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New manager starts at county parks

By Staff | Jul 5, 2020

Bryce Werner is excited about his new job as the Faribault Country Parks manager.

“When I saw the ad in the paper I knew I had to apply,” Bryce Werner says. “It is a job that fits my personality.”

The ad Werner refers to was for the Faribault County Parks manager position.

Werner said his first day on the job was June 24 and he already loves it.

“I am outside, working in the fresh air and the parks are beautiful,” he says. “What more could I want?”

Werner graduated from Blue Earth Area High School in 2009. His parents are Laron and Chris Werner of rural Blue Earth. He has a twin sister, Emily, who is married and lives in the Twin Cities area.

Bryce Werner with his work truck with the Faribault County Public Works Department. Werner is the new county parks manager and is in charge of both Pihls Park and Woods Lake Park. When winter comes, he will work for the county highway department driving a snowplow.

“I worked for Watonwan Farm Service the first five years after high school,” Werner comments. “I have worked the last six years for Kaduce Plumbing and Heating out of Mankato.”

Actually, there was one more job Werner held for a six-month period.

“I had the opportunity to work on a ranch in Wyoming for half of a year in 2017,” Werner shares. “I was able to take off the time from my job with Kaduce to go out west. I loved being out there and living and working among the mountains.”

Werner says the chance to spend so much of his time outdoors working is just one of the reasons his new job is a good fit.

“My girlfriend, Katelyn Renger, and I live in Brush Creek. She is an emergency room nurse in Albert Lea so the drive is not too bad for her,” Werner explains. “But I was getting tired of the daily drive to Mankato. In addition, some of my jobs would take us out of the area.”

Less time spent on the road will also free him to do other things.

“My dad still farms.” Bryce comments, “Now, I can get off work and be at the farm in 15 to 20 minutes to help him.”

Werner says he will split his time pretty evenly between the two county parks, Woods Lake and Pihls Parks.

“One week I will work three days at Pihls Park and two days at Woods Lake,” Werner says. “And then reverse it the following week and work two days at Pihls and three at Woods Lake.”

Werner notes his background working at Kaduce will be a bonus for him when helping maintain the parks.

“My experience in plumbing will help me deal with some of the water issues at the parks,” Werner remarks. “We are currently having a new pressure tank installed at Pihls Park.”

Werner says there are things to appreciate about both parks.

“Pihls Park gets more traffic. We have 21 of the 32 campsites full with seasonal campers,” Werner shares. “It is located just off of I-90 and is not too far from Albert Lea so it tends to fill up every weekend.”

But Woods Lake is nice too, according to Werner.

“It has the swimming pond, which we are working to make a little nicer and I set up the net for sand volleyball,” Werner says. “Woods Lake also has seasonal campers, but not as many.”

Werner says the variety of the things he will be doing with his new job is another reason he has a smile on his face.

“There is lawn mowing, weeding and trimming trees,” Werner comments. “There are so many things to do to keep the parks looking nice.”

And keeping the parks looking nice is important to Werner.

“People come out here to relax and enjoy themselves,” Werner states. “And when things look nice it makes it easier to slow down and decompress for a little while.”

Werner will also help make sure the playground equipment is maintained along with the machines he operates.

“Growing up on a farm I learned how to take care of the machines we used,” Werner states.

And when he has some free time you just might have to look to the sky to locate the young man.

“I used to ride dirt bike but I don’t ride as much since I broke my leg a couple of years ago,” Werner states. “But I have my pilot’s license, a plane and I love to fly. Flying is definitely my big hobby right now.”

When winter comes he will work for the highway department driving a snowplow. Until then he is going to enjoy his time taking care of the county parks.

“My office is the outdoors,” Werner says. “How can you beat that?”