Town Talk: You ask, we answer: Why do wading pools shut before Labor Day?

Often times we get asked, “Why does the City close the wading pools prior to Labor Day weekend? After all, that is the unofficial end of summer.

The answer? It’s sort of a numbers game…

Staffing becomes a real challenge once August rolls in. Students provide our main source of labor. College students are leaving for school. High school students are attending sports and other extra curricular activities and practices and are unavailable to work. Martin Luther Collegein New Ulm, another source of labor, is not yet in session, therefore greatly limiting our resources.

But the days are still so warm… while the weather is still warm and balmy most afternoons, evening temperatures tend to drop, resulting in naturally cooler pool water. It’s suddenly not as refreshing to jump in, especially for the younger children, which the wading pools are specifically designed to accommodate. The days are also considerable shorter in terms of sunlight.

Finally, the novelty of cooling off at a pool has simply worn off… Children and parents are ready to do something else. Attendance decreases. Most years, attendance is cut in half during the month of August. Some years, it’s not that dramatic, but it’s almost always considerably lower than June and July.

No worries; we are fortunate to be able to enjoy many other Park and Rec related activities, including the enjoyment of a beautiful day in one of our many city parks, one of our three indoor facilities or taking part at one of our many program offerings! The opportunities are endless!

The wading pools are scheduled to close this Sunday, August 19; however, due to the forecasted warm temperatures, we are going to leave Washington (only) Wading Pool open for limited hours (2-6 p.m.) through Sunday, August 26. Please sure to check The Journal and New Ulm Park and Rec Facebook Page for any updates.

Editor’s Note: The City of New Ulm presents a weekly column highlighting activities in different departments in the city government. Once a month the city will answer questions from readers. Questions on New Ulm city issues can be sent to