After a break, swimmers flock to the reopened Flandrau pond | News, Sports, Jobs
NEW ULM – For the first time in a few years, Flandrau State Park’s sand-bottomed swimming pond is open.
Due to a shortage of staff, it will be open from 11:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. Thursday through Sunday.
The pond was closed in 2020 due to issues with the pond’s three main circulation pumps. A number of other parts of the pond have also been replaced.
Last year, the pond did not open due to ongoing social distancing issues related to COVID-19. When the restrictions were lifted, it was too late to hire staff and lifeguards for the summer. A state hiring freeze hasn’t helped either.
A variety of children and adults from New Ulm and as far away as the Twin Cities metro area enjoyed the water Friday afternoon as the temperature hit 80 degrees.
Kayla Lund of New Ulm said she and her two children coped with the pond closure by purchasing an above-ground swimming pool online.
“Even from Thursday to Sunday, it’s better than nothing”, said Lund.
Sarah Zahrt of New Ulm said she and her two children have visited Lake Hanska, Clear Lake near Gibbon and been to Sleepy Eye Water Park over the past two summers.
“We live near the state park, so it’s easier to come here,” said Zahrt. “I’m really happy that it’s open again. It’s good for the community and for everyone who lives here.
A group of three families from Minneapolis, including six adults and a dozen children, came to New Ulm on Thursday to rent an Airbnb residence near the old Marktplatz shopping center.
“It’s a pretty town. Many things to do. It’s the perfect time to be here. said Molly Stommes.
In the past, the group rented Airbnb homes in Rochester, Duluth and Lutzen.
“We were here 12 years ago. It is a pleasant and quiet town, an excellent retreat from the big city. said Michael Keegan of Minneapolis.
Flandrau State Park pond schedule changes will be posted on the Minnesota DNR website: https://www.dnr.state.mn.us/state_parks/.
(Fritz Busch can be emailed to [email protected])