Nature Center set for full week of family fun

Published 10:34 am Monday, June 17, 2013

Activities are heating up at the Jay C. Hormel Nature Center this week, and they’ll culminate this Saturday with the annual Summer Solstice Ecoblitz.

“We have a great day planned,” said Larry Dolphin, nature center director.

Morning and afternoon activity sessions on Saturday will include a timed canoe race, trail rides, pond scooping, a nature survival game and presentations by author and musician Doug Wood, dragonfly expert Kurt Mead, and Wisconsin naturalist David Stokes.

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All sessions are free, but preregistration is required by calling 507-437-7519 or stopping by the Nature Center, 1304 21st St. NE. The day’s events will begin at 8:30 a.m. with 45-minute sessions for each activity. Participants will break into small groups for more one-on-one opportunities.

“We have a lot of volunteers that help us out to make this event work,” Dolphin said.

The events will run well into the afternoon. Participants who complete three activities will receive prizes and have a chance to win a raffle. Even more activities will be available inside the visitor center.

Other events will start well before Saturday, however, with morning and afternoon “little explorers” activities on Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday for different age groups, led by David Stokes.

“He’s been a mainstay of the program for a long time,” Dolphin said.

A weekly Thursday nature play will officially kick off this week with free outdoor activities and Wood’s storytelling and music for seniors, families and adults. Participants should also reserve spots for this week’s presentations by calling or stopping by the Nature Center.