Staff Photo by Clay Schuldt Mayor Terry Sveine, right, delivered a proclamation Monday at the Park & ​​Rec meeting declaring January 14 to be Tom Schmitz’s Appreciation Day in New Ulm. Schmitz, the director of parks and recreation, receives the Clifton E. French Distinguished Services Award on January 14 from the Minnesota Recreation and Parks Association.

NEW ULM – Parks and Recreation Director Tom Schmitz received a special proclamation from the mayor on Monday at the Parks and Recreation Committee meeting.

Mayor Terry Sveine read a proclamation to the minutes declaring January 14, 2022 Tom Schmitz Appreciation Day.

The proclamation was given in honor of Schmitz for his service to the community and the recent announcement that he will receive the Clifton E. French Distinguished Services Award in 2022.

Sveine described the Clifton E. French Award as the highest professional honor awarded by the Minnesota Recreation and Parks Association. This is the equivalent of a prize for all of his achievements.

Schmitz has worked in the parks and recreation industry since he was a teenager. He graduated from Mankato State University in 1986 with a Bachelor of Science in Parks, Recreation and Recreation Services. He spent 14 years as Deputy Park Manager at Blue Mounds and Flandrau State Parks. During this time he was also commissioner of the New Ulm Parks and Recreation Commission.

Schmitz became the director of New Ulm Park and Rec. in 2005. He helped oversee two rounds of local options sales taxes that raised millions of dollars for designated civic projects including building a new civic center, tripling the size of the center community and the conversion of the Vogel arena into a land house. Major upgrades were also made to Johnson Park, Hermann Heights, German Park Amphitheater, and recreation center expansion (new aquatic center, gymnastics center, indoor play area, fitness center and improved terrain / track.)

Schmitz will receive the Clifton E. French Distinguished Services Award on Friday January 14 at a special ceremony. The proclamation honors this date.

Schmitz said he was humbled and honored to receive the proclamation and the award.

The Parks and Recreation Commission also thanked Schmitz for his service and dedication to the community.

Commission President Carisa Buegler told Schmitz: “You made New Ulm a better place to live, a better place to raise our children, a better place for the best health outcomes. “

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