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Large crowd, hot weather welcome new splash pad

More than 100 people showed up Monday for the grand opening of Rosemount's new Central Park splash pad. The play area will be open from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily.2 / 6
The splash pad's sprayers will turn off when there is nobody around to enjoy them. Visitors can turn them on with a foot-activated button or a pump handle. 3 / 6
When turned on, the sprayers activate in sequence, encouraging kids to move around the splash pad and preventing anyone from monopolizing any one part of the park. 4 / 6
For younger children, there is a branching river with paddle wheels and blockers to divert the water. A pump at the head of the river supplies the water when kids activate it. 5 / 6
There are plans to add on to the splash pad with a fire pit and other features. 6 / 6

In managing Rosemount’s parks, the city aims to have a diverse system with features for people of all ages. By adding a splash pad, the Rosemount City Council was thinking of its youngest residents.

“It’s a popular feature in a lot of other communities and we are excited to be able to open one here,” said Rosemount Parks Director Dan Schultz.

The splash pad officially opened to the public at noon Monday. With a high of 92 degrees and a heat index over 100, it was the hottest day of 2014 so far.

Weather permitting, Schultz hopes families will come out and see Rosemount newest park feature.

The splash pad is basically a water park for little kids. Built-in sprinklers, fountains and faucets spray water to run through and play in. A dry zone surrounds the water features so adults can stay dry. There are similar pads in Apple Valley’s Kelly Park and at the Minnesota Zoo.

“It’s mainly for younger kids, and we think it will be fun for them,” said Schultz.

As people start to use the park, Schultz hopes residents will provide feedback to the parks department. Some of the water features can be changed to provide a more enjoyable experience.

The splash pad was installed on the east side of Central Park. To build the splash pad, two outdoor hockey rinks were removed. The city may move those two rinks to other parks.

The splash pad cost the city $821,000. Schultz said the city council has budgeted for the project for several years.

The splash pad will be open from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. through the summer months.

Emily Zimmer
Emily Zimmer has worked as a staff writer for the Rosemount Town Pages since 2007. She has a degree in journalism from Minnesota State University, Mankato. Outside of work, Emily enjoys running, reading and gardening. You can follow Emily's gardening adventures at the Areavoices blog East of Weedin'
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