A rendering by Vortex shows the proposed splash park that would be built in honor of the late Fox 2 News meteorologist Jessica Starr. The park is proposed for Bosco Fields.

A rendering by Vortex shows the proposed splash park that would be built in honor of the late Fox 2 News meteorologist Jessica Starr. The park is proposed for Bosco Fields.

Image provided by the City of Novi


Novi splash pad proposed to honor meteorologist

By: Brian Wells | Novi Note | Published October 28, 2021

 The splash park proposed in memory of Jessica Starr would measure approximately 3,200 square feet in size.

The splash park proposed in memory of Jessica Starr would measure approximately 3,200 square feet in size.

Image provided by the City of Novi

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NOVI — After watching the “Wizard of Oz” when she was 5, Jessica Starr developed a fascination with the Weather Channel and decided she would one day become a TV weatherperson.

She went on to study climatology at Michigan State University and earned a master’s degree in meteorology at Mississippi State University.

But after a corrective eye surgery went awry, Starr fell into a deep depression. In December 2018, the Fox 2 News meteorologist took her own life. She was 35.

Now, three years later, her family is proposing a splash pad in Novi in her honor.

Carol Starr, Jessica Starr’s mother, brought the idea before the Novi City Council at the Sept. 27 meeting.

“We’ve tried to think of a way to remember her and a place for her family to go and somewhere where she would be remembered and in a very positive, happy, fun environment,” Carol Starr said. “And one of the things her son and daughter said was, ‘What about a splash park?’”

The park, which has been proposed for Bosco Fields, would be about 3,200 square feet and accessible to all ages, said Jeff Muck, Novi Parks and Recreation director. It would also use a circulating water system, which would reuse the water and save the city money on water costs.

The construction of the park would cost between $400,000 and $600,000, Muck said.

David Landry, president of the Novi Parks Foundation, said they are happy to be a part of the project by helping the Starr family raise funds.

“Novi Parks Foundation is absolutely delighted to be part of this project,” Landry said. “This is exactly why we exist.”

While the council did not take any immediate action regarding the splash pad, Mayor Bob Gatt called it a touching tribute.

“I can think of no better avenue to express her joy and her zeal for life than to create something like this where kids will come and laugh and enjoy themselves for years and years and years into the future,” he said. “It’s something that will live on forever.”

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