City agrees to help install Fairy Wonderland Park

Posted 3/29/22

PRESCOTT – The long-anticipated Fairy Wonderland Park will start development this year. The Prescott City Council’s Parks Department reviewed plans on that and discussed hiring lifeguards, the …

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City agrees to help install Fairy Wonderland Park


PRESCOTT – The long-anticipated Fairy Wonderland Park will start development this year. The Prescott City Council’s Parks Department reviewed plans on that and discussed hiring lifeguards, the need for more pickleball courts, and what to do about the skate park at its meeting last Monday evening.

The committee comprised of two members: chair Bailey Ruona and alderperson Rob Daugherty. Alderperson Pat Knox did not attend.

City Administrator Matt Wolf told the committee that the Fairy Wonderland Park plans to move forward with phase 1 of its plan for a park to be located within Saint Croix Bluffs Park.

Prescott families who have lost children have for years been


“Zone F” of the proposed Fairy Wonderland Park should be installed this year. The City of Prescott Parks Committee gave its go-ahead for city workers to install equipment at no cost to the Fairy Wonderland committee as it fits with their current workload. Graphic courtesy of the City of Prescott.

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raising money to build the park in memory of their kids. The three children the park is dedicated to are Ellery Ennenga, Tyler Orpen, and Ava Christianson.

Project co-leader Alison Ennenga told The Journal earlier this year one inspiration for the park’s magical theme.

“Right before my daughter Ellery died, we had decided that we would build a fairy garden,” she said.

Project co-leader Bethany Christenson continued, “The same thing happened with us. Ava was really crazy about Pinterest and found these fairy gardens, so we had just put one in our backyard and then she passed away really shortly after that, and we just loved the idea of kids playing in a life size fairy garden.”

The tribute to these children comes through in the park's meaning and background. This park is a way for people to remember loved ones after they have passed or to honor loved ones still with them today. The park’s website features fairies inspired by real people. The fairies featured on the website are a special way to donate to the project. When someone buys a fairy, the money goes toward building the park and in return for the donation, they receive a fairy inspired by a real person. They are given a hand drawn representation of that person along with a short bio on who they are. These fairies are available for anyone to see on the website and will be incorporated into the real park.

The plan is for the park to look exactly like a life-size fairy garden with interactive elements.

The goal is for the park to be a one-of-a-kind destination for not only Prescott residents, but surrounding communities as well. They plan to design it to be high quality so that it lasts for years to come. Because of this, the park is a large and expensive project to take on. This has not stopped the persistence of the families involved to get this project going and to continue gaining momentum each year.

The plan is for “Zone F” of the plan to be installed this year, known as “Dreamcatcher Cove.”

The group is hoping for help from the City of Prescott to install the equipment at no charge for the park.

“One of the things they did reach out to us and ask if there’s any possibility that they pay for materials and we donate the needed labor to install the things,” said Wolf. “I talked to Mike (Public Works Director Mike Kinneman), and he doesn’t have an issue with it other than the fact that we are getting requests for a lot of assistance. We’re not sure when we should be able to do it.”

The city is going to reach out to the Fairy Wonderland organizers for exact dimensions. If any additional equipment – such as a crane – is needed for installation, the city would not pay for that.

“I don’t have a problem with that,” said Ruona. “The understanding just needs to be that it needs to be prioritized with our current workload.


The committee recommended a raise in pay for lifeguards at a pay rate of $14-$16 per hour. Last year, the city couldn’t find any lifeguards in the $10-$12 range. Neighboring communities pay between $12 and $19 per hour.

On top of that, the Prescott beach doesn’t officially open until water recedes from the beach each year, so the lifeguards haven’t been needed until around July 1.

Wolf suggested the new pay range depend on qualifications, which would cost the city up to $25,000 annually. The workers could also do clean-up in the parks if the beach isn’t open. There is $10,000 budgeted for the lifeguard positions, but Wolf suggested using money budgeted for the city planner – who isn’t starting until May and was budgeted for the full year – to help pay the lifeguards.

“Currently the City of Prescott has a planner position budgeted for the whole year at $55,000 plus benefit. However, the current planner will not start full-time until the end of May, which results in a cost savings of $18,190. The city would use these funds to bridge the gap to hire the lifeguards,” a memo to the committee from Wolf states.

The city is looking to hire four lifeguards. Kinneman also noted that the beach should open early this year.

“The water is down as far as I’ve ever seen. I think we’re going to be opened earlier this year,” he said.


The committee will work with Prescott Pickleball to find more places for the sport to be played. Currently, the sport, which is gaining in popularity, is played on two temporary courts set up on tennis courts at Public Square Park.

The committee is asking for temporary striping on additional tennis courts to allow for four more pickleball courts.

Prescott Pickleball said the sport is growing in popularity and more than 80 local players are involved on a regular basis. Players range in age from teens into the 80s.

The committee agreed to allow restriping lines with temporary tape on Public Square tennis courts and will work with Prescott Pickleball for “long-term solutions,” such as permanent courts at Public Square, St. Croix Bluffs Park or other locations.

Skate Park

City staff was directed to look at the skate park, located near the Prescott Police Department, to see what repairs need to be made to it. Staff will also determine if there’s another location better suited for the park and if it’s feasible to move it.

Kinneman said some equipment in the skate park is deteriorating, and there are vandalism problems there.

-Melissa Thorud contributed to this story