Twin City Seniors to Fight City Hall

Edinborough Park is a recreational oasis in Minnesota’s Twin-Cities. Situated in the Edina suburb, the recreational city park features a junior Olympic-sized pool, a running track, and a play area for kids, and a 250-seat amphitheatre. Winding trails traverse shaded areas of trees and plants. Thousands of nearby Minnesotans visit each year.

For seniors, the main attraction of Edinborough Park is the pool. Heated to 84 degrees, it is a spot for aquatics, an exercise that provides flexibility for older adults with arthritis and other bone problems or for those with prosthetics.

The City-owned Park has become a cause for controversy since a designated consultant recommended the pool could be filled in to make more space for children's activities. This situation has led to many seniors flooding City Hall with complaints.

Edina resident Rita Acker, 81, told the StarTribune west metro that swimming has improved her legs to delay a knee replacement for 10 years. "It's very important to me, and the camaraderie is wonderful," she told the media source. "Kids are wonderful, but do they need more space? Seniors need space, too."

Recent retiree Cheryl Lany told the StarTribune west metro: "This is a city park, and this is something people over 55 want." She added, "The city needs to provide for everyone, not just for group sports."

The recommendations have come about because Edinborough Park – despite the joy it brings to the community – is running a deficit. The City's consultant has determined that the pool is underused and unprofitable. This year, the park is expected to pull in less than $1.2 million in revenue with expenses of $1.6 million operational costs.

Many local seniors feel the City could promote the pool and Edinborough Park to increase attendance and revenue.

Aquatics is a big feature in many Assisted Living and Continuing Care communities.