I love our community’s commitment to healthy living. Area support of the arts, youth sports, and outdoor amenities benefit us all and make our community a desirable destination for others.

This is why I was shocked to learn that members of the Mankato City Council are considering destroying Tourtellotte Pool to replace it with a splash pad (i.e., a fancy sprinkler system for tots).

Tourtellotte Pool is one of only six outdoor 50-meter pools in Minnesota and thus, is a boon to our community. It is the summer home of our local swim teams (Mantas and Marlins) that engage hundreds of kids ages 5 to 18, and is a busy place during daily adult fitness swim.

It serves scores of local children and teens who find open swim an affordable, fun and healthy way to spend their time, and it provides the first job for many who lifeguard, teach swim lessons, sell concessions and pool passes.

It is also the destination for hundreds of families across the state who come to town twice annually for swim meet weekends, generating revenue for area hotels and businesses in addition to rave reviews of our community.

At a time when we need more than ever to promote opportunities for our kids to step away from technology and engage in healthy pursuits, I am grateful for the forward thinking of the Mankato leaders who in 1939 had the wisdom and dedication to build Tourtellotte pool. It would be a devastating blow if the current Mankato leaders destroy it believing that a splash pad could even come close to filling the void they will create.

Jennifer Ackil

North Mankato

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