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Minneapolis Park & Recreation offering free admission, swimming lessons at North Commons Water Park

There have been more than two dozen drownings in the state so far this year.

MINNEAPOLIS — The Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board (MPRB) announced all admission fees will be free for anyone who visits the North Commons Water Park.

At their meeting on June 16, commissioners for MPRB voted to eliminate those admission fees at the park.

Swimming lessons will also be free at the park for anyone between the age of 4 and 17, regardless of experience.

"We had to streamline what can we do, what can we offer," said Sarah Chillo, an aquatics manager at the park. 

There have been more than two dozen drownings in the state so far this year. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), children of color have a higher risk of drowning due to numerous factors. Earlier this month, a 12-year-old died days after he was pulled from the water at North Commons Water Park.

Chillo said learning how to swim could be a matter of life or death. 

"Get your kids in swim lessons, the number one combatant to drowning prevention is learning how to swim," she said. "When you do come to our water parks, beaches, please be with your kids and please put your phone down.”

Chillo says although the park is operating with about 50% of their normal certified lifeguards on staff, she's urging parents who come to the park to stay alert and aware.

For information, contact MPRB aquatics staff at 612-230-6495 or aquatics@minneapolisparks.org.

For the current swim lesson schedule at North Commons Water Park, click here.

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