COLD SPRING -- After over two years of planning and fundraising, Cold Spring has broken ground on a new two-acre city park.

Alexander Park, located at Main Street and 2nd Avenue South along the Sauk River, will include a splash pad, amphitheater, walking paths, playground equipment for multiple ages groups, a pavilion, bathroom facilities and plenty of picnic tables and shaded green space.

The project was brought to life by the River Park Community Foundation, a nonprofit formed by local businessmen Tim and Tom Kraemer specifically for the Alexander Park Project. In 2018, the group brought the concept to the Cold Spring City Council, who granted approval for the roughly $2 million development.

Nate Stang is a member of the River Park Community Foundation committee. He says the original objective was to build a splash pad. Over time, the committee realized they wanted something "multi-generational" for the entire community.

We wanted to have bathrooms. We wanted to have an amphitheater. We wanted green space. And really, it kind of took off.

Currently, the foundation has over $1 million of necessary funds raised through private and business donors, more than enough to break ground says Stang. He says the project has received an overwhelming show of support.

As soon as we brought this to the public - the community members, community leaders, business owners - really everyone jumped on board. The amount of support as been amazing - financial and emotional.

Stang says they're looking forward to observing how the community uses the park — and how they can develop it in the future.

We've kind of left it to where we can add things on. If the city or us want to raise money down the road, we can. We can add a pickleball court, or more walking trails, whatever it is.

The centerpiece of Alexander Park is the Firefighter's Splash Pad, which Stang says was thought up by the Kraemers as a way to pay homage to public servants.

They didn't just want to buy pizzas, or say thank you. We wanted to do something bigger. So the group got together and we decided to have a firefighters's theme. One, to recognize the brave men and women who serve. And also, (a splash pad) kind of pertains to water - splashing and hoses and things like that.

Construction on Alexander Park will continue through the summer and autumn and pick back up for "finishing touches" in the spring of next year.