Make your mark

Volunteers for the “Make Your Mark. Support Our Park” campaign are getting closer to their goal, but they still need help from area businesses, organizations and residents to get a big win for Aitkin’s City Park.

“We are having success, but we still have some work to do before reaching our goal of $456,000,” said Krista Olson, who heads the fundraising campaign. That is the estimated cost of phase one of a multi-year, phased-in approach to making improvements to the park.

Phase one includes site infrastructure work to build a new outdoor hockey rink, which will be used as four pickleball courts in the off season. This phase also includes a warming house that will double as a community room, which residents can rent for birthday parties, family reunions and other events. The building will include a sink, cabinets, refrigerator and bathroom. This phase also includes a new parking lot.

After phase one is completed, three other phases include improvements to paths, playground equipment and Tibbetts Trails & Parks.

As of Sept. 25, about 72% (or $328,495) of the $456,000 had been raised via the following grants and donations:

Two DNR grants: $218,000

Otto Bremer Trust grant: $75,000

Minnesota Power: $15,000

Aitkin Fire Relief: $10,000

Riverwood Foundation: $5,000

Enbridge: $5,000

Community donations: $495

Help Reach the Goal

Owners and representatives of area businesses/organizations are encouraged to welcome volunteers who will soon reach out to talk to them about the overall project and how they can help.

Businesses, organizations and residents can contribute donations of money, products and/or services. In-kind donations of products and services related to excavation, concrete, construction, electric and plumbing are also needed.

Sending donations

Make checks payable to the City of Aitkin and write “Support Our Park” in the memo section, and send to City of Aitkin, 109 First Ave. NW, Aitkin, MN 56431.

“We are also working with the Aitkin Area Chamber of Commerce to plan fundraising events at this year’s Fish House Parade. Money raised that day will hopefully get us to our final goal,” Olson said.

When fundraising for phase one is complete, plans will be made to raise funds for other phases of the park project.

For more information about the park initiative, visit the city’s website:

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