An outdated wading pool calls for something new. Discussions and future plans for Rice Park began in 2013, when the park closed its outdated wading pool. It was then that city officials began working on a comprehensive master plan that would refurbish the city’s existing park system through multi-purpose programming and activities that would serve youth, adults and seniors who live in the community. The master plan included a renovation of Rice Park with the addition of a 3,000 square-foot Vortex Splashpad, shade structures and shelter.
Rice Park was among the first of the city’s parks to receive much-needed upgrades. Steve Brisendine, director of Willmar Community Education and Recreation, states, “By putting the resources into Rice, we are going to create a showcase park right in the middle of the city.”