City of Winona, Parks and Recreation

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The city of Winona Park and Recreation department and Winona State Universities Recreation, Tourism and Therapeutic Recreation department have a true partnership that began in 2002 from the co-design of a single program. Both departments now rely on each other and work together to meet their own and each others goals.

"I really found a passion for recreation and then I realized that that's what I wanted to do. And then with actually working with the City of Winona it's a hands on experience. You get to coach, you get to wok with parents." - Chris Hebel, Alumnus

"I have the desire, and the will and the want, but, I need somewhere to spread that energy. And so through this partnership I not only have one place that I can let, like all of this go, I have two places where I can really make an effect." - Kari Fischer, Student

"It's a wonderful relationship that we've had for many many years. Students can certainly benefit by what they learn. And we share resources; that makes it most efficient for both the city and the university." - Eric Sorensen, City Manager

"They are role models and mentors to our students. They have this wonderful leadership staff development program." - Roger Riley, Professor

"I think the partnership is valuable to Winona State in the way that the Park and Rec provides an experimental lab for their students." - Julie Fassbender, Program Director Park and Rec

"We are learning more and more about how much kids learn just by being out there in the world and playing and socializing through games. And we know that a lot of research shows that if kids don't get out and involve themselves in swimming and hiking and archery and all these kind of things it is a loss for them cognitively, but also socially. It's a good idea to give kids a lot of intergeneration contact and with kids from different socioeconomic backgrounds. And it's good to have programs which try and bring the whole town together." - James Armstrong, Parent