kids don't float

Untitled.jpgThis summer, Three Rivers has been offering life jackets to borrow free of change thanks to our participation in the Minnesota Water Safety Coalition's "Kids Don't Float" program - first available at French Regional Park, with additional boxes at Baker Park Reserve and Bryant Lake Regional Park. The boxes are self-serve. Boaters simply remove a life jacket for their day of boating and return the life jacket to the box when they leave the lake. Both adults and kids need life jackets while boating, but child-sized life jackets are often in short supply. Be sure to read more to learn how the program works.

Three Rivers is a member of the Minnesota Water Safety Coalition, which also includes Abbey’s Hope, North Memorial Hospital, the Hennepin County Sheriff’s Office, Brooklyn Park Police, Brooklyn Center Police, Plymouth Fire Department, Foss Swim School, Cabela’s, the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, Swimmunity, Oaks Properties and the Minneapolis Parks & Recreation Board. The Park District’s role consists of hosting the boxes at Three Rivers parks; the jackets and boxes were funded by the State Bank of Hamel and Cabela’s.

The Kids Don’t Float program has been in place for several years in Hennepin County. It began with life jackets boxes available for use at three locations on Lake Minnetonka: Gray’s Bay, Spring Park Bay, and Maxwell Bay. Minnesota law requires that a life jacket is accessible for each person on a boat. The law requires that kids under age 10 wear a life jacket while the watercraft is underway. It is recommended that boaters of all ages wear life jackets. Most boating fatalities take place due to falls overboard or capsizing, not collisions.

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John Gunyou
Three Rivers Parks Board Chair