View All Posts

Dec 17

Winter Where Are You?

Posted on December 17, 2020 at 10:44 AM by Jessica Abrahams

Author: Jesse Wilker, Maintenance Manager

What a year it has been so far!
  We went from snow storms in October to nothing in November and December.  This is good news for many but some park users love the snow.  We have a lot of things to do in the winter in our parks and on our trails.
  • Ski trails at Morehouse Park, Kaplan’s Woods and Brooktree golf course
  • Snow shoeing in Kaplan’s Woods and really, in any park
  • Skating at Morehouse (yes, we may need to adjust to some new rules, but we plan on being open)
  • Equipment rental is available at the Chalet, weather permitting of course!
  • Mountain and Fat Tire Biking at Kaplan’s Woods
  • Sledding at West Hills
  • Walking, running or biking on all of our trails, they are cleared after each snowfall.

Please note – we will be turning on the aeration system at Lake Kohlmier in the next couple of weeks, so watch for thin ice signs.  It will also be announced in the paper the week before we turn the system on.

Such a mild weather has given our crew the opportunity to start a lot of projects!

We are working on the removal of ash trees in our parks, due to the Emerald Ash Borer located in Steele County.  These trees will be replaced in the spring with a variety of new species.  For each tree removed, a new one will be planted in its place!  This project will continue the next year or so.  A portion of the funding for this project is sponsored by the State of Minnesota through grant funding.

Daiken Soccer Complex was another project to benefit from the good weather.  We were able to put up all of the fences and the field signs.

The Nature Play area has started at Mineral Springs and will continue through the spring and summer of 2021.  This play area is being built using all natural materials and offers kids the opportunity to play with natural objects instead of fabricated playgrounds.  The benefits of nature play are endless!  It encourages creativity and imagination, reduces stress, stimulates social interaction, and improves awareness and observational skills.  When playing in nature, kids tend to play longer, extending the physical and health benefits of play!

Finally, I want to say thank you and say how proud I am of all my staff this year!  When COVID-19 hit, we reduced our staffing numbers to an all-time low in order to make up for lost revenue.  They worked extremely hard to provide park users with an excellent experience and clean park system.  The parks were used very heavily.  It was a place for people to social distance when there wasn’t much else to do!  I am very fortunate to have a great, hard-working staff who care so much about the parks and golf course.  Special recognition went out to Brooktree, as it was voted the Best Golf Course in Southern Minnesota.  The award was well deserved.  Thank you to all of our parks staff!