Why I love Albert Lea

Published 9:00 am Tuesday, June 27, 2017

By Scott Hanna

Scott Hanna grew up in Albert Lea, graduated from the University of Minnesota and has been back living in Albert Lea since 1987.

When asked if I would write an article as to why I love Albert Lea, I immediately said yes, for I was sure that would be an easy task. As I sit to begin writing, I find myself struggling to define love. I like many things about our community and hope that reviewing my likes I will find the love.

• People here always step up to help those in need, whether it be financial, physical or just an encouraging word.

• We have parks everywhere for everyone and the dedication it has taken to maintain them.

• I run into retired teachers in town, many of whom had a hand in helping to make me who I am.

• The lakes and the year-by-year improvement in the water quality that I have seen from the hard work of people that care.

• My children have had the opportunity to grow up in an environment similar to what I experienced as a boy here.

• The trails, the dog park, the Boathouse, the pool, the community gardens and all the other physical opportunities that Albert Lea has to offer.

• My family and I can go anywhere in town safely.

• The small-town feel.

• The way the scenery here changes at least four times a year.

• Traffic slows for ducklings.

• The wide variety of cultures and backgrounds that encompass our people.

• I can have everything that is offered in our state with just a short drive and yet still live in a town this size.

• The county fair and how it is like a multi-class reunion because so many people come home for it.

• So many people still refer to Albert Lea as home no matter where their lives have taken them.

• The history, the present and the future here.

• We raise our kids and send them off into young adulthood, hoping they will get out and see the world, so that they may at least appreciate the blessing they have received by being raised here and with the hope they will choose to live and raise families here.

• Community activities that bring us together like Let’s Play, The Big Freeze, Albert Lea Floats and Wind Down Wednesday, to name a few.

• Someone’s word still matters here.

• Someone doing the right thing is not a surprise but an expectation.

• Education and hard work are valued.

• Someone passing away who is less than 100 seems too young and no matter what age seems too soon.

• Common courtesy is still common here.

• The feeling that I can make a difference here.

• I’m not the only one who values these things.

• My parents wanted the best for me and my siblings and gave us these opportunities.

• Together we have made Albert Lea what it is, and the we I’m referring to is every person who has said we should do this and then has.

So what I’m really saying is I like it all, I want to have it all and I do have it all.

The reason I love Albert Lea is we have it all.

There is no single individual who can really say I made this happen or I am the reason Albert Lea has this. Every significant accomplishment in our community is a result of we, us, you and I; the one small act followed by another and another we have created what I love — thank you!