Around Our Region published July 1, 2020

The weekly Around Our Region calendar of events is published Wednesdays. Submissions may be emailed to with “Around our Region” in the subject line. Deadline is 4 p.m. Thursday



WILLMAR — Willmar Parks and Recreation, Master Gardeners of Kandiyohi County and the Willmar Public Library announce a fun new way to experience reading and nature with a StoryWalk! Enjoy “Up, Down, and Around” by Katherine Ayres as you stroll around the perimeter of the Destination Playground at Robbins Island.

Kandiyohi County Recycling

WILLMAR — The Kandiyohi County Recycling Center is closed. West Central Sanitation will begin picking up recycling at homes in a few months.

For the month of July they will have a drop off from 8 a.m. to noon on July 11 and July 25 at the Kandiyohi County Recycling Center across from Bill Taunton Stadium in Willmar. Traffic will enter from the north.

The recycling does not need to be sorted and it will be put directly into recycling trucks.

Public WiFi

WILLMAR — Free wireless internet WiFi service is now available in Pennock, Blomkest and rural New London to help students and community members in need of internet service. The spots are courtesy of Kandiyohi County and MVTV Wireless. The login is mvtv and the password is 5705. For technical support, call the MVTV office at 320-564-4807.


The buildings are not open but the WiFi can be accessed from outside at the Pennock Community Center, Blomkest Community Center and the Lake Andrew Township Hall which is at the intersection of Kandiyohi County Road 5 Northwest and County Road 29, about 15 miles north of Willmar.

Willmar Public Library WiFi can be accessed 24/7 from a parked car in the lot behind the library or in front of the building. No library card? Open a digital library card through Overdrive completely online by providing your cell phone number.

Willmar Public Library

WILLMAR — While the Willmar Library remains closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic it has opened the book return slot, offers curbside pickup and computer use by appointment. The library website is at . Call 320-235-3162.

Book cover challenge: Entry deadline July 20. Do you have a favorite book cover? Now is your chance to recreate it for a chance to win a prize. Fun for all ages. Vote for your favorites on Facebook through July 31. Registration and details on the website.

Computer time for individuals to conduct essential business: Limited access for up to 45 minutes of computer time will be available from noon to 4 p.m. weekdays by appointment. You must be 17 or older to schedule an appointment, no walk-ins will be allowed. Anyone under 17 must be accompanied by a parent or adult guardian and only one other person may come with you to your scheduled appointment.

Appointments are limited to the computer area only for a maximum of 45 minutes per day per person. Wear a mask to protect yourself and library staff. Staff must maintain social distancing at all times which will limit the level of computer help available. You should have the necessary knowledge to complete your tasks. Bring your own headphones and any other items needed to complete computer tasks.

Printing requires small bills ($1 or $5) or coins, bring the correct bills/change to cover your printing costs. Please limit computer usage to essential business.

One Book, One Minnesota: Statewide read for Summer 2020 is "A Good Time for the Truth: Race in Minnesota," edited by Sun Yung Shin and published by the Minnesota Historical Society Press. The e-book is free for download from Ebooks Minnesota ( through Aug. 23. Join us for a special Online Book Club via Zoom discussing “A Good Time for the Truth” at noon Wednesday, Aug. 26. Register on the library website for log-in info and discussion questions.


Master Gardeners Table Topics: The theme is "nature heals," with information on healing gardens, accessible gardening and sensory gardens. Visit the library website for some great resources and recommended reading.

Summer reading: The summer reading program for teens and adults runs through Aug. 31 and will be completely digital this year. Fill out reading logs online via the Google form. Reading logs and rules available on library website.

Teen social meeting sites: To be notified of upcoming programs check Facebook by searching "Willmar LibraryTeens," on Twitter search for "WillmarTeens" one word, and on Instagram search "willmarlibraryteens" all one word.

Adult trivia: July 2, 16 and 30, 7 p.m., play live trivia solo or assemble a team, ages 18 and over.

Adult Jackbox games: July 7 and 21, Aug. 4 and 18, 7 p.m., register on the website for your invite to the Discord server, ages 18 and up.

Teen board games: Every Wednesday, 6 to 8 p.m. Join us online to play fun games on Zoom like One Night Ultimate Werewolf, King of Tokyo, Wits & Wagers, Welcome to…, Codenames, Scattegories, and Pictionary. Zoom links are posted to Facebook and Twitter. If you would like to participate, sign up on the website.

Teen DIY craft: Every Thursday you can find fun DIY craft tutorials on our Facebook and Twitter. Follow along at home with items you have around the house. For more crafts you can follow our Pinterest board here: .

Jackbox games: Second and fourth Friday, 6 p.m., via livestream on YouTube. Join with a smart phone, tablet, or computer to play. Subscribe to our YouTube channel to see when we go live. Search "Willmar Library Teens" at .


Teen hangout: Third Friday, 6 p.m. Get together with other teens and talk about TV, movies, books, games, etc. Sign up on the website to be able to participate in teen Zoom programs.

YouTube night: Third Monday, teens get together to watch fun videos they’ve submitted. You can submit videos to be streamed at If they get approved they will be livestreamed on our Twitch channel at .

Adult online book club: July 15, noon, “Inland” by Tea Obreht book discussion using Zoom on your computer, tablet, phone, etc. Fill out the form at , choose "adult services" from the top dropdown menu. You will receive further info on how to sign in to the Zoom meeting. Meets every third Wednesday. Aug. 19 book is “The Pioneers” by David McCullough.

Library of Things Checkouts: Books not your thing? Remember, you can use curbside pickup for any items available in our catalog ( ) including: board games, yard games, fitness kits, DVDs, magazines, music CDs, audiovisual kits, and more. Call 320-235-3162 for assistance with registration. Follow us on Facebook, sign up for our eNewsletter, and check our website for updates.

WiFi: You can access WiFi 24/7 from the security of a parked car in our lot behind the library or in front of our building. No Library Card? Open a digital library card through Overdrive completely online by providing your cell phone number.

Contactless curbside pickup of library items will be from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. on Friday and 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday. Place a hold for a physical library item using your library card online on our website or call 320-235-3162. The library will contact you when the item is available. Park in the designated area outside the library entrance and call to let staff know you arrived. Have your library card number ready. Remain in your vehicle as library staff places your bag outside. After they have returned inside, grab your bag and go.

Outside book return is open 24/7 for your returns. If the item will not fit in the book return, call the library to arrange for a special return. Do not leave items outside book return or entry doors. Items lost or damaged are the responsibility of the library borrower until the item is checked in.

Pioneerland Public Libraries

All Pioneerland Libraries remain closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Many of the libraries offer curbside pickup of library items. Please check individual libraries for guidelines and hours at .

Great River Public Libraries

All Great River libraries are closed but curbside pickup of library items is available at the Myrtle Mabee Library in Belgrade and the Paynesville Library. GRRL is now offering the streaming service “Hoopla” by using your library card. Library card holders will be able to enjoy 4 downloads per month.

Sibley State Park

NEW LONDON — Sibley State Park is open. A vehicle permit is required to enter the park and available online. The Ranger Station, Visitor Center, Trail Center, Nature Store Gift Shop and Lakeview Shelter buildings are all closed until further notice. Sibley State Park is west of New London just off U.S. Highway 71. For more information, visit the state Department of Natural Resources website at .

Prairie Woods ELC

SPICER — The Prairie Woods Environmental Learning Center welcomes mountain bikers and hikers to use the trails during daylight hours at no cost. They have fat tire bikes, kayaks and canoes for rent. A bathroom with composting toilets is open by the pavilion. Pets should be on a leash. Advance registration is required for all events by calling 320-354-5894 or check the website at .

I ndoor rock climbing: July 2, 4 to 5:30 p.m., $10 per session, for all ages. Challenge yourself both physically and mentally at your own pace — beginners can learn about the sport, exercise and have fun; experienced climbers can train and refine their skills. PWELC instructors will be there to help. Equipment is provided; advance registration required.

Related Topics: EVENTS
Donna Middleton started working at the West Central Tribune in 1975 and has been the news assistant since 1992. She compiles the arts, health, farm and community page calendars, as well as rewrites and works on the special sections.
She can be contacted at or phone 320-214-4341.
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