From: Dave and Kathy Palmquist
This year, 2019, is the centennial anniversary of the establishment of one of Minnesota’s favorite state parks, Whitewater. To commemorate this milestone, the park staff and volunteers put together a yearlong series of special events, interviewed a hundred folks in an oral history project and produced written materials.
Events included a centennial picnic and sing along with the nationally known Okee Dokee Brothers, a Boy Scout camporee reunion, a family outdoor fair, four theatrical presentations on the history of Whitewater Park and Valley, an archaeology and history festival and several more activities. There are still two centennial events left. Throughout November there is a History Mystery Geocache Challenge, and a Winter Celebration is scheduled for December 20.
Staff produced a booklet entitled “The Paradise of Minnesota – 100 Years of Whitewater State Park.” It includes historical photos and memories gleaned from the oral history project. Volunteers wrote articles on the park’s resources, and centennial festivities, which were delivered in newspapers to 70,000 homes.
As the centennial year nears its end, we thank volunteers and staff. Citizens and staff volunteered many hours to make this year such a success. Park Manager Brent Anderson, Lead Interpretive Naturalist Sara Holger, Assistant Manager Tom Wanous, Interpretive Naturalist Jeremy Darst and the rest of the staff did an exceptional job! They had one of the state’s busiest parks to run in addition to the challenges of the centennial. The park and centennial ran efficiently, safely and provided high quality experiences for visitors.
The volunteer effort that made Whitewater State Park’s centennial anniversary possible was phenomenal! Over 100 people volunteered well over 1,000! The Friends of Whitewater State Park raised $35,000 to fund special programs. People from throughout the area volunteered. Without these generous donations of time, expertise and money, this amazing year of celebration simply could not have taken place.
Thanks to Whitewater State Park’s staff and volunteers for their amazing effort this year. They’ve reminded us of the priceless memories Whitewater has provided Minnesotans over the last 100 years.