Nov 19

Dreaming of Summer at River Springs Water Park

Posted on November 19, 2020 at 2:23 PM by Jessica Abrahams

Author: Dani Licht, Recreation Supervisor

As it begins getting cold, I can’t help but daydream about summer, the sunshine, the hot weather and of course spending my days at the pool! I’m sure I am not the only one that can’t wait for the endless hours of sunshine and hot temperatures. Our season passes have been a huge hit over the years and we hope that continues into 2021! Season Passes include access to River Springs Water Park for general Open Swim, Lap Swim, Tiny Tot Time, Water Walking, and Water Aerobics. Family Season passes along with Individual season passes will be available for purchase starting December 1st and will continue to be available for purchase into the summer months. This year all season passes are available for purchase online through our Parks and Recreation website, the in person option is still available at the Parks and Recreation Office during however purchase online or over the phone is strongly encouraged. Don’t forget about those sunshine lovers during this holiday season and give them the gift of summer.

River Springs Water Park – Season Passes

Season passes can be purchased at the Parks and Recreation office as well as at River Springs during the Water Park season. An ID card will be issued to you for unlimited access during lap swim, water walking, morning and afternoon water aerobics, tiny tot time, and open swim.

Individual Season Pass: $85.00
Family Season Pass: Includes 3 people $180.00 ($20.00 for each additional person)

Family Season Pass Requirements

  • A household consisting of up to 2 adults (parents or legal guardians only) and their dependent children.
  • Family members must all live in the same household
  • Only those individuals in the immediate family can be included on the family season pass.
  • Dependents include children 22 years old and under if, they are a full time student in college; otherwise, an individual season pass is required. (College ID will be needed for proof of enrollment)

River Springs Water Park – Groups and Birthday Parties outings

Do you have a large group outing, company picnic or birthday party coming up?  Don’t forget, River Springs offers discount admission rates to large groups and company picnics who pre-register 2 weeks or more in advance and we also have birthday party packages to fit the needs of any size of party.  Reserve your event today by calling River Springs Water Park.

Parks and Recreation Tidbits

New Registration System

We are excited to announce our new software registration system, CivicRec, is now available at Owatonna Park & Rec! Our project team has been working for several months on the launch of this new registration system with the goal to better and more efficiently serve you, our customers.

Creating your new account:

1)      Visit the Owatonna Park & Rec website: http://ci.owatonna.mn.us/parksrecreation

2)      Click on the Register Now button

3)      On desktop, select Log in/Create Account in the upper left corner, then select Create your OWMMPR Account.

4)      On a mobile device, select Account in the upper right corner and then select Sign Up.

5)      Fill in the required information.

6)      To receive text alerts (i.e. activity cancellations, facility closings), indicate your mobile carrier next to your cell number.

7)      That’s it!  You’re ready to register for our programs.

8)      Add additional members (spouse, children, etc.) at any time in your account settings.  Keep your entire household on one account!

9)      When you’ve found a program, make sure to select the correct account member before adding it to your cart.

Letters to Santa – He’ll Write Back!

Santa is accepting letters November 30th through December 11th and he will write back!  His mailbox will be available outside the Park & Rec Office, 540 West Hills Circle, Owatonna, during office hours (Monday through Friday, 8:00am to 5:00pm).  Simply drop your letter in his mailbox and he’ll write you back.  Don’t forget to include your address with your letter!



Nov 12

Recreation in 2020

Posted on November 12, 2020 at 10:07 AM by Jessica Abrahams

Author: Mary Jo Knudson, Recreation Supervisor

We’ve all made adjustments and we continue to make adjustments in how we work and play during this crazy year!  Google mobility reports have shown that park use nationwide, statewide and locally have sky rocketed over the last several months.


The benefits of being outside, as they used to say can “cure what ails ya”!  Now we’re not saying our parks can take away all your worries or solve every health issue, but it sure doesn’t hurt to give it a try.  (Note – facts come from National Park & Recreation Association research briefs.)


Studies have shown spending time walking in nature or simply being in nature lowers blood pressure and reduces stress-related hormones.  Anxiety and depression decrease after spending time outside, and overall mood becomes more positive.  Let’s face it, being in nature makes us happy. 


Programs like Park Rx encourage collaboration between park and public land agencies, healthcare providers and community partners.  Park Rx began in 2013 is a nationwide program created in a partnership with the Golden Gate National Parks Conservancy, the National Recreation and Parks Association and the National Park Service.   Our park professional neighbors in Rochester are working with healthcare providers in furthering their use of parks in a total wellness program for their patients. 


A study in the Journal of Aging and Health, adults over 70 who spent time outdoors experienced fewer sleep difficulties, complained less about aches and pains, and enjoyed improved mobility and ability to perform daily activities.


As we approach a holiday season with plenty of unknowns, it’s a perfect time to relieve stress and reset in one of Owatonna’s beautiful parks!  Even if you feel like you don’t have the time, make a quick stop and spend just five minutes relaxing, taking deep breaths and listening to the music of nature!


Please be sure to be thoughtful of others well-being and wear a mask and social distance when you’re out and about.  With over 17 miles of trails and more than 20 maintained parks, you’ll be able to find your own space to relax!


Since we’ve already experienced our first snow, it’s time to locate those snowshoes and cross-country skis.  Our paved trails are broomed for walkers all winter, and ski trails adjacent to trails are groomed, as weather permits.  A little snow doesn’t need to stop you from enjoying nature, and in fact, it can be quite a beautiful sight!


And don’t forget about your furry friends!  The Dog Park gives dogs a safe space to exercise and roam around freely.  Dogs can socialize with other dogs.  And most of all…it gives dogs a place to get a serious case of the Zoomies!  Let’s face it, watching our dog with zoomies helps our mood and makes us smile!


In other recreation news:


Thank you for everyone who participated in our Park Clean-Up program and checked out a kit this summer and fall.  Special thanks to Federated Insurance and Owatonna Young Professionals who brought groups to clean-up.  A nod to St. Mary’s students who planned a clean-up day, but got snowed out!  Look for an Adopt-A-Park program to be launched Spring 2021.


The Parks & Recreation Department is launching a new registration program, CivicRec this month.  Youth registration on November 19 are first programs offered on the new platform.  Watch for more news regarding this change.



Nov 05

Registration for Youth Programs

Posted on November 5, 2020 at 7:59 AM by Jessica Abrahams

Author: Nikki Callahan, Administrative Technician

Parks and Recreation would like to thank all of those who participated in the Park Passport Program this Fall.  Fall is a great time to get out and enjoy the parks, trails and color changing leaves.  We had over 75 passports turned in this year!  We are very pleased with the number of people who  took advantage of this great program. 

We would like to thank all of the sponsors who helped make our Halloween Spooklacular a success last weekend.  Tri M Graphics, Cole’s Electric, Turtle Creek Nursery and Landscaping, Harland’s Tire, Premier Bank, Johnson Doerhoefer & Miner PA, Timberdale Trace, Klecker’s Kreations, Sterling Pharmacy, Trinity Nursery School, Junior Achievement of the Upper Midwest, Fleet Farm, Travel Leaders, Famers/Beth Hortop Agency, Arbys, Ecumen Hospice, Climate by Design International, Steele County United Way, True Wealth Advisors, Souba’s Greenhouse,  and Knights of Columbus Owatonna.  The 400 people who were able to participate in the event were able to enjoy a petting zoo, hay ride, scavenger hunt and treats. 

We have a few other programs and activities you can participate in yet this year.  See below for the details of the great things Parks and Recreation has to offer. 

Virtual Costume Contest – Win an Electric Scooter!

Even though we can't all come together for a large event, we want to see your Halloween costumes!  Post a picture of your ghost or goblin in their Halloween costume on our Facebook page or email it to: parkrec@ci.owatonna.mn.us by 11/2.  The costumes will go to a vote on our Facebook page and the top 2 will receive an electric scooter!  Prizes sponsored by Harland's Tire & Auto Center.

Owatonna Business Partnership Downtown Trick or Treating

Downtown Owatonna businesses are offering Trick or Treating on Saturday, October 31st from 11:00am to 1:00pm.  Trick or treating will take place outside the businesses.  Visit the OBP Facebook page for more information.

Registration for Youth Programs

Youth Basketball

Kindergarten-2nd grade basketball - This non-competitive program focuses on developing social skills, sportsmanship, teamwork, and motor skills in a safe environment.  T-shirt and basketball included with fee.  Registration will be November 19 - December 1.  Cost is $47.00 (after December 1 $57.00) (price includes a basketball that you get to keep) with the program taking place at McKinley School with tentative dates of December 12/19, January 16/30, and February 13/20 at various times.  Parents will not be allowed in the facility to watch practices.  You must drop off and pick up on time.  This program is only open to students in the ISD 761 school district. 

Learn to Skate Hockey/U6 Hockey/U8 Hockey

Due to COVID restrictions there will be limits on number of participants this year so register early! Registration will be November 19-December 16 (or until the session is full).  If you register after December 16 there will be a $10 late fee. Maximum number of participants for Learn to Skate is 30 per time slot (total of 2 time slots).  U6 and U8 the maximum is 44 per group.  Join us for a fun-filled winter while learning to skate and developing basic hockey skills.  The program is divided into three levels: Learn to Skate, U6 and U8 (Mites).  “Learn to Skate” is for first time skaters regardless of age.  U6 is for players born between 6/1/2013 and 5/31/2015 that already have basic skating skills.  U8 (Mites) is for players born between 6/1/2011 and 5/31/2013 that have basic skating skills.  The U8 (Mites) level will feature an in-house league with 6 to 8 teams.  Players will be divided into equally balanced teams.  .  All games will be played on half-ice.  Full equipment is required.  We also welcome youth who were born before 6/1/2011 to join us if they are new to skating or ice hockey so they can give it a try.  This is Owatonna’s starter program that players progress through before becoming active in Owatonna Youth Hockey Association traveling hockey.  A helmet is required for everyone on the ice.  An entire bag of protective equipment is available for rent through the Owatonna Youth Hockey Association rental program for $30 per year.  Skates can be leased at Straight River Sports for an entire season for a reasonable cost. This will take place at the Four Seasons Centre with session 2 running January 2-first week of March.  Schedule and safety plan are posted on the Owatonna Park and Recreation website at www.ci.owatonna.mn.us  Cost to participate is $75.  Program supervisor is Tony Schwichtenberg and if you have questions he can be reached at  tony.schwichtenberg@gmail.com   

Adult Volleyball

Due to the current situation, not being able to use school district indoor facilities, the Adult Volleyball Season is on hold.  We hope in the near future to be able to have a season and will communicate it at that time.

Owatonna Dogs’ Got Talent!

Does your dog have a special talent?  Submit a short video on the Owatonna Dog Park Facebook Page, or e-mail to MaryJo.Knudson@ci.owatonna.mn.us  A Facebook poll will determine the winner.  Prizes sponsored by Farmer’s Feed & Pet Supply.  DEADLINE HAS BEEN EXTENDED TO NOVEMBER 6TH.

Manthey Park

Construction started at Manthey Park.  The current playground is being removed and reinstalled at Morehouse Park and we will be  installing a new inclusive playground and Miracle field, along with an additional restroom building and all current amenities will be handicap accessible.  For more information about the project go to the website at www.weallplayowatonna.com    

Scholarship Fund

Due to Corky’s Earlybird softball tournament being canceled we will not be getting the usual $5,000 donation to our scholarship fund.  We would like to continue to offer programs at a discounted rate for those who qualify but we need more donations.  If you are willing to make a donation to the Parks and Recreation Youth Scholarship Fund, you can mail in a donation to 540 West Hills Circle or make a donation over the phone with a Visa or Mastercard by calling 444-4321.  Any dollar amount helps and makes a difference in the life of a child.