Jun 17

Government Buildings and Grounds Update

Posted on June 17, 2021 at 1:29 PM by Jessica Abrahams

Author: Aaron Fitzloff, Facility Manager Government Buildings and Grounds

My last article I touched on a deep freeze and now we have been in a heat advisory. Summer has started out with a bang.  Therefore, this why we love Minnesota. Changing of the seasons. Hopefully, you have been able to visit River Springs Water Park or Lake Kohlmier beach to cool off. Been nice to be able see people’s faces and get back to normalcy.

Some updates of what Government Buildings has been up to since my last article. The front lobby and museum at City Hall remodel project is finished. Opened the entrance to make it more inviting. We also added new carpet, paint, and LED lighting. It really looks nice, and I commend my staff for all their hard work. Once the weather turned nice, we were able to finish up the trash enclosure at the water park and added a biff enclosure and a memorial bench at the golf course. Dartts Park has new security cameras in both parking lots. My staff completed the dugouts for the We All Play project at Manthey Park and have been busy working on the plumbing portion of the new concession stand. One of the more routine items we do every year is do repairs to pool before filling it with water. With the nice spring we had we were able to get to this sooner than we normally do. This allowed for a little more time and attention. Most years we are at the mercy of a cooler spring.

Some projects that we are currently working on. We consolidated three of our trash dumpsters into one location at West Hills campus and will be constructing trash enclosures for the remaining three locations we have. So, know we will only have three locations. This will help with some redundancy, appearance and extra wear and tear on our pavement. West Hills Social Commons will be getting some office space remodeled for our Park and Recreation staff with plans to add card access and security cameras to the building.

Other projects that will be completed by the end of the summer. Fire Hall Tower Rehabilitation to alleviate water infiltration into the building, tuck pointing, and structural repair. Morehouse Chalet and our Street maintenance shop will be getting new roofs. Merrill Hall will be getting a new fire panel and device upgrade.

I would like to close with welcoming our newest member to our staff, Walker Nelson.

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!

Jun 04

River Springs Water Park Updates

Posted on June 4, 2021 at 10:06 AM by Jessica Abrahams

Author: Dani Licht, Recreation Supervisor

River Springs Water Park is now open for the 2021 season! It’s turning out to be a HOT Summer and we have a lot in store for you this year. We are excited for everyone to come spend some time with us for this year! River Springs features a Lazy River, Climbing Wall, Body Slide, Tube Slide, Zero Depth Pool Area, Activity Pool, Lily Pad Walk and a large concessions area with various snacks and beverages to choose from. River Springs is open 7 days a week, Monday-Friday 12:00pm-7:00pm and Saturday-Sunday 12:00pm-8:00pm for open swim but we offer various other programs including Water Walking, Laps Swim, Water Aerobics, Tiny Tot Time and new this year log rolling. We are located at 3065 St. Paul Road on the north side of Owatonna, just off of 26th Street. You can find out more information by checking out the Parks and Recreation website @ ci.owatonna.mn.us/parkrecreation, becoming a Fan of the River Springs Water Park Facebook page or by calling us at 507-774-7370. We look forward to spending the summer with you!

River Springs Water Park – Family Season Passes

Family 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 to Lap Swim, Water Walking, AM and PM Water Aerobics, Tiny Tot Time and open swim hours.

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 – Programs

Check out some of the programs offered at River Springs this summer.  For more information, visit the Parks and Recreation website or call the River Springs at 507-774-7370.

  • Group and private Swimming Lesson classes are offered all summer, registration opens Monday, June 14th at 7:00am.
  • Water Aerobics classes:
    • Monday – Friday 10:00am and 11:00am
    • Monday-Thursday 5:30pm-6:30pm  
  • Tiny Tot Program: Monday – Sunday from 11am-12pm
  • Water Walk: Monday – Friday from 6-10am and 7:00pm-8:00pm, Saturday and Sunday from 11am-12pm
  • Lap Swim: Monday – Friday from 6-10am and 7:00pm-8:00pm, Saturday and Sunday from 11am-12pm
  • Log Rolling Sponsored by “Wottreng Family Dental” and “Wayne, Norrid, Wetmore Wealth Management” Monday-Friday 7:00pm-8:00pm and Saturday 11am-12pm

River Springs Water Park – Specials and Events

Every weekday, Monday through Thursday, a daily special is offered.  Here’s what you have to look forward to each week

  • Monday: Grandparents Day.  Grandparents get into River Springs for free with a paid grandchild at normal facility rates (one grandparent per grandchild).
  • Tuesday: Twilight Day.  Admission into River Springs is the Twilight Rate all day.
  • Wednesday: Family Day. All day families get into River Springs for $4.50 per individual or $13.50 per family of up to 6 people ($2.25 charge for each addition person over the 6 people)
  • Friday: Facebook Friday. Check out our Facebook Page every Friday where we will post a new special each week!  

Every Sunday a different Special or Event is schedule to take place at River Springs.  Here’s what is in store for June…

  • June 6: School’s Out Special- All day cost is $4.50 per person.
  • June 13: Family Day Special- All day cost is $4.50 per person or $21 per family up to 6 people, each additional family member is $3.50.
  • June 20: Father’s Day Special.  Dads get into River Springs for free with a paid child at the normal facility rate.
  • June 27: Ducky Dash.  On June 27th, anyone that enters the water park will receive a duck. 
    The Duck’s will race down the Water Slide around the Lazy River and to the finish line with the first ducks arriving winning prizes. 
  • Visit the Parks and Recreation website (ci.owatonna.mn.us/parksrecreation) for the complete list of Sunday Specials, Events and all other activities taking place at River Springs this summer.

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.

Summer Weekend Out

Mark your calendars for July 23-25 for our annual Weekend Out!  We'll offer a variety of activities including a Movie in the Park, Kids Fun Run, Adult Backyard Games Tournament and more!  Check back for details on events and activities.

Lake Kohlmier

Lake Kohlmier is now open for land and aquatic equipment rentals! Stop out today to rent various water vessels to explore Lake Kohlmier. Rates: $6.00 per hour 


Thursday-Friday 1:00pm-7:00pm

Saturday-Sunday 12:00pm-7:00pm