The university continues to develop and encourage community engagement and service opportunities that benefit our host city of Winona and offer service learning and cocurricular activities to enrich the overall residential campus experience.

Saint Mary’s is now a partner of the Winona Community Warming Center. The Campus Ministry Volunteer Mentors are coordinating student, faculty, and staff volunteers for two nights per month at the center, a program of Catholic Charities housed in the Community Bible Church. Operating November through March, the center provides safe and warm overnight emergency shelter for the adult homeless population of Winona County.

The Campus Community Garden — planned and started with the aid of an AmeriCorps VISTA grant and staff person — has been sited near the former Old Village apartments. It’s fenced, cultivated and ready for planting next spring. The goal is to create a large, long-term sustainable garden on the Winona Campus that will help stock the local food shelf and provide valuable learning and service opportunities for students. Faculty and staff are being encouraged to suggest ideas for integrating the garden into a variety of class topics and out-of-class activities.