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Jun 11

For the Love of Parks

Posted on June 11, 2021 at 10:17 AM by Jessica Abrahams

Author: Mary Jo Knudson, Administrative Specialist

A little over a year ago people began swarming to the parks and trails as an outlet to enjoy being outside and seeing something other than the same four walls.  Parks and trails have always been popular in Owatonna, but 2020 saw record numbers.  About a year ago, we tried something new…offering individuals and families an opportunity to take a Park Clean Up Kit for a week.  The Clean-Up Kit was very popular, and most kits were checked out every week.  We were thrilled at the turnout and how passionate our residents were about helping keep our parks clean!  Thank you to everyone who participated in our first year!


It is that time again, and our Park Clean-Up Kits are still available to check out.  Register on our website, pick up supplies at the Park Shop on Wednesday and return the kits the following Tuesday. 


New this year, is the opportunity to take pride and ownership in Owatonna’s beautiful parks by adopting a park or trail.  Volunteering for Adopt-A-Park 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 City provides safety vests, trash bags, buckets and pickers to volunteers.  We also coordinate pickup of trash, debris and limbs.  A waiver is required.


Volunteers may undertake beautification efforts in the adopted area upon approval by the Park Director.  If a project is approved, the parks department provides the materials required.  Volunteers are also asked to 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 are recognized on signs at the entrance of the adopted park as well as on the city website and social media.  Parks can be adopted (to begin with) for one or two years.  Those adopting parks now, will have the first opportunity to continue with their chosen location.  


The City has 38 locations to choose from in all sections of town.  Our current adopters & adoptees include:  Brown Park – Greg & Martha Lutz, Steve & Barb Spencer; Buecksler Park – The Vincelli Family; Dartt’s Park – The Wavrin Family; Hammann Park – The Izaak Walton League; Jaycee Park – Pack 354 & Troop 253 BSA; Kaplan’s Woods Park & Trails – Margaret Michaletz & LaVonne Trotter; Manthey Park – Owatonna Rotary Club; Mineral Springs Park – Owatonna Middle School Student Council; Morehouse Park – Judy Srsen; Walter H. Gainey Park – Greg & Martha Lutz, Steve & Barb Spencer; Lake Kohlmier Area Trails – Greg Posch; 18th Street Trail – Greg Posch; Rose Street Parking #3 Rain Garden – Hair Studio One; and a park TBD – Owatonna Public Utilities Employees’ Club.  Thank you volunteers, you definitely love your parks!


Many locations are still available!  Choose from any of the following: Archery Park, Central Park, Countryview Park area, Crocus Park, Daikin Soccer Complex, Fairgrounds Park, Fremont Park, Lake Chase, Lake Kohlmier, Leo Rudolph Nature Reserve, Maple Creek, North Bluff Park, Owatonna Soccer Complex at Lincoln, River Springs Water Park area, Sid Kinyon Courts, Summer Park, West Hills, Willow Park, 26th Street Trail, Cashman Park Trails, North Straight River Parkway, Mineral Springs Area Trails, Buxton Trail, or the Muckle Trail.


Contact Mary Jo Knudson 507-774-7364, maryjo.knudson@ci.owatonna.mn.us or Jesse Wilker 507-774-7086, jesse.wilker@ci.owatonna.mn.us for more information or to adopt your park!


If you haven’t already played a round, Brooktree Golf Course is in fine shape!  Summer specials include Senior Monday special $30 – 18 holes/cart or $20 – 9 holes/cart.  And on Wednesdays, enjoy an 18-hole round of golf for just $32 with a cart and a burger and fries after your round.  The specials are until 2 p.m. and do not include league players.  The clubhouse opens at 7 a.m. daily, so grab your clubs and head to the links!