County to celebrate parks 50th at Bunker Beach

A 50th anniversary celebration of the Anoka County park system will take place at Bunker Beach Water Park from 4-7 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 15.BunkerBeachAdventure2There will be live music, entertainment and other activities for the entire family.

In addition, there will be free admission to Bunker Beach and Bunker Hills Regional Park, where the water park is located, after 4 p.m. Aug. 15.

Bunker Beach features six waterslides, a 900-foot lazy river, leisure pool with climbing wall, a children’s water play structure and a creative sand play area.

This will be the second event this year to mark the 50th anniversary of the opening of the first Anoka County park.

The first was May 22 at Kordiak Park, formerly Highland Park in Columbia Heights, which was not only the first Anoka County park to open but also the first county park in the state.

The park was renamed in honor of former Anoka County Commissioner Al Kordiak, who spearheaded the creation of the county park system and is known as the “father” of the Anoka County parks.

It required special legislation to be enacted by the Minnesota Legislature to allow Anoka County to start its park system.

In the past 50 years, the county park system has grown to include nearly 11,000 acres of natural area, eight regional parks, five county parks and two conservation areas with over 3.8 million visitors a year.

Peter Bodley is at peter.bodley@ecm-inc.com

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