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Find out what's happening in the blog. Below is a list of blog items.

Apr 15

Therapeutic Rec Friday Camp is Back!

Posted to Park and Rec Staff Blog by Jessica Abrahams

Author: Dani Bakken, Recreation Supervisor

Therapeutic Recreation
Friday Camp is back! We are very excited to be able to offer Friday Camp again. Friday Camp is an 8-week program designed for kids with developmental disabilities. The camp features traditional day camp activities from 9:30am to 2:30pm and will be located at Brown Park. This nature day camp includes a fun-filled agenda of small group camp activities, swimming and some special events.  Friday Camp welcomes campers with or without support staff, many who return year after year. Please watch the Therapeutic Recreation newsletter and the website for more information.

We will continue to offer our group programing for Therapeutic Recreation. These are offered two times a month. Please remember advanced registration is required as we do have a limited amount of people who can attend. Please call Dani at 507-774-7110 for more information.

Bowling league is going to continue to be on hold. Please watch the newsletter and website for more information on when this program will start.

Tennis Lessons
Matt Hokanson has joined the city as a Tennis Pro contractor. Matt is a Tennis professional who has been coaching tennis since the age of 15 in his hometown of Bemidji, MN. This past fall her served as the Assistant Varsity Tennis Coach for the Bemidji High School Girls, who went on to win the Section 8AA championship. Growing up, I was a two-sport athlete. I played football from 3rd grade through my 9th grade year, and then played only tennis from 10th-12th grade. As a tennis player, I was a 5-year Varsity Tennis player at Bemidji High School in Bemidji, Minnesota. While on the Varsity tennis team, I played #1 Singles from my Sophomore year through my Senior year. I also played numerous 16U & 18U tournaments in the USTA

Northern Junior system. I bounced between a 1-2 star recruit in high school and finished ranked as the #744 ranked player in the United States and #20 in Minnesota for the 2015 class. Matt went on to play Division 1 college tennis in the Big Sky Conference at the University of North Dakota. In Matts free time he enjoys golfing, playing in tennis tournaments, and fishing.  He is excited to be offering Junior Tennis lessons. Please watch the website for more information on the Summer Lessons!

Adopt-a-Park (AAP) is new in 2021.  Volunteering for AAP is a chance to assist the Parks Department to maintain a clean, beautiful area and communicate any issues associated with a specific park, trail or open space.  Anyone can participate – church groups, organizations, businesses, school clubs, families or individuals.  Volunteers are asked for a once monthly commitment April through October.  Volunteers are responsible for cleaning their site of trash, debris and downed tree limbs.  The also help spread the word of Pack-in, Pack-out and leave no trace!  Encourage others to take with them whatever they brought into the park and dispose of properly.  Volunteers may also undertake beautification efforts in the adopted area upon approval by the Park Director.

The City provides trash bags, buckets and pickers to volunteers.  We also coordinate pickup of trash, debris and limbs.  If a project is being done, the parks department will also provide materials required.  Volunteers will be recognized on signs at the entrance of the adopted park as well as on the city website and social media.

If you’re unable to make a monthly commitment, the Park Clean-Up Kits are better suited for you.  Go to the Park & Rec website to register for a kit.  Kits include buckets, bags & pickers.  You pick up your kit from the Park Shop on Wednesday and return by the following Tuesday.  You can go to any park or any trail during that time.  Leave the filled garbage bags near a trash receptacle in that area for our crew to pick up!

Earth Day Activities
Earth Day is April 22 and we're celebrating all week!  Participate in any activity and be entered into a drawing for a Park & Rec gift card!  To enter, email a photo showing your participation to: or post your photo on our Facebook page.  Participate in any of the activities below anytime throughout the week!

  • Self-Guided Park Clean Up- Help clean up the parks!  We'll provide gloves, garbage bags and instructions at the park pavilions.
    • Monday - Morehouse Park
    • Tuesday - Jaycee Park
    • Wednesday - Dartts Park
    • Thursday - Fairgrounds Park
    • Friday - Brown Park
  • Trail Trivia - Walk the Kaplan's Woods Parkway from Morehouse Park to Lake Kohlmier and see how well you get to know the trail!  Trail Trivia can be found on our website and once you've found the answers, submit your answers on our website or email them to:
  • Earth Day Your Way 5K - Run, walk, bike, roll, skip, hop - get to 5K your way!  Get a 5K in anytime throughout the week and be entered into the Earth Day giveaway drawing!  Once you're finished, email, include: name, whether you biked, ran, walked, etc., your 5K time (optional), a picture of yourself participating in the 5K (optional).
  • Earth Day Walk/Bike to Work - Bike or walk to work at least one day during the week and be entered into the Earth Day giveaway drawing!  Once you're finished, email:, include: name, whether you biked or walked to work, a picture of yourself biking or walking to work (optional).

Apr 02

Engineering Updates 4/2/2021

Posted to Public Works - Engineering Updates by Anna Schwichtenberg

City of Owatonna Engineering

The City of Owatonna Engineering Department has had a busy winter preparing for projects that will take place this construction season around the city. 

We thank you for your patience as these projects are completed.

2021 Construction Projects:
Planning and coordination is taking place for many anticipated projects this season, including: Street Maintenance, Overlays, Truman Avenue Reconstruction, Bridge Street Reconstruction and North Cedar Street Scape. Updates on these projects will be coming soon! A Map of the 2021 Project Locations is available here.

2021 CIPPS: Lining began this week. Typically this process takes about a month to complete all planned areas. Service should not be interrupted, should you experience issues call Hydro-Klean 24/7:1-855-845-5326. 

Stormwater Management: 
Community Service Opportunity – Spring Stormwater Pond Clean-up
Retention Pond
Winter months leave behind large amounts of trash and unwanted debris in waterways and storm water ponds. The City is seeking volunteer groups to help remove garbage from our 29 publicly owned ponds.
This is a perfect way to get out of the house for fresh air and exercise, enjoy the beautiful spring weather, and get involved in the community all while having a positive impact on your environment. The City will provide garbage bags, pond locations, and pick up the bags afterwards.

For further information visit Stormwater Management | Owatonna, MN

Engineering Updates will be posted every Friday. Click here to be notified when the updates are available. 

Public Works
Street Department: The Street Department continues to be busy with street sweeping, tree trimming, pot hole patching and alley repairs. Repair work to boulevards damaged by snow plows was completed this week. 

WWTP: Owatonna EAW and Wastewater Permit Public Notice: A growing population, more wastewater to treat, and yet less algae-causing phosphorus going to rivers. Learn more about the MPCA’s environmental review and draft permit for Owatonna’s proposed wastewater treatment expansion:

To sign up for various department notifications, use the Notify Me feature on The City of Owatonna Website.

To submit a Public Works Maintenance Request, please call 507-444-4350 or fill out  an Online Public Works Maintenance Request Form.

Apr 14

West Hills Social Commons Happenings

Posted to West Hills Social Commons Blog by Jessica Abrahams

West Hills Social Commons is now open! Our hours are Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 8:00am-4:00pm. Below you will find the schedule for the next week.

Monday- April 19

Wednesday- 21

Friday- April 23

8:30- Sewing

9:00- Weight Training

1:30- Bunco

9:00- Weight Training

1:30- Fifty

9:00- Weight Training

11:00- Pokeno

1:30- Bingo

Book Club – Third Monday of the Month at 1:00pm

Calling all avid readers! Adult Leisure Pursuits has a book club! Join the Book Worms at West Hills Social Commons to discuss the monthly books.

  • April 19– Moveable Feast– Ernest Hemingway
  • May 15- Tamarack County– William Kent Krueger
  • June 21– The Icecutter’s Daughter– Tracie Peterson
  • July 19– The Secret of Pembooke Park– Julia Klassen
  • August 16– The Book of Lost Friends– Lisa Wingate
  • September 20– This Tender Land– Will Kent Krueger
  • October 18– Where the Crawdads Sing– Delia Owens
  • November 15– The Winter Sister– Megan Collins
  • December 20– Skipping Christmas– John Grisham               

AARP Safe Driving Class
AARP Safe Driving Classes are cancelled through September 1, 2021.   AARP classes can be taken online at Use the code Drivingskills for a discount.

Steele County Free Fair – Senior Volunteer of the year
Nomination Forms are now available for the 2021 Steele County Citizen Volunteer of the year. The award is sponsored by the Steele County Exchange Club in Cooperation with the Steele County Free Fair. The award recognizes outstanding male and female senior citizens who have contributed time and talent to benefit their community.  A Steele County male and female senior citizen aged 70 and over will be selected and honored on Senior day (August 19th) at the Steele County Free Fair. Nomination forms are available at West Hills Social Commons, The Steele County Free Fair Office, Steele county Free Fair Website and the City  of Owatonna Website. Deadline for nominations is May 1,2021

Senior Bowling Highlights:

   Monday, April 5:

    Fifth Frame Strike Jackpot:  Willie Peterson

    Pins Over Average:

      Game 1:  Denelle Schroeder 133 ( 50)

                             Judy Drevlow 190 ( 30)

      Game 2:  Denelle Schroeder 120 ( 37)

                               Jim Harlicker 182 ( 36)

      Game 3:  Denelle Schroeder 138 ( 55)

      Series High:  Denelle Schroeder 391 ( 142)

      Split conversions: Arlene Gleason (3-9-10); Rod Fletcher & Jerry Drevlow (each 2-5-  7); Mike Dettmer (2-10); Dennis Branstad (3-10 twice); Judy Drevlow, Reuben Ebeling, Jim Harlicker (each 3-10)

   Friday, April 9:

    Fifth Frame Strike Jackpot:  Marty Speikers

    Pins Over Average:

      Game 1:  Rod Fletcher 256 ( 62);

                               Jerry Drevlow 254 ( 56); Willie Peterson 195 ( 39)

      Game 2:  Chuck Newgard 196 ( 37);

                               Rod Fletcher 226 ( 32); Marty Speikers 209 ( 28)

      Game 3:  Chuck Newgard 234 ( 75); 

                               Willie Peterson 192 ( 36); Jerry Drevlow 226 ( 28)

      Series High:  Chuck Newgard 587 ( 110)

    Split conversions:  Rod Fletcher (4-5 & 3-6-7-10)