SARTELL -- Plans are in the works to bring an all-inclusive playground to Sartell.

The Sartell, St. Stephen and LeSauk Lions Clubs are collaborating to raise funds to build the playground at Lions Park. The city and Sartell-St. Stephen school district has also thrown their support behind the efforts.

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Stu Giffin and Phil Ringstrom are with the Sartell Lions. Giffin says there is a lack of all-inclusive playgrounds in central Minnesota and view this project as a regional draw.

There is roughly 125,000 people in the greater St. Cloud area. There is an all-inclusive playground at Wilson Park in St. Cloud and then the next closest one is in Upsala and has yet to be built. I view this as an area of opportunity for our community.

Some of the amenities include wheelchair ramps, adapted swings, ground-level activities, and most importantly a pour and play surface. The walking trail would remain as is around the site.

(Photo: Stu Giffin)
(Photo: Stu Giffin)
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Jim Mullenbach is with the LeSauk Lions. He says when their organization was approached about this project, they quickly jumped on board.

I haven't see that kind of excitement in the group for a long time. It's one of those projects for the organization that gets everyone excited and involved and helps the Lions as a whole grow.

Ringstrom says they've had a lot of input on the project and have taken a thoughtful approach in making sure it's functional for families.

We thought we would just replace a few pieces, but this endeavor really taught us something. It really was a process and the parent design committee really enlightened us on what path to take with this project.

The total cost of the project is roughly $400,000. Giffin says they hope to receive a $100,000 matching grant to help with the cost, in addition to their own fundraising efforts and financial support from the city.

While the project is still in the early stages, they are hopeful to see some progress start by next summer.

Once the playground is completed, the next goal would be to add a community shelter on the property in the future.

Lions Park was built in 2004 with the help of a Department of Natural Resources grant.

Lions Park

 

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