David Hackworth, a resident of Richmond, fishes everyday at Lake Reba. He said he’s caught an 11-pound catfish and a 5-pound bass in the lake. (Rachel Stone)

By Courtney Tennill

If you’re from a small town, going to the park probably means hitting up a grassy area with a few swings and a teeter-totter. In Richmond, that’s not the case.

Lake Reba, a popular picnic venue for Eastern students, is more than just swing sets and sunshine. And if you’re looking for something to do this summer-and don’t want to break the bank-you won’t even have to leave Richmond.

Most students are familiar with at least a few parts of Lake Reba. Adventure Falls, an 18-hole mini-golf course, is crowded with students on nice days-and only costs five bucks a person.

But several parts of the park-especially some of the most recently added ones-offer something for everyone during the summer.

Are you taking care of kids? Hit up one of two playgrounds available-one for toddlers and one for bigger children.

Renae Bishop, a junior elementary education major from Richmond, said the park is a good place to take the kids she babysits.

“It’s got a great place for kids to play, and they always love it when I take them there,” she said.

Bishop also uses the park’s 1.2 mile jogging trail. “My sister and I like to go walking there. The trails are nice and the scenery is gorgeous,” she said.

Feel like taking a swim to cool off? Construction for a brand new water park inside Lake Reba just finished, and the facility will have a grand opening May 24.

Paradise Cove features an eight-lane swimming pool, two one-meter diving boards, and a children’s pool and play area. Two slides standing 40 feet high complete the attraction, along with a slide for families and a butterfly slide for kids.

There’s also a concession stand, a shower facility and several shady areas to relax in.

An adult’s season pass to Paradise Cove is just $75, which is a steal for anyone planning to stay in Richmond and frequent the place with friends. If you only plan on going every now and then, you can grab a day pass for just $6.

If you’re into sports and recreation, Lake Reba has plenty to offer. Batting cages located just behind the Adventure Falls offer 20 pitches for only a buck. There are also several soccer and baseball fields, a fishing lake, horseshoe pits and a full golf course and driving range.

And if you’re a disc-golf junkie, you can play for free on Lake Reba’s disc golf course, located at the back of the park. All they ask is that you bring your own disc.

Another recent addition to the park is the Judy Rains Memorial Dog Park, which is located next to the playground facility.

The fenced-in acre allows dogs to run and play without leashes, and a division keeps larger dogs separate from smaller dogs. It is also the wonderful price of free, and waste baggies are complementary.

“I love to take my dogs there and go running,” said Bethany Bowling, a junior psychology major from Richmond. “They can run around and have fun and the scenery is great,” she said.

Lake Reba also offers several free events throughout the summer. “We’ll be having a Fourth of July Extravaganza,” said Erin Moore, the Program Coordinator for Richmond Parks and Recreation.

The event will have food, vendors and entertainment. It will also be free to the public.

For more information about other free summer events and everything else Lake Reba has to offer, visit http://parks.richmond.ky.us or call Lake Reba at 623-8753.