Take the time to smell the roses!


From: Kevin P. Cross

Our local rose garden at Lake Park is a local treasure that all of us enjoy. It is a relaxing and beautiful spot to enjoy the beauty of nature on a quiet summer’s day. My wife and I had our wedding pictures taken there in 1977, and I am sure many of you have had similar experiences.

But now it needs our help to return to its former glory.

The garden was established in 1957 and had a lot of volunteer, donor, and city support. Dr. Clayton Rohrer (local dentist and long-time Park Board president) and his wife were the lead promoters, donors and advocates for the garden for many years. It was dedicated as the Dr. C.A. (Clay) Rohrer Rose Garden on June 10, 1975, and at that time boasted over 1,500 plantings!

There was also a local Winona Rose Society of volunteers that helped tend the garden (most notably Doris M. “Rosie” McGill) that spent a great deal of time keeping the garden looking great.

I have been working with the city since 2017 to help reinvigorate the rose garden. We have developed a conceptual plan and gathered some initial donations, and the city has budgeted $60,000 this year to help start the renovation.

This is just the beginning of a public/private fundraising effort.

For now, the most important item is to let our Winona City Council members know that we wish to keep the project in this year’s budget. They meet on Monday, July 15, to review the city budget and it is up to us to let them know we love our Lake Park and our rose garden.

Please let them know it is a valuable asset worth funding and maintaining.


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