Although summer got off to a rather soggy start, neighborhood children turned out in tiny droves to celebrate the opening of the newly renovated wading pool at Hiawatha Park on June 17. Under an overcast sky only bluffing about rain, cascades of laughter mingled with the splashing of fountains—fountains in the shape of a trio of oversized cattails and the colorful head of a great blue heron. At the zero-depth end of the pool, geysers of cool water provided endless delight for the tiniest toddlers and their accompanying adults. Benches around the perimeter offered comfortable seating for those parents opting not to kick off their flip-flops, roll up their pant legs, and make a splash of their own. The only sad sounds to be heard were the protests of children who had to leave. “We’ll come back tomorrow,” one parent after another promised.
And it was love at first sight for the beautiful new tennis courts at the north end of the park. The project to replace the crumbling, 23-year-old former tennis complex was made possible through a partnership between the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board and the Support the Courts Foundation. After reconstruction of the playing surfaces and surrounding fencing was completed, the courts opened for recreational use in mid-June. In addition to providing a place for friendly neighborhood games, the new tennis courts will allow competitive play for Roosevelt High School students as well as participants in the Minneapolis InnerCity Tennis program (visit www.innercitytennis.org for more information). The fun and health benefits of tennis are hard to beat, so dust off that old racket and head on over to Hiawatha Park.
A ribbon cutting and celebration of the new wading pool and tennis courts will be held at the Lake Hiawatha Festival at 5:00 p.m. on Aug. 3.