Fairmont parks open for season

FAIRMONT — The city’s parks are open and ready for visitors.

That was the message from Nick Lardy, Fairmont street and park superintendent, at the Fairmont Park Board meeting on Tuesday. Due to the lack of a quorum, no official business was conducted, but reports from the park department and Community Education and Recreation were offered.

“It’s been a battle to get everything done,” Lardy said. “This year, we went right from pulling plows off trucks to jumping on lawn mowers.”

All access docks are in, with the exception of those undergoing repairs. The volleyball nets at Gomsrud Park are up, and more sand has been ordered. Also at Gomsrud, a concrete slab has been installed to serve as the foundation for a canoe/kayak rental station the Fairmont Lakes Foundation plans to provide.

Work has been continuing on the third 18-hole disc golf course at Cedar Creek Park. After delays due to late snowfall, volunteers have been constructing the new course. New baskets arrived Tuesday, with the two existing courses also getting color-coded basket upgrades.

Lardy said that the bathrooms at Veterans Park and Ward Park were closed over the weekend due to vandalism. He called the Veterans Park facilities “a disgusting mess” smeared with excrement. The Ward Park facilities were “totally destroyed” with plugged and wrecked plumbing. The Lake Avenue bridge also was vandalized. Residents in the area and motorists driving by the facilities immediately should report any suspicious activity to local law enforcement.

The water has been turned on at the Fairmont Dog Park, and patrons are reminded to pick up after their animals. Plastic bags always are available in the dispenser there.

“Hopefully, people will be mindful and clean up after their dogs,” Lardy said.

Roni Dauer, director of Fairmont CER, highlighted several events planned for the summer. Several sports camps are slated for June for students interested in golf, archery, tennis, basketball and volleyball, and the annual “Summer Reads” VISTA literacy program will be held again this year.

A free workshop called “Strong Fathers, Strong Families” is set for June 25 at Cedar Creek Park and is open to children ages 3-8.

The free summer playground program runs from June 12 through Aug. 9 with activities rotating through the city parks on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays and Makerspace Mondays held at Fairmont Elementary School. These free events are held from 1-3 p.m. and are open to all students entering grades 1-7. Younger ages may attend if accompanied by an adult.

For more information on any CER activities or to pre-register, call the CER office at (507) 235-3141.

Dauer also noted that the “Newcomers and Neighbors” group will meet from 6:45-8 p.m. Thursday at Fairmont Jr. Sr. High School for a tour of the vocational wing. This group is open to all new area residents as well as long-time residents who would like to meet people and learn more about the community. Those attending should use the staff parking lot just east of the tennis courts next to the south wing and enter through Door 24 on the south side of the vocational wing.