LUVERNE, Minn. (KELO) — Summer is the time many people in KELOLAND head to their favorite campground or park. One KELOLAND campground once again has water for visitors after years without.
Ed Syverson and his wife Barb are enjoying a walk around the campground at Blue Mounds State Park this morning with their dogs Belle and Buster.
“We kind of live for camping, we have taken in a lot of the state parks in Minnesota, we just love the parks, and it’s an opportunity to bring our dogs with us, which is my wife’s passion, and they travel really well, and we just enjoy camping,” camper Ed Syverson said.
The Minnesota State Park just north of Luverne has plenty to offer its guests, from camping, to biking and hiking trails, to even a bison herd.
“Our herd is special because they do not have cattle genetics in the point in them to where we can test, so that makes them part of only one percent of bison in the United States that don’t have that cattle genetics,” interpretive naturalist at Blue Mounds State Park, Amber Brooks said.
That’s not all. The park now has water that’s safe for drinking, cooking, and showering, after years without.
“In early 2019 we tested the water and then in April of 2019 that’s when we found out we were safe to go,” Brooks said.
Water was first affected back in 2014 when E. Coli was found in the parks well.
A second well was dug, but also contained E. Coli bacteria.
“The wells tested positive for E. Coli, which is an indicator that we had some poor water quality here in the park, we decided to go ahead and shut down those wells since they were not safe for human consumption, those wells were shut down for about five years,” Brooks said.
That’s something the Syverson’s noticed on their trip to the park last year.
“We weren’t really prepared at the time for needing as much of our own water as we should have had, there was something wrong with the water system and so this year we really came prepared, we didn’t know if we were to have water or not, so we brought a lot of our own water and it seems to be fine now,” Syverson said.
During the time without water, visitors had to use resources elsewhere.
“We asked people to go into the city of Luverne to check out that aquatic center, they were wonderful enough to allow people to go in and take showers in town,” Brooks said.
Now that the park has been able to connect to a rural water system, they’re hoping to see more visitors in the park.
“In 2014 we did see a 50 percent decrease in campers here at the park, so we are hoping to go ahead and get those campers back, back to see our bison, and of course we do have our new prairie and bison tour, so hopefully that will encourage more people to the park and of course now they can take a shower after they spend some time on the prairie,” Brooks said.
As for the Syversons, they plan to make trips back to Blue Mounds State Park for years to come.
“We go to as many campgrounds as we can because we always come down here a couple times a year in this area, and so I’m sure we will be back,” Syverson said.