Splash Pad at Bielenberg Gets Lukewarm Reception from Woodbury City Council

The council went over several aspects of the exterior of the planned field house and lobby during a workshop Wednesday night.

A splash pad was discussed as part of a comprehensive look at the exterior for the Bielenberg Sports Center expansion project during a Woodbury City Council workshop Wednesday night.

While most aspects of the work—the plaza, outdoor rink and playground for kids of all abilities—were received favorably, the council expressed some concerns about the water feature.

The splash pad plans, as detailed by Stantec landscape architect John Slack, call for two areas, one for toddlers and another for older children and adults. It would be located north of the Madison’s Place playground.

Councilwoman Julie Ohs has long advocated for the splash pad, saying Wednesday it would make the new facility “more accessible, more inclusive.”

“That’s exactly what I had in mind,” she said of the plans.

But Councilman Christopher Burns reiterated that he’s “not a fan” of having a splash pad—which would likely cost about $500,000—as part of the overall plans for the sports center’s expansion.

Burns said a “sprinkler in the backyard” might serve the same purpose.

Councilwoman Amy Scoggins, too, said she had her doubts.

“I’m not really sold on it,” she said, adding that experiences with her own children showed they tired of other splash pads quickly.

Mayor Mary Giuliani Stephens and Councilman Paul Rebholz, meanwhile, said they don’t have strong feelings either way on a splash pad, and the city is set to recall the Bielenberg Sports Center Expansion Task Force to gather feedback on it.

Slack, the landscape architect, said the splash pad would likely be a popular feature.

“I think you’re going to create a parking problem,” he said.

More Coverage

Woodbury Playground Would be State’s Largest for Kids of All Abilities

Outdoor Movies in Woodbury? Update on Pleasure Rink for Bielenberg Sports Center Expansion

‘The Front Door’ for the New Bielenberg Sports Center


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Joe February 21, 2013 at 05:33 PM
$500,000 for a splash pad is a waste. There is already one in CG 5 miles away. Take the $500,000 and put up boards and cooling pipes in the outdoor rink and make it usuable for hockey practices (for rental fee of course). This would address a lack of available ice time in Woodbury as well as provide a revenue stream to help pay for operating costs of the new Bilenberg sports center.
Allie Ziemann February 21, 2013 at 07:31 PM
Splash pad would be much appreciated in Wdby, yest the one in CG is close but its def. one more thing for families to be able to do w/in the city. Wdby is a city that is growing like crazy and there needs to be more free family friendly activities for kids of all ages.
Dana Millington February 21, 2013 at 08:03 PM
I disagree. This would be a fabulous addition to the facility and a fabulous addition to the inclusive playground as the splash pad would be fully accessible - allowing access for everyone! This is a recreational opportunity for everyone, not a spot for just those that play hockey, or soccer, or baseball - this area would be for all. Not every child or adult plays a sport and this is a great opportunity to create a place in Woodbury to enjoy. There are thousands of people here during the summer, siblings watching other siblings play sports - this would be a great add to cool off after games, during games, and give all kids something to do while they are there.
kok February 21, 2013 at 08:35 PM
Splash pad...How does the facility create revenue on that? Sounds like a giant petri dish to me. Gee kids lets go romp in the raw sewage pad at Bielenberg... If it is operated by the same clowns currently running the place it will be a colossal embarrassment.
yomammy February 21, 2013 at 08:52 PM
I had fun once too---hated it...
kok February 21, 2013 at 09:14 PM
Hey I'm all for fun Mammy, just tell me how anyone over the age of 2 will find this remotely amusing. Put in a waterpark with slides or a wave pool..something that may actually pay for itself and create a "fun" atmosphere for a wider variety of age groups. Teens are the only age group who currently have no destination. Why not offer something for them as well? This whole idea of playground and splash pool is too segregating, besides most the Mommies in this town send their twerps to daycare and won't be dragging their tribe there on their own, they will leave that dirty job to someone else..
JM February 21, 2013 at 09:15 PM
How would this generate revenue. It would just be one more project like light rail, so the taxpayers can pay for Allie and others to have "free" spots for her and her kids.
Kris Janisch February 21, 2013 at 09:16 PM
I think the city usually asks a question about water parks (and how much folks would be willing to pay in taxes) on the biannual community survey.
Kris Janisch February 21, 2013 at 09:18 PM
Also, I believe the funds for exterior stuff would come from park-dedication fees. I'm not 100 percent if it's all of it or parts. I'll ask.
kok February 21, 2013 at 09:24 PM
By no means did I mean to suggest this be a free park. All these people screaming for free entertainment for their kids can take them to Como..All have $ for yoga classes, manipedis, coach purses.....Guess what if you can't throw out $5 to take your kid to a waterpark then turn on the sprinkler in your back yard, oh yeah, thats not free either Outrage!
Kris Janisch February 21, 2013 at 09:27 PM
I get it Irish, just wanted to note that we might get some feedback about water parks in Woodbury in general in the next few months.
Joe February 21, 2013 at 09:27 PM
I know the stonemill farms development is getting their own (pivate) splashpad. Not sure about any of the other developments in woodbury but I wouldn't be surprised to see some of the wealthy ones follow suit. I would rather see them build a city waterpark with water slides etc like they have in Edina. The novelity of a cement slab with sprinklers wears off quickly and doesn't generate any revenue.
Kris Janisch February 21, 2013 at 10:31 PM
Got a new image uploaded to this post, and if the internet stops being funky I'll have the full PDF up soon too. It's pretty neat.
DMS February 22, 2013 at 12:54 AM
As a recreation professional (and someone without children)- I see the value in splash pads. As a city, why would Woodbury push their residents to another city to enjoy their leisure time? Why not keep them local where they may spend additional money within the city? Another key factor is that splash pads are all-inclusive and not another field, rink, playing structure, etc for athletes. I have experienced first hand the success of splash pads and spray parks and fully support Woodbury adding this feature to a facility that is growing to meet the needs of all individuals. Kudos to those pushing for inclusion.
HHF34 February 22, 2013 at 06:59 AM
Watering restrictions in Woodbury - you can't just turn the sprinkler on in your own back yard any time the kids want to go out and play!
HHF34 February 22, 2013 at 07:05 AM
One rather large advantage to a splash pad, especially with some kids, you don't need to worry about them drowning or running off into the deeper pool. Kids get their fun, yet it's safer for kids you aren't ready to be taking to the pool quite yet (i.e. still in swim diapers, prone to running off toddlers/preschoolers, etc. They're also more inclusive on many levels... While I agree, the price tag is a bit on the steep side especially when a half-million would be better spent elsewhere (like, say, taxpayers putting in pools of their own!), I'm surprised that there aren't more of them in the area. The one put in where I'm originally from is constantly busy.
TM February 22, 2013 at 12:34 PM
Splashpad? Fine, but not at that price. That's crazy!
Jeannie February 22, 2013 at 12:59 PM
The splash pad is a great idea. Having one near a playground in the summer is even a better idea. As a youthful community, this would be a great addition for our children and families. If you saw the balance sheet on how much money we actually spend in the City of Woodbury, the $500K would not be a burden. In addition, I do agree with another comment that our community needs entertainment for teens.
yomammy February 22, 2013 at 01:39 PM
yomammy February 22, 2013 at 01:43 PM
Build it...but... 1. have a low $1-$2 per person fee to get in to cover builiding and maitenance/staff costs 2. keep "fresh" water at least partially renewing the water to avoid butt-soup (fresh water heated by solar first... 3. take the portion of water that gets expelled and fill a pond or something "natural" (or water the grass)
lori February 22, 2013 at 02:55 PM
A sprinkler in the backyard works the same???? so everybody in Woodbury owns a single family home??? I own a townhouse and have a 3 yr old that would love this as much as she loves the one in CG!!
Kris Janisch February 22, 2013 at 03:31 PM
I forgot about the watering restrictions too.
Joe February 22, 2013 at 04:13 PM
Most townhomes have a spicket on the back of the townhouse and at least some yard space. Condo's and apartments usually don't have anything. Regardless, maybe you shouldn't live in a condo/apartments/townhome when you have small kids. Besides Bielenberg is literally like 4 miles from the CG splash pad. 99% of the people are goign to have to drive to Bielenberg anyways, and to drive an additional 4 miles to CG one doesn't seem like much of a burden. In 10 years, the splash pad will be an ugly rusted piece of cement. $500,000 can be spent better in other ways.
Jane M February 22, 2013 at 04:46 PM
I'd love a splah pad. If the city needs revenue have a concession stand.
JM February 22, 2013 at 05:39 PM
Gee, I wonder why taxes are so high? I decided a pool was important to me, so I live in a development with a pool. Why should taxpayers have to pay for your "free" recreation. It's like the poor parents that have to pay school taxes, when they send their kids to a private school so their kids can get a better education. Give me, give me, give me. At least the fields make money by charging the people that use them.
Jim McGurran February 22, 2013 at 07:04 PM
I'm all for the pool/waterpark, not a silly spash-pad. The waterpark would probably pay for itself with user fees. And if the revenue projections say it wouldn't be self-supporting, nix the outdoor ice rink and use those funds to pay for something fun to do outdoors in the summer. This entire Bielenberg icerink and fieldhouse expansion is all about wintertime. Let's create something fun to do in the summer that can keep Woodbury money in Woodbury.
Kris Janisch February 22, 2013 at 07:52 PM
I have to admit I've never been to a splash pad. I do like the water slides at Valley Fair though.
SomeGuy February 22, 2013 at 09:00 PM
It would be nice to have more destinations in Woodbury for all ages, a reason to stay in Woodbury beyond sleeping here. While that may include sports/athletics, it needs to be expanded beyond that demographic and I am encouraged that they are asking questions. Woodbury needs better destinations, restaurants/bars, events - reasons for people to hang around on the weekend (and let me add, spend locally).
relax March 01, 2013 at 07:48 PM
I'd like to think the difference between the splash pad and a "sprinkler in the back yard" is the ability of the splash pad to have community involvement. If it saves the community 500,000 dollars I'm all for having the community gather in Councilman Burn's back yard to run through his sprinkler. I issue that as a challenge to Burns to make his backyard a community gathering ground where a sprinkler will be available. Same rules will be enforced as at a public park. This is an option that would allow everyone to be happy.
SomeGuy March 01, 2013 at 08:03 PM
Relax: I greatly appreciate your post. We really do need to call out our leaders when they make ridiculous comments like that. I guess our expectations for our leaders have lowered to the level where we are longer surprised to hear such comments from one of them. If he has a good arguments against this idea, he should be able to confidently and thoughtfully present them on their merit without hyperbole or exaggeration. And saying he has doubts and welcomes more study is perfectly acceptable as well.


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