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Vandals sink pieces of Louisville park's popular floating playground

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The floating playground at Louisville State Recreation Area has blown up since it opened four years ago.

The park offers three afternoon sessions  with 100 people maximum  on the platform of 70 inflatables.

“And I would say that 85% to 90% of the time, we have completely booked every session,” said Sherri Gross, who works at the park, about 40 miles northeast of Lincoln.

But the playground is closed for at least a week  maybe longer  after vandals punctured eight of the pieces Thursday night.

The park needs to find divers to unhook the damaged pieces from their anchors, 20 to 25 feet deep in Lake No. 2. Then the pieces need to be taken to the shop, dried, patched, inflated and reinstalled, Gross said.

Park officials hope to have the playground open again by next weekend, but that’s not a guarantee because of a short staffing issue, she said  some of the park’s temporary employees are returning to school.

The floating playground opened in 2018 as part of the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission’s $35 million Venture Parks initiative, designed to draw new visitors to state parks and recreation areas.

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Reach the writer at 402-473-7254 or psalter@journalstar.com.

On Twitter @LJSPeterSalter

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