With temperatures reaching 87 degrees, it was the perfect evening for residents to enjoy a cold-water spray from a fire hose at Edenvale Park in Eden Prairie.
Wednesday’s “Pop-up Splash Pad” was organized by the City of Eden Prairie in collaboration with Bjorn Cycling, which conducted free bicycle safety checks, Abbey’s Hope, which provided water safety tips, and Hennepin County Library, which offered a pop-up library.
It was hosted by EPPD officers, firefighters, Parks and Recreation staff, and supported by the Human Rights and Diversity Commission (HRDC).
Usually, Eden Prairie residents interact with police officers and firefighters while they patrol neighborhoods or provide emergency support. The pop-up event allowed families to engage informally with emergency personnel.
Today, these opportunities are essential to building trust and improving understanding of the cultures, values and expectations of the diverse communities living in the city’s neighborhoods.
One officer said the main purpose of the police is to keep the community safe. This is only possible by knowing the communities better to remove any fears or perceptions created by stereotypes and past experiences.
Those attending could tour a police squad car and a fire engine. The fire engine is equipped with various tools, medical supplies, foam, a load of water, and different sizes of hoses to take care of emergencies.
Officers and firefighters in attendance provided advice for motorists crossing paths with an emergency vehicle that has its lights and sirens activated. Pulling over immediately to let that vehicle pass helps first responders get to the emergency quicker.
However, don’t rush to get back onto the road once the first emergency vehicle passes. There is always a chance more emergency vehicles are following it.
During the pop-up splash pad event, kids (and some adults, too) also enjoyed cooling off thanks to the fire hose, playing different lawn games, coloring, reading books, and taking tennis lessons.
The next pop-up splash pad event is at Nesbitt Preserve Park on Aug. 9.
Editor’s Note: EPLN contributor Zaheer Babar Khan is a member of the city’s Human Rights and Diversity Commission, which acts in an advisory capacity (according to the city website) to the City Council on matters of diversity, civil and human rights, and the Americans with Disabilities Act.
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