Last year was a summer without wading pools in St. Cloud. It was almost like a Christmas without Santa. Surprisingly, the reason why pools were closed didn't have anything to do with the drought or the pandemic.

In fact, the reason why pools stayed closed was due to lifeguard shortages. They didn't have enough staff to keep their facilities open. St. Cloud has seven wading pools including; Centennial, Haws, Hester, Pantown, Rotary, Seberger, and Spalt parks.

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St. Cloud Mayor Dave Kleis told WJON, the city's wading pools would remain closed until further notice. No official announcement has been made either way for summer 2022.

One thing is for certain, St. Cloud residents want their pools open and they want more options. Peggy Burke wrote on the St. Cloud, MN Area Community Page on Facebook, "St. Cloud REALLY needs an outdoor swimming pool. Those of us who grew up in St. Cloud have fond memories of summers spent in the Municipal Swimming Pool!"

Her post linked to an article about New Hope's new aquatic center.

Janet Wood chimed in, "Why not put an outdoor swimming pool and pool house in at the old Clarkfield. Plenty of room. If the city has money to redo the Beaver Island Trail they should find money to put a new pool in!"

Frank Haynes wrote, "The move is to splash pads because they are cheaper to build and maintain and do not need staff (lifeguards are hard to find). Of course, the downside is kids do not learn to swim, but the Y has taken that over."

Last year, St. Cloud residents with young children were able to cool off via three of the city's splash pads.

We reached out to St. Cloud's Parks and Recreation Department for comment but have not heard back from them.

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