It's further along than any previous talk, which was just talk.

OK, so raise your hand if you didn’t see that coming. All of a sudden, it seems, there’s an organized, concerted effort underway to raise the six figures necessary in order to construct a “splash park” in Crookston.

    Good for Shirley Iverson and Ann Longtin, the two women spearheading the effort at this early stage. They could be joined soon by others, as more details emerge on what could actually be done, and what needs to happen in order to make a splash park a reality.

    This topic is nothing new, as anyone who’s been around Crookston a while knows. Over the years, in just about every conservation that’s had something to do with the Crookston Community Swimming Pool budget and, specifically, how to boost its revenue ledger, someone has brought up the spark that a splash park could bring to the pool.

    But it’s never really gotten past the casual mention stage. No one has ever taken the lead, no one has studied what can be done and what can’t be done. No one has ever gone public with the announcement that, yes, something is officially underway. According to Iverson and Longtin, who were quoted in a story in last Friday’s Times, several businesses have said they’ll help make a splash park a reality, and several fund-raisers are in the works for this spring. The first one, the Lions Winter Tailgate, was to be held last night during the Pirate girls’ basketball game, but it along with the game were cancelled because of the blizzard. The Tailgate will no doubt be rescheduled, and as soon as the first penny is contributed to the cause, a splash park in Crookston will be closer to reality than it ever has been.

    Now, on the potential location...

    Word is that Crookston’s growing Castle Park is a front-runner  for the splash park. Highland Park is a possibility, too. If one of those don’t work, another city park is a possibility.

    What? It won’t be located at or very near the swimming pool? School district leaders – the district owns the pool, after all – might have a concern or two about this long talked about amenity that could bring an needed influx of cash not being a part of the swimming pool operation.

    But that can be debated later. What’s needed now is momentum, money, and a belief that, with this effort past the casual conversation phase and officially underway, a splash park in Crookston is not an “if” proposition, but a “when.”