June 17: Updates on summer parks and recreation programs, facilities


The city’s Parks and Recreation department has been busy planning to reopen facilities and offer as many services and programs as possible this summer while keeping the community safe from COVID-19 spread. 

In some cases that has meant the difficult decision to close facilities for the season, like the Aquatic Center. At others, like the Winona Public Library, there’s a blend of virtual and other services. Meanwhile, the city has kept parks, trails, playgrounds and outdoor spaces fully open and accessible.

These are expected to change in the coming weeks — visit cityofwinona.com and facebook.com/cityofwinonacovid19 for regular updates, or call 507-457-8258 with any specific questions.

Parks and trails: Parks and trails have all been fully open since the beginning of the pandemic — usage is at an all-time high.

Playgrounds: Playgrounds have been fully open and accessible since the beginning of the pandemic. They are not cleaned or sanitized daily; users are asked to bring their own products to regularly clean their hands.

Facilities: Facilities — both indoors, like Sobieski Park and Holzinger Lodge, and outdoors, including shelters and parks — can now be rented for dates starting on July 1 – reserve online here.

Lake Lodge: The Lodge continues to plan for re-opening — a date is still to be determined, as well as specific plans for how users will be able to rent and use equipment. 

East End Rec: The Rec is currently closed but is planning to soon offer open hours with physical distancing guidelines, as well as in-person and virtual programs. 

Winona Public Library: The library is closed, with a re-opening date still to be determined. The library is currently offering curbside pickup and dropoff for books, and providing a wealth of virtual programming for youth and adults through its Facebook page and website. The library offers a range of digital services, including ebooks using the Libby app, on its website – winona.lib.mn.us. Late fees have been suspended until fall. The Winona Area Public Schools summer lunch bus is at the library Monday-Friday at 11-11:30 am.

Winona Friendship Center: The Center will remain closed for the foreseeable future. The Center is offering virtual programming this summer, and exploring options for controlled use of the wellness center. Senior advocates are actively serving clients.

Bob Welch Aquatic Center: The Aquatic Center is closed for the season. This includes all swimming lessons, programs, and events. 

Winona Municipal Band: Concerts are cancelled through July 1. The band is exploring new locations for an abbreviated concert season.

Adult and youth programming: Softball is indefinitely delayed. Fields are open for use and reservations. Youth programming may happen in small pods, or be offered virtually.

Prairie Island Campground: The campground is open to seasonal and RV campers, but closed for the season for short-term recreational campers. The campground is using the opportunity to take on long-delayed projects and renovations, including improved beach and riverfront areas, leveled parking pads, and other site and campground upgrades.