Dummer returns to New Ulm area as DNR program leader

NEW ULM – Kathy Dummer is returning to the area where she grew up as she begins her role as strategic program manager for the Parks and Trails Division of the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) in New Ulm.

“I am excited to be working in this part of the state since I grew up on a farm northwest of New Ulm,” Dummer said. “It’s very motivating to be able to combine my appreciation for this area with my affinity for natural resources and outdoor recreation.”

Dummer will provide regional and statewide direction and work planning for three Parks and Trails program areas: interpretation, resource management and acquisition and development.

Dummer started her career with the DNR in 1988 and worked as an interpretive naturalist in several state parks. She then spent eight years at Three Rivers Park District as an outdoor education supervisor and site manager, before returning to the DNR six years ago. Most recently, she was assistant manager at Afton State Park.

“I’ve had the opportunity to work throughout the state of Minnesota in parks and recreation over the past 25 years,” Dummer said. “I think my variety of frontline and administrative roles have given me a broad understanding of how visitor needs and park operations interact.”

Dummer is touring the region to learn more about facilities the Parks and Trails Division manages, along with other DNR operations. She looks forward to meeting with organizations and community partners who regularly interact with the DNR.

She also will work on some projects already underway, which include Upper Minnesota River Valley collaborations and a new effort to expand outdoor education and outreach in the Lower Minnesota River Valley, specifically at Fort Ridgely, Flandrau and Minneopa state parks and the surrounding communities.

“It’s pretty amazing to think about coming full circle and being able to give back to the area that really inspired my love of nature and the outdoors as a kid growing up along the river valley,” Dummer said.

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