Town of Minden approves splash pad for Minden Park |

Town of Minden approves splash pad for Minden Park

by Rachel Spacek
The tree and planter box in Minden Park.
Rachel Spacek |

Envisioning children playing in geysers of cold water on hot days, a splash pad was approved by the Town of Minden board to replace the big planter and the evergreen in the Minden Town Park.

Only one resident, former Town Board member Bruce Jacobsen, spoke against the proposal, saying the tree was planted in memory of longtime volunteer fire chief Dan Hellwinkel, who served for half a century on the town fire department.

Hellwinkel received a plaque for his service from the governor in 1997.

“If you knew Danny, you knew Minden,” Jacobsen said.

Jacobsen acknowledged the tree is starting to impede raising the flag that flies in Minden Park and wasn’t sure how to make sure the flag could be seen without removing the tree, however he was very opposed to replacing it with a splash pad.

“I think the splash pad is an absolutely foolish idea,” Jacobsen said.

“It will get used during the special events but other than that, there are no more kids in Minden.”

One local mother, Adrian Sawyer stood up after Jacobsen to say, yes, there are still children in Minden.

“I think it is a great idea, we do have kids in Minden, we are few and far between but we are here,” Sawyer said.

“A splash pad is a great idea for kids.”

Mother Wendy Lang said she values the history of the tree and the history of Minden, but thinks the splash pad will help with the revitalization of the town.

Lang said she is from Hawthorne a place she said stopped growing and started dying.

She does not want to see that happen to Minden.

“I would much rather take my children up the street to this park than to travel to the nice splash pad Carson City installed downtown,” Lang said.

“I’d rather spend my money at a local restaurant and have a nice lunch and watch my kids play and I think a lot of people would as well.

“I think it is a great location it is within walking distance from Minden Elementary.

“I would love to bring more activity and revitalization to downtown Minden and I think this would help us do that.”

Board member Roxanne Stangle said she has been in favor of the splash pad the entire time since it was proposed, however she does not want to see the tree “cut up and thrown away.”

She proposed moving the tree to Bougainvillea Park and adding a plaque to it to remember Hellwinkel and others who gave so much to the community.

“People identify Minden as the Minden Park and I am really proud of that I think we’ve done a lot of community things on it,” Stangle said.

Board members agreed with Stangle that the tree should be moved, and a plaque installed and approved the construction of a splash pad in Minden Park was approved by board members. The project will be added to the budget for Fiscal Year 2018-2019.

The tree is located in front of the gazebo and is lit along with the gazebo at the annual Minden lighting.