Albert Lea residents celebrate Morin Park with music, food

Published 9:55 pm Monday, July 31, 2017

Community members expressed appreciation on Sunday that Morin Park was no longer being looked at as a possible spot for a new fire station during a celebration event at the park.

Festivities included live music, basketball competitions, concessions, a bouncy castle and prizes. Donations for the construction of a park shelter were accepted.

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The event came after the Albert Lea City Council on July 10 unanimously approved moving forward with Blazing Star Landing and East Main Street as possible locations for the planned $7 million to $10 million fire station.

“I am having a good time,” said Misty Dugstad. “It’s great to be here with my kids and friends and family. I think it’s great to see something like this done in our community.”

Dugstad grew up in the area and said she spoke with her best friend about the substantial amount of time they spent at Morin Park during their teenage years.

“I was really bummed when I heard that,” she said of when city officials announced in June that they were looking at possibly placing the fire station at Morin Park. “I didn’t think it was a good idea. We already said that this is probably one of the nicest parks in Albert Lea — big, and a lot of things can be done here.”

The Rev. George Marin of Grace Christian Church said he was pleased with the outcome of the event.

“The cup of my life is overflowing right now,” he said. “My heart is happy. This is a wonderful turnout — we didn’t know what to expect, but this is wonderful.”

Marin is aiming for $17,000 to be raised to build the 30-by-30-foot shelter. As of Monday morning, he said $1,052 had been raised from the weekend.

Marin — who helped launch the “Save Morin Park” Facebook page shortly after the council discussed the park as a possible spot for the proposed new fire station — said he appreciated that the park was removed from the list of possible sites for the proposed fire station. He thanked people who contributed to the event.

“I’m just happy tonight,” he said. “There’s a good feeling in the air.”

About Sam Wilmes

Sam Wilmes covers crime, courts and government for the Albert Lea Tribune.

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