The donated Lions Park splash pad is up and running after a roller coaster of hangups that almost brought the project to a screeching halt.

Shakopee native and managing director for the water division of Landscape Structures Greg Stoks introduced his patent-pending hydraulic activator system to city council members. It allows children with mental or physical disabilities an accessible area to play.

“It’s very open and inviting and allows not just the kids, but their parents that might be assisting them also to be involved in the actual playground feature itself,” Tracy Pink, chair of the Lions Park Committee, said at the meeting.

Stoks offered to donate his invention and splash pad equipment worth a total $50,000 to Lions Park. He also provided a three-year warranty on all pieces and parts. The equipment features designs of a lion, a frog, reeds, a palm tree and four arch jets. One button activates the water in the entire park.

When the Lions Club and the city of Shakopee found out the estimated water capacity bill was over $30,000 to install the splash pad, the Lions Club, Shakopee Public Utilities and the city were forced to come together to mitigate those costs. In the end, SPU decided to waive the fees entirely, allowing the splash pad to be installed.

Lions Club volunteers installed the splash pad in less than a month.

The splash pad will be open through Labor Day.

Maddie DeBilzan graduated with a journalism degree from Bethel University. She’s interned at Salon Media and the St. Paul Pioneer Press. Outside of work, she sifts through Goodwill clothing racks, listens to Ben Rector's music and goes on long runs.


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