Crookston Eagles hosts Bean Bag Toss; Nature's View Estates emerges as a potential location

    After some help from their friends at the Crookston Eagles, the future Crookston Splash Park is a little bit closer to their fund-raising goal.    

    "We are currently one-third of the way to our goal for the toys or water features," said co-chair of the Crookston Splash Park fundraising effort Shirley Iverson. "The Crookston Eagles have really stepped up with fundraising and including us in their events."    

    The first annual Bean Bag Toss Tournament held at the Eagles March 15 brought out 24 teams and lasted through the night with music and entertainment. The Eagles will be making a $500 donation to the Splash Park on top of what was raised from the tournament.    

    The next fundraiser at the Eagles will be on April 4 with the popular "Dueling Pianos."    

    "When the Dueling Piano performers do songs, they get requests with a tip," explained Randy Beggs, state officer of the Eagles. "They are going to donate their tips to the Splash Park this year like they did last year with Crookston Baseball."     

    The Crookston Noon Day Lions have also been a big help for the Splash Park, said Splash Park co-chair Shirley Iverson, by having a fundraiser recently at the Girls High School basketball game.    

    The future Splash Park wants to give a special shout-out to people who make every-day donations in the canisters at the service stations around town, she added.    

    "They are our go-getters and are helping us get closer to opening," said Iverson, who's leading the initiative with Ann Longtin.
What's next   

    A second annual "Girls Night Out" in the next couple months at the Eagles and their second annual "Costume Run" will be at 10 a.m. on Saturday, May 17, both to the benefit of the Splash Park.    

    "We had a lot of fun people come out for the costume run last year," said Iverson. "There were families and pets all dressed up and everyone had a great time."    

    They will also be doing some fundraising during the All-School Reunion this June.    

    "We hope that attendees and alumni will remember the days when there was an outdoor pool and how much fun they had as kids," said Iverson. "We hope they will give back to the community in support of this fun children's play area."

Grant pursuit   

    "The Splash Park is working with a new grant writer and expanding their pursuit of grants," said Iverson. "So far, we are applying for the Otto Bremer Foundation grant and a child health and wellness grant. We hope to apply for more and once we get closer to our goal we will work closer with the Crookston Parks & Rec team."


    While the future Crookston Splash Park is still considering the Castle Park area for their location, another option has presented itself, Iverson said.    

    Bob Herkenhoff is in talks with the city, county and state for land development on Crookston's northeast corner, home to his Nature's View Estates housing development, and thinks it would be a prime location for the Splash Park. Iverson is his realtor, so they discuss the topic frequently.    

    The borrow pit used to build Highland School has been dug out as part of plans to make a natural, man-made lake that will enhance the view of those who buy and build in Nature's View Estates, as well as provide nature and recreation-based opportunities. Herkenhoff and CHEDA Executive Director Craig Hoiseth have met with Minnesota DNR and Fish and Wildlife officials to discuss the possibilities and potential funding opportunities, and a splash park that continuously recycles the water it uses could be a part of that vision, Hoiseth and Iverson said.   

    Castle Park remains in play, too, but a significant portion of the park could soon be home to the city's new campground and RV park, with as many as 60 slots. If that ends up being the case, the Splash Park could be squeezed for space in the Sampson's Addition park.   

    Once the Crookston Splash Park meets their goal and picks a location, they could finish construction in as little as 30 days if contractors were available, she said.    

    "The main areas we would need work on is in plumbing, electrical, laying the slab and installing the features," explained Iverson. "Other towns have done it in 30 days, however the Crookston area has had a lot of development recently. Because of all the building of houses, it might take longer to find professionals in the area who are available."    

    Note: Times Managing Editor Mike Christopherson contributed to this story.