If you build it, they will slide

Staff photo by Clay Schuldt A line of 80 children twist through South Park as they each wait for a chance to throw themselves down the water-slick tarp. This was the first test run for Rec on the Go’s slip ‘n slide, and the response indicates a success.

NEW ULM — South Park has long been a popular place to slide in the winter, but with the addition of a few tarps you can slide in the summer too!

And the kids really want to slide.

The giant slip n’ slide setup in South Park was the work of New Ulm Park and Recreation’s Rec on the Go program.

Recreation Program Supervisor Joseph Schugel said no one makes massive slip ‘n slides, but there are companies in town that make giant tarps. Staff used a portable water source usually used to water park plants to make the tarp slippery, and after a few test runs from staff, area kids were allowed to try it.

For many of the kids this was their first time on a slip ‘n slide. There was a bit of a learning curve, both figuratively and literally. Due to a curve in the South Park hill, the slide tended to pull kids to the left side. Staff directed the kids to dive to the right edge of the slide to counter-act this problem. Even those who didn’t make it all the way to the bottom still had fun.

Schugel said he had the giant slip ‘n slide idea since the start of the Rec on the Go program, but they were waiting for a hot and humid day to try it. As August had now started, they decided to try it even though the temperature was in the 70s.

Despite the mild temperatures, the kids were more than happy to go for a slide. Approximately 80 kids were in line to try the slip ‘n slide within the first 10 minutes.

Schugel said this was a test run for using the slide tarp at other locations. Now that staff know it works, they can bring the slip ‘n slide to Rec on the Go events at Washington Park and Harmon Park if the weather permits.