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

Jan 15

Lifeguarding

Posted to Park and Rec Staff Blog by Jessica Abrahams

Author: Dani Licht, Recreation Supervisor

Lifeguarding                                                                                                            

We at Owatonna Parks and Recreation are looking for YOU to become a certified lifeguard! Over the next 5 Months Owatonna Parks and Recreation will be offering 4 Lifeguard Training Classes, just in time for our summer aquatic season. City of Owatonna offers a $150.00 reimbursement if you become a certified American Red Cross Lifeguard and work for the city for at least 3 months.


Why Lifeguard?

  1. Make a Difference- Lifeguarding is more than just about getting a paycheck, it’s about making your community a safer place. Enjoy a job that’s rewarding instead of just something to do. Being a lifeguard will turn you into a good role model for younger siblings or children in our community.
  2. Be A Team-Lifeguards aren’t just any coworkers; they work together to save lives! A lifeguard team means having a sense of togetherness and mutual respect that’s much more rewarding than standard workplace friendships.
  3. Learn to Save Lives-Get paid to learn incredibly important and useful skills that you’ll hopefully never have to use, but will remember for years to come. Anyone would benefit from First Aid, CPR, and AED Training. As an employed lifeguard you’d get paid to become equipped with lifesaving knowledge.
  4. Improve your Resume-Impress future employers by stating that you were an accomplished lifeguard. Apart from the first aid and safety skills, lifeguards also need to be responsible, quick thinkers, mature, have good customer service & communications skills, and have great concentration. All of which are impressive to any future employer.  


How do I Become a Lifeguard?

Take one of Owatonna Parks and Recreation Lifeguard Training Classes this Spring of Summer. All Lifeguard training candidates must be able to meet the following Lifeguard Training Pre Requisites to register for any lifeguard training classes.

  1. Be 15 years old by the end of the class.
  2. Be able to continuously swim 300 meters using the front crawl and/or breast stroke.
  3. Be able to swim 20 yards, pick up a 10lb brick from 10 feet of water and return it back 20 yards using only a kick, holding the brick with 2 hands on the chest.
  4. Be able to tread water with no hands for 2 minutes.


Upcoming Lifeguard Training Classes

All classes are currently open for registration on the Owatonna Parks and Recreation website.

Option 1: March 22nd-March 26th (9:00am-1:00pm)

Option 2: April 24-27 (24th 8:00am-3:30pm, 25th 8:00am-3:30pm, 27th 7:00pm-9:30pm)

Option 3: May 8-11 (8th 8:00am-3:30pm, 9th 8:00am-3:30pm, 11th 7:00pm-9:30pm)

Option 4: June 14th-18th (8:00am-1:00pm)


Skating at Morehouse

Ice skating at the Warsinski ice rinks located at Morehouse Park are open. Please note the following guidelines due to the Governor's orders:

  • Chalet is now open for a warming house and consumption of food in the chalet is now allowed.  The capacity of the chalet is now 25% capacity which is max of 35 people.  
  • Additional benches will be placed outside the chalet for people to change into their skates.
  • At this time bonfires are not allowed.  We ask that when skating that you practice proper social distancing, hygiene, and if you have symptoms to not use the facility at that time.  

Chalet Hours:

  • Monday thru Friday: 3:00 pm to 9:30 pm
  • Saturdays, Holidays, School Vacation Days: 11:00 am to 9:30 pm (January 1, 8, 18 and 19)
  • Sunday: 12:00 pm to 9:30 pm

Cross Country Ski Trails

Cross country ski trails are groomed in the winter at Kaplans, Brooktree and Morehouse. The Parks Department packs and grooms cross-country skiing trails throughout the winter season with trails through Kaplan’s Woods, from Kaplans to Morehouse Chalet and the upper and lower nine of Brooktree golf course.  Ski rentals are available at Morehouse Chalet during the above schedule of hours of being open at the chalet

Winter Weekend Out – January 30-31 with some activities starting sooner!

We’ve got a variety of winter-themed activities planned for you to have fun and stay active!  Take a look at the activities, most are planned for the weekend of January 30-31, but some start earlier! 

  • Snowman Building Contest – During the month of January.  During the month of January submit a photo of your best snowman creation.  Submission deadline is Sunday, January 31, 2021.  Free to enter!  Prizes will be awarded to the Best in Snow (chosen by judges) and People’s Choice (Facebook vote). Bring your snowman to life using accessories, colors, themes, etc.  Be creative and imaginative! Winners will be contacted after judging is complete. 
    • All entries must include a sign in the photo with the snowman that says, “Owatonna Snowman Building Contest 2021”.  
    • Submit your entry by email to: parkrec@ci.owatonna.mn.us or post it on our Facebook page.
    • See snowman building rules online.
  • Snowman Clue – Who Melted Frosty?  January 15 – 31.  This cold weather has gotten to the one of the Parks and Recreation Department staff!  Whoever it was punished poor Frosty the Snowman!  The Owatonna Police Department found Frosty in a puddle, melted.  Frosty’s sidekicks will not let this crime go unpunished!  Are you a good enough detective to figure out which Parks and Recreation employee finally snapped? Who did it? Where they did it? What weapon they used? Frosty’s sidekicks, miniature snowman, hold the clues to this horrendous crime! Find Frosty’s sidekicks at the following parks to help solve the crime: Mineral Springs, Morehouse, and Fairgrounds Park. Visit these parks between January 15—31, find Frosty’s sidekicks holding the clues. Use the Snowman Clue Guide to help you crack the crime.  Once you have figured out this mystery submit your response online or message your guess to us on our Facebook page. 
  • Cardboard Sled Race Rules – January 30 at West Hills Sledding Hill.  Design and build a person powered, corrugated cardboard sled capable of withstanding the descent down the West Hills sledding hill. How creative can you be using only corrugated cardboard as a building material?  Come join the fun!  
    • Class I: Age 10 and under, Class II: Ages 11 and up.
    • Four time slots: 10:00 (class I), 10:45 (class I), 11:30 (class II) & 12:15 (class II). Max 15 participants per time slot.  Pre-registration through CivicRec required.  
    • Awards for Top o’ the Hill – Most attractive or spectacular looking and Fastest Sled.
    • View Cardboard Sled Race Rules online.
  • Family Ice Fishing – January 31 at Lake Kohlmier.  Enjoy a Minnesota winter past-time, ice fishing!  We’ll have holes drilled for you and provide bait and equipment (limited equipment available).  Everyone who registers will receive one ticket and each fish caught earns another ticket for a drawing for various prizes!  A prize for largest fish caught will also be awarded.
    • Three time slots: 1:00 – 2:00pm, 2:15 – 3:15pm & 3:30 – 4:30pm.  
    • Pre-registration through CivicRec required, $5 per area (two pre-drilled holes provided for you per area).  Maximum of 25 areas per timeslot, register early!  

Snow Sculpture Exhibition

Join in this free, family-friendly community event!  No experience needed and snow blocks will be provided for you!  A great team-building event for businesses, family event for families or individual event to show off your sculpting skills. 

  • Carving will take place January 22—27.Spectators are welcome to watch teams carve their sculptures! Carvings will be done by January 28.
  • Come and view the finished sculptures! Sculptures will be available for viewing until they melt.


Sep 18

Engineering Updates 9/18/2020

Posted to Public Works - Engineering Updates by Anna Schwichtenberg

City of Owatonna Engineering

Construction has begun and various projects can be seen around The City of Owatonna. Please slow down and use caution when approaching a construction zone.

We thank you for your patience as these projects are completed.

2020 Construction Projects:

Post Office Sidewalk: Work is planned to start on Tuesday September 22nd on the sidewalk replacement at the SE corner of Broadway and Elm.  Pedestrian traffic will need to route around the work, the roadways will remain open during construction.  Access to the Post Office will be provided from the alley to the east. 

Truman Avenue: A virtual neighborhood meeting with be held at 5:00 on Tuesday September 22nd to discuss the Truman Avenue Project.  This project involves the reconstruction of Truman Avenue from Havana Road to Main Street in 2021.  A sidewalk will be installed on the east side of the roadway.  Information is available on the City’s website to attend this virtual meeting.

18th Street SW (Costco Distribution Site): The road is open to traffic. Yet to be completed is striping, signing and joint sealing which will take place next week. 

Morehouse Park: The bituminous bike path will be paved Monday 9/21, weather permitting. Backfilling and seeding will then take place. 

Stormwater Management: The 12th Annual Watershed Wide Clean-up will take place in Owatonna on September 19th from 9am to 12 noon at Morehouse Park. The event is hosted in conjunction with the Cannon River Watershed Partnership, who helps to find sponsors and coordinate the clean-up event. This year's event will include some changes due to COVID-19. No gathering for group photos or lunch, social distancing will be enforced. Participants will be provided gloves and face coverings prior to signing in. Gear may be picked up ahead of time for participants to complete the clean up on their own rather than attending on September 19th. For full event information, visit the Stormwater Events Page.

Public Works
Street Department: Street patching with hotmix is ongoing as well as tree trimming and removals. Please contact the Public Works Department if you notice an issue that needs to be addressed.

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.