get a scenic overlook in the park.