Rosemount officials hope the city’s new splash pad is a first step toward making its Central Park a year-round ‘destination location.’
Rosemount residents are finding the new splash pad at Central Park a good way to cool off.
“Especially for a twin mom, it’s wonderful.” said Nichole Hall, of Rosemount, who was enjoying the new water play area with her 20-month-old twins. At a pool, she said, she would have to have another adult to help watch the kids. But here she can watch as they both toddle about. Already by opening week she had visited a couple of times.
“All the different water chutes,” she said. “They love it.”
The new water play area, north of City Hall, opened late in July. It’s about 4,000 square feet, with tall gushers for older kids and short fountains and misters for little ones.
In one section, water jets form a tunnel for kids to run through. In a “water journey” area, kids pump a handle seven times, and a rush of water flows through creek-like channels, past gates and water wheels, and gathers in tiny flood plains.
Erin Moyer, a resident of Rosemount for nine years who recently moved to Apple Valley, had heard it was opening and wanted to come check it out. She sat by her three-week-old son in a stroller, while her 4-year-old daughter raced around.
“She likes to bring her bucket and fill it up and make ‘stew,’” said Moyer. “It’s great.”
Tammy Ford, of Rosemount, said her two-year-old grandson, Easton Ford, had been playing for two hours.
“He was driving cars in the little ravine,” she said. “We have little boats we’ll bring next time.”
Ford likes that it is free and that she can be nearby interacting but doesn’t have to get wet. “I wish they would have had this when my kids were little,” she said. “It would have made summers a lot nicer.”
Ford said they had been driving to the splash pad in Apple Valley prior to this one opening up. Now, she said, they can walk.
Parks and Recreation Director Dan Schultz said the splash pad, with a price tag of $821,000, is part of a larger effort to bring people together in the downtown area. The city, he said, has a long-term goal of making the area more of a central hub for activities.
Officials would “like to see more things brought down to Central Park,” he said, making the area “more of a destination location year round.”
Around the perimeter of the splash pad, the city planted trees and shrubs, and along the hillside to the east, seeded native prairie.
Schultz said people have floated a number of ideas aimed at continuing to develop the surrounding area.
Ideas for phase two include a natural playground nearby as well as a fire pit for teens.
There is also talk of making the asphalt area to the west of the splash pad into more of a dedicated special events area. Community events are already held there, and improvements such as decorative lighting and landscaping could be made.