Visitors to Fergus Falls will soon be able to take advantage of two new water projects underway!

Opening in Spring 2024 is the Splash Pad located downtown, next to the gentle meandering of the Otter Tail River. This is a free, outdoor park with jets, spray features, wading pools, fountains, and public art. A pergola protects visitors from the sun and there is ample seating providing spots to watch kids play, enjoy outdoor coffee, ice cream or lunch and take in the vista of historic City Hall and the river.

Two sculptures provide whimsical and engaging art at the splash pad. The Wind Sculpture by Carl Zachmann rotates on a spindle and mesmerizes visitors with six giant butterflies fluttering around its axis. The second sculpture is a creation of Jeffrey Zachmann (Carl’s dad) and features three bison rocking up and down on a pedestal as though roaming the prairies of west central Minnesota. The wind-powered sculpture will draw visitors into the splash pad, providing an engaging and delightful visitor experience.

Free parking is provided and a sidewalk from the splash pad to downtown businesses keep access safe and convenient for park users. A restroom/changing structure completes this site, which is Phase 2 of downtown riverfront redevelopment in Fergus Falls.

This magazine featured the first phase in the 2023 edition, highlighting Spies Riverfront Park and Market Pavilion. It is a fantastic draw to downtown with a vibrant farmers market and event space. Several downtown businesses have embraced creating a “back” of the store entry option and offer riverside access to shoppers and diners.

Splash Pad 2
Sculpture Splash
Screenshot 2024 04 01 155327

The second new water project in development is the new outdoor Fergus Falls Aquatic Center in Roosevelt Park. Approved by voters in 2022, the design and bids are approved and 2024 will largely be a construction year. The aquatic center features a zero-depth entry pool, water slide, four lane lap swimming pool, changing rooms, showers, lockers, and a concession area. The City of Fergus Falls anticipates a spring 2025 grand opening.



By Jean Bowman