As we approach our May 1 opening date, Mennonite Heritage Village is showing numerous signs of new life and activity. As usual, the village, including the Livery Barn Restaurant, will open to the public on May 1.

One of the first things that happens as the new season approaches is the hiring of summer staff. Helen Bergen is returning as our Food Services manager and has rehired many of her restaurant staff from last year. Jared Nickel has joined our management team as our Facilities Manager. He has worked at MHV in the past and brings a lot of passion for the work of MHV and energy to develop and maintain the facilities. Kim Plett will return as our Education Coordinator administering the school program for the summer. This is Kim’s third season at MHV.

The early spring weather has made it easier for our volunteers to make progress on a number of outdoor projects. Our corral replacement project has continued with the corral that separates the oxen from the horses having been replaced. We still need some volunteers to paint that section of the corral. Volunteers have also improved the landscaping of our threshing area in an effort to ensure that it is dry for threshing demonstrations. This work has been made possible by donations of gravel from The Clearspring Centre.

New corral. Anyone care to paint this?

Donations from our supportive community have allowed us to initiate some significant facility improvement projects. A new boardwalk replacing the crumbling old one is being installed on our Main Street. The MHV Auxiliary is providing funding for this project. The Livery Barn kitchen has a new ceramic tile floor and a fresh coat of paint. By the end of the week, weather permitting, we expect the building will also have a fresh exterior coat of paint.

The New Boardwalk

The Steinbach and Area Garden Club has again adopted MHV as one of their projects. They have already cleared the flower beds and tilled the vegetable garden. Their energy and commitment make a significant contribution to the beauty of our grounds.

The Vegetable Garden is Ready for Planting

This is also the time of year when we get a lot of bookings for activities at MHV. Our churches and the Village Centre Auditorium have become popular wedding venues. We already have bookings for every weekend in July, August and September. Many teachers have booked a field trip for their students at MHV in May or June. We also provide programming for Daycares in July and August.

About the Author

Gary is responsible for the overall management of MHV. Guiding the staff, informing the board, and networking with officials, volunteers, corporate sponsors, individual donors and other guests. He has a business diploma and a MA in Global Studies from Providence Theological Seminary. With his family he did humanitarian work for 18 years in Asia, including being a CEO of a Compost Enterprise in China. He loves to discuss the Mennonite story and how it is relevant in our world. Learn more about the MHV. is Steinbach's only source for community news and information such as weather and classifieds.