A new slide at BE pool?
There is a community wide effort going on to add a second large slide to the swimming pool in Blue Earth.
At a meeting of the Active Living Coalition on Jan. 24, the group received an update on those efforts.
David Kittleson, a member of the community who has assisted in fundraising for the original community pool improvements, came to the ALC meeting to discuss the progress of a new water slide for the Blue Earth Community Pool.
“We have raised some money, but not enough yet,” said Kittleson. “At one time we thought we might get a slide built this spring, but we are more realistically looking at maybe a year from this summer.”
Kittleson shared with the group that though the costs may increase, they are still aiming to raise $100,000 to bring to the Blue Earth City Council.
“Now we want to work hard from now until the end of the fair to raise money. That is what we are looking at as a timeframe and the amount of money that we earn in that time is the amount of money we will bring to the council and show what we’ve raised. That’s a general overview of where we are right now. We have the Blue Earth Community Foundation, which is our non-profit group that will be our fiscal host,” said Kittleson.
The BECF has been essential in a handful of Blue Earth community projects including the downtown mural, restoration of the bathrooms at the senior center, the butterfly garden soon to be finished at the corner of Sixth and Main Streets, as well as assisting in the Ag Center parking lot. In the four years it has been involved in the community, the BECF has also raised over $4,000 to assist families with pool passes during the summer. The BECF was also essential in helping with the Friends of the Blue Earth Library.
John Huisman, a member of both the ALC and the BECF, shared that between $5,500 and $7,000 will be available from the foundation to assist with the pool slide funds.
With the help from the BECF, Kittleson says the pool slide has great potential of being added to the pool in the summer of 2019.
A brainstorming session took place after discussion of the goals the group wanted to attain for the slide; that brainstorm included putting up a booth at the fair, as well as sending out letters to past donors for additional support.
“I have a feeling our project will cost more than $100,000 by next summer, but if we put a conscious effort into fundraising and bringing awareness to the community, I don’t think we would have much issue raising that money. These families in our community, I think, have a strong commitment to our pool and I know a good number of people want to see our efforts grow,” said Kittleson.
In other actions at the ALC meeting, chairwoman Dar Holmseth brought good news of being eligible for future Statewide Health Improvement Partnership, or SHIP grants, and shared that Blue Earth’s ALC was approved for their grant.
Some of the goals the ALC hopes to achieve this year includes receiving new bike racks, and putting up a biking map at a kiosk located at the new, upcoming Green Giant visitor’s center and chamber of commerce. There, not only will guests be able to look at a kiosk to see where biking and walking trails are around Blue Earth, but there will also be a small bike repair area, as well as a few bikes that tourists and community members will be able to rent to enjoy a ride around Blue Earth. The bike repair station is already purchased, and will be built around the same time the new visitor’s center will be built later on this spring and summer.
Along with ALC’s goals for creating a few new highlights in the city for walkers and bikers, they also hope to design a few bike racks and place them throughout the city.
“Keep an eye out for ideas and designs you may find in other cities that you like,” said Holmseth, who showed a few examples from larger cities. Alyssa Munsterman, SHIP’s coordinator in Faribault, Martin and Jackson counties, has been essential to the success of the grant, according to Holmseth.