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Hoping to make a giant splash

By Staff | Jun 3, 2018

This artist’s depiction of the slide area at the Blue Earth Community Pool shows the current slide as green and the proposed new, longer tube slide in blue.

With the temperatures rising, relief is in sight.

Just a handful of days left before the local swimming pools across Faribault County begin to open for their seasons.

However, one pool in particular is looking to make a few more waves within the next few months in hopes of those waves benefiting the summer of 2019.

Members of a Blue Earth Community Pool Slide Fundraising Committee, a branch of the Blue Earth Active Living Coalition, have been in conversation with one another this past winter in hopes of bringing the vision of a second pool slide to the Blue Earth Community Pool more than just a heat-induced mirage, but a reality.

When the updated Blue Earth swimming pool was built, over 10 years ago, there was intention of building a second slide in the future.

Now, members of the committee are hoping to raise enough funds to build the long-awaited second slide. A bigger, faster, tube-like slide. Last year, the committee raised somewhere around the neighborhood of $5,500, which is not enough for the full slide.

The Blue Earth Community Foundation generously stepped up as the fiscal host for the fundraisers as they work throughout the summer to raise enough money for that highly-awaited second slide.

“We have a goal of $50,000 by the end of the Faribault County Fair,” says?David Kittleson, a member of the Blue Earth Active Living Coalition and chairperson for the slide fundraising efforts. “We hope that whatever we do raise will bring us that much closer to a new slide at the pool.”

Blue Earth Light and Water customers have already been given the heads up in their monthly bill about the ongoing fundraising strategies for the Blue Earth Community Pool slide, and already the committee has gotten a little bit of feedback from their efforts.

Matching funds will be made available by the Huisman Family Fund throughout the summer, meaning anyone who donates, even just one dollar, to the pool slide fund, that dollar amount will be matched by the local Huisman Family Fund.

“It’s very exciting to have this opportunity for our fundraising efforts,” Kittleson says. “We are hopeful this will encourage anyone to donate even the smallest amount. Many hands make light work, as they say. This applies to this situation as well.”

Kittleson says he has already reported the committee’s efforts to the Blue Earth Parks Committee, where Blue Earth City Council member Glen Gaylord is chair. Every year, the Parks Department is committed to assisting one recreational activity, and Kittleson is encouraged by the progression of the pool slide committee’s fundraising efforts so far.

“I think if we show our City Council how dedicated we are to raising these funds and seeing that slide go up, we will have a more likely chance they will notice our efforts and potentially help us see this through.”

This year, specifically, the ALC committee has created a few events throughout the summer in order to help students get the most out of their summer experience at the Blue Earth Community Pool.

The Prairie Express will be lending a helping hand to the communities of Frost and Elmore as the students from the local small towns in that area will receive a ride to the swimming pool on Tuesdays and Wednesdays of each week to the Blue Earth site.

The Blue Earth Community pool also offers a variety of events throughout the summer including morning lap swimming, water aerobics, swimming lessons, water zumba, family swim, open swim, and many more activities.

“Its important that we give all of our students every opportunity we can to be a part of the Blue Earth swimming community,” says pool manager, Michelle Hall. “Not only is it a way to beat the summer heat, but it is a way for students to stay connected with their friends over the summer, and be actively involved in something healthy, and community-based. We have a full staff of trained lifeguards on duty at all times, as well as a snack bar.”

Located at Blue Earth’s Putnam Park, the Blue Earth Community Pool has been a base for summer kid swimmers for over 40 years, with major upgrades taking place within the past 10 of those years.

“The swimming pool is one of the best parts about summer,” says committee member Lill Robinson. “We want to make the best part about summer even better by adding this second slide. We are seeing our community grow in a number of different ways. It only makes sense that as our city grows, so do our resources for those community members and their children.”

If you are interested in donating to the Blue Earth Community Pool Slide Fund, head to the Blue Earth Community Foundation website and fill in “pool slide” in the tribute/dedication box. That, or check out the Blue Earth Pool Slide Fundraiser Facebook page and get any necessary information there. Or, you can send donations directly to the Pool Slide Fund, P.O. Box 390, Blue Earth, Minnesota, 56013.