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

Apr 08

Spring has Sprung

Posted to Park and Rec Staff Blog by Jessica Abrahams

Author: Mary Jo Knudson, Recreation Supervisor

It’s time for spring cleaning!  Everyone’s home needs a good spring cleaning to refresh before the beautiful days of summer ahead of us.  The parks are no different!  When the snow melts we find all sorts of things that were covered up all winter.  Our park crew works continuously to keep our parks in excellent shape, free of garbage and debris.  But let’s face it, with over 800 acres of parkland and 17 miles of trail, the task is a big one!

The Parks Department is giving residents the opportunity to take pride and ownership in Owatonna’s beautiful parks by offering Adopt-a-Park and Park Clean-Up Kits.

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.

The City has 38 locations to choose from in all sections of town.  A waiver is required of all volunteers.  Thank you to those who have already volunteered!  Greg Posch, Margaret Michaletz, Lavonne Trotter, Judy Srsen and the Wavrin family have already adopted a park…we appreciate your commitment!

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!

Just like your home & yard, there’s always cleaning that can be done, and we sure appreciate our volunteers who keep our parks and trails in excellent condition.  And besides, it’s a great way to get some exercise and spend more time in nature!

Contact Mary Jo Knudson 507-774-7364, or Jesse Wilker 507-774-7086, for more information or to adopt your park!

A sure sign of spring is green grass, greens, tee boxes and golf balls flying!  Brooktree Golf Course is now open for the season!  Mother Nature was kind to us this year and the course opened on March 25th.  The course made it through the winter in beautiful condition.

Brooktree offers memberships for Families, Seniors, Juniors and everyone in between!  Annual cart rentals are also available.  Memberships are available at the clubhouse or at the Parks & Recreation office.  Finish off your round with an excellent meal from The Broken Tee…patio opening as soon as weather permits!

The clubhouse opens at 9 a.m. daily (for now), so grab your clubs and head to the links!

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)