The transition from fall to winter means a lot for the East Grand Forks parks and recreation department: putting ice in arenas, coordinating registration for winter sports and closing down the local campground.
This year, the department will undergo a bigger transition as Reid Huttunen steps into his new role as parks and recreation director. Although new to town, Huttunen brings with him a lifetime of passion for recreation and the impact it can have on a community.
“It started out with wanting to be able to give back to kids with the same experience that I had,” said Huttunen. “Being an athlete myself at that age, I certainly recognized what the parks department did for me growing up.”
This passion for recreation began early on for Huttunen, playing any sport he was able to growing up. He eventually began coaching and refereeing youth hockey in Crookston, which he said really showed him the effect that recreation and sports activities can have on young people.
After getting to know Crookston’s parks and recreation director at the time, Huttunen learned more about the job, which sparked the idea to pursue a recreation management degree at the University of Minnesota Crookston. He deemed the career choice a “natural fit” based on his history with sports.
To see more of this story, read the October 12 edition of The Exponent in print or online.