Life for families in southwest Minnesota have been less than summer like for several weeks as they struggled to finish the school year and then continued to live under the regulations related to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Yet, for many of them relief came in the form of a recreational asset in Redwood County known as Plum Creek Park.

Located just outside of Walnut Grove, Plum Creek Park offers a variety of recreation amenities for the public, and just recently those amenities were enhanced with construction projects.

“Life for our park is pretty exciting right now,” explained Scott Wold, Redwood County Environmental Office director. Wold’s office oversees the park located in the southwest part of the county, and it also has been instrumental in the recent additions that are intended to make this asset even better for the public.

While the park has been a place known for its camping, a recent project has moved the camping experience in a different direction. In addition to the campsites offered to the public, the county park has added four camper cabins that will be available for people to rent in the future.

In addition, the Redwood County board recently decided to start accepting camping reservations at the park and adopted a COVID-19 preparedness plan. 

According to a recent Redwood County press release announcing the opening, consideration of the health of all employees as well as the public was thoroughly thought out when developing the decision.

Plum Creek Park is committed to providing a safe and healthy environment for all of its visitors and team members. Efforts to mitigate the potential for transmission of COVID-19 requires full cooperation among team members, management and those visiting the park.

Operational changes were based on recommendations from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) and Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR).

Plum Creek Park management would like to inform the public of the following changes:

• Campsite reservations will be accepted via the Web site only.

• The only one RV per campsite rule will continue to be followed.

• Shelter reservations will be accepted via the Web site only and limited to gatherings of 10 or less

• Shelters will have limited tables to ensure social distancing while enjoying park amenities.

• The park office will remain closed. Campers are asked to communicate with the park’s management via e-mail or phone.

• Playground equipment is available, however it is not being cleaned. Play at your own risk.

• Lake Laura is open for swimming, boating and other recreational activity.

• Kayak rental will be closed until further notice.

• Firewood sales will be made via self-pay box.

• Bathroom facilities will be open, limiting occupancy of one person per restroom at a given time, unless they are members of the same family.

• Frequent sanitizing of park facilities and ventilation protocols will be conducted.

• Visitors are asked to practice social distancing of six feet between customers.

• Visitors experiencing fever, shortness of breath or respiratory symptoms are asked not to visit and to contact their healthcare provider as appropriate.

To make a reservation and to learn more about Plum Creek Park visit plumcreekpark.com.

Two vault toilets have been added to the park, and an electrical upgrade to the overnight sites from 30 amp service to 50 amp service is also being offered for park patrons.

In 2018, a major flood created significant damage to the Redwood area, and one of the areas impacted by that flooding was the road offering access to the park from the north.

The road had to be closed for a significant period of time, as the culvert that was blown out during the flooding had to be replaced.

According to Wold, a double box culvert was installed there, and now the road is open.

This summer, work will also be done on a trail that will connect the upper and lower areas of the park.

The park’s green spaces, including the frisbee golf course, are currently open.

Plum Creek Park has seen some major upgrades in recent years, all in an effort to make the experience of visitors positive enough that they will return again and again.

Of course, there are always more ideas and future plans to make Plum Creek Park an even better recreational center.