The Myth: The Soldier's Field Golf Course Cannot By Law Be Shut Down!

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Over the weekend, a lot of people have said online that the Soldier's Field Golf Course existing in perpetuity is a requirement when it was given to the city. They were mostly responding to this story by friend and co-worker, Curt St. John from KWWK.

Rochester Needs to Close Soldiers Field Golf Course Now! The Rochester Parks and Recreation Department is in the process of updating its plan for Soldiers Field Park, and I believe the only option is to close the golf course and repurpose that area into something more residents would use. Read More: Rochester Needs to Close Soldiers Field Golf Course Now!

The Truth: There Is No Such Provision In Any Law, Covenant, or Charter

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I reached out to Jenna Bowman, Strategic Communications & Engagement Director for the City of Rochester, Minnesota, to find out, and here's what she said...

"In checking with the Parks team – there is a plaque that highlights the land donation for the entire space – including the area that golf is present in. There are no restrictions on the park as far as use/potential reuse. The plaque highlights that it was dedicated to the youth of Olmsted County."

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"The plaque highlights that it was dedicated to the youth of Olmsted County"

If you wanted to press it, I suppose the only things that couldn't be done with the park is creating things for adults in it.

Soldiers Field Golf Course Fun Facts

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  • In 1924, the American Legion in Rochester, Minnesota, bought some pasture from Dr. Graham (as in Graham Park and Graham Arena, but not Graham Crackers) and established a golf course. 
  • In 1925, the Legion transferred the property to the City of Rochester.
  • The first course was only six holes.
  • There used to be a substantial rough. But a labor shortage in 1942 meant they couldn't take care of it, so it was removed.
  • For the same reason, they eliminated 17 sand traps in 1943.
  • Bridges appeared in1935, but floods caused them to be replaced a bunch of times.
  • President Franklin D. Roosevelt dedicated the Soldiers Field Golf Course and Park in 1934.*

*Humble-Brag - The founder of KROC-AM, traveled to Washington DC to convince the President to come to Rochester and honor the Mayos, and faced no end of roadblocks until, they found his doctor, who had Rochester ties. Click play.

As always, if you have a comment, complaint, or concern about something I wrote here, please let me know: james.rabe@townsquaremedia.com

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It's less than a month away

It seems a way away, but you know it'll be here lickity-split! Make your plans, schedule an event, make your own event (The Ostrich Walk Pub Crawl?)...

List of Events and Fun in Rochester on July 4th, 2022

Bring your lawn chairs, blankets, snacks, and drinks and celebrate the 4th of July at 4th Fest, a free event happening at Soldier's Field Park in Rochester, Minnesota. According to the City of Rochester, here are the events planned for the day and evening.