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Jan 04

Happy New Year!

Posted on January 4, 2022 at 7:42 AM by Nikki Callahan

Happy New Year! I’m looking forward to ringing in 2022!


This was a year of resilience for the Parks and Recreation staff and a time to reflect on the Department’s future. I worked with the City’s Park Board to review the type of work we do, how we do it and what the future looks like. We took a deeper dive into the Department’s philosophy to update the Mission and to add Vision and Core Values statements to help guide our work.


Mission Statement: The mission of the City of Owatonna’s Parks and Recreation Department is to enrich the quality of life for our community and visitors by providing a variety of green spaces, trails, facilities, programs and services to promote health, wellbeing, learning and having fun.

Vision Statement: Owatonna’s Parks and Recreation Department will be recognized as a quality parks and recreation operation and as a regional destination hub for innovative trends creating a vibrant park system that is welcoming for everyone in the community.

Core Value Statement: We do this through delivering high quality customer service, protecting the recreational assets, utilizing industry best practices, leveraging our network of partners and embracing health and wellness, respect and collaboration. 

As we begin 2022, we realize the impact COVID-19 has had on our lives and yet we know we can’t stop enjoying life. Rather, we look for new ways to live as it continues to be a part of our daily lives. The Parks and Recreation Department is working to reset and focus on how we provide recreation, amenities and programing safely and in a welcoming way in this new environment. We continue adapting to meet the community’s needs and provide services at a level of excellence!


In 2022, we’ll continue to develop new recreation program initiatives. Our programming teams will service all corners of the community with expanded recreation programs. We will continue the positive work at Manthey Park with the addition of We All Play leagues, camps and activities. You’ll see new activities at Lake Kohlmier Beach Rental and opportunities to explore this beautiful natural resource via snowshoes and hikes. As part of the core values, we will increase the level of service and attention to details such as the steps we’re taking to refresh Brooktree’s clubhouse interior and patio furniture. 


As we prepare for a better tomorrow, we need your help. I’d like to hear from the community about how we’re doing, what you’d like to see and what programs you want. If you’d like to share your thoughts, please reach out to me through:


You can always join us at a Park Board meeting held on the second Monday of each month at 4:30 p.m. at City Hall.


As our Vision Statement says, we want to be a vibrant park system that is welcoming for everyone in the community. We look forward to being the best parks system where you can have fun!


Jenna Tuma, Director of Parks and Recreation