Give the gifts of friendship

Published 11:33 am Saturday, December 8, 2018

Are you looking for a gift for that person that has everything?

Give a one-year gift membership to join the Friends of the Jay C. Hormel Nature Center!

By giving another person a membership or joining yourself would be helping to preserve the incredible Jay C. Hormel Nature Center for future generations. The great benefits of this membership include: $5 off each child’s fee for all Summer Adventure Programs (parent/guardian must be a member), $5 coupon to use at the Thanksgiving Feast fundraiser, participate in members-only events and classes for youth and families at the Nature Center,enjoy a members-only bus tour day trip. Cost of bus paid by Friends, participants take care of their own admission fees (when applicable) and food.

Email newsletter signup

You can also enjoy a subscription to Nature Center News, a semiannual publication of the Jay C. Hormel Nature Center, delivered by post or email; support and promote environmental education programming and receive an invitation to the Friends Annual Meeting.  You can even sign up on line. Go to, click on “get involved,” and then Friends of Hormel Nature Center. It is as easy as that to start to enjoy the benefits.

Check out the Association Jazz Combo Concert at 7 p.m. on Dec. 19 at the Jay C. Hormel Nature Center Interpretive Center. The Combo features former Nature Center intern Jacob Burkhart.  They will be performing some holiday and nature-themed jazz.  This free event will take place in the Nature Center Interpretive Center.

Looking for a spot for a family gathering?  Check out the Izaak Walton Cabin in Todd Park at or the venues at the Jay C. Hormel Nature Center on their site at

Camps and leagues

Girls in grades seven and eight can sign up for the Riverland Volleyball Clinics on Sundays.

From 1:30-3 p.m. on Sunday, Dec. 2, participants will learn passing and serving. Dec. 9  participants will focus on setting and Dec. 16 will focus on hitting.

Email or call her at 507-279-1266 and she can answer your questions.  Watch for information on other girls’ volleyball opportunities.

There will also be Adult Flag Football offered and played in the Wescott Dome beginning Wednesday, Jan. 2, 2019, running for eight weeks.

Deadline to register your team is 5 p.m. Dec. 21, 2018 in our office.

The team fee is $477. Players must be 18 years of age by July 1 of 2018 with a minimum of seven players needed and a roster limit of 20 players.

Games times will be 6:15 p.m. or 7:15 p.m. start.

Did you know that you can go play pickleball?

Matches will be held Wednesday nights from 6:30-8:30 p.m. at Ellis Middle School in the auxiliary gym on the following dates: Dec.12 and 19. Watch for more dates starting in January.

Those youth 9 to 18 years of age interested in archery league — sign up online by Dec. 29.  League will be offered again on Wednesday and Thursday evenings from 6-7:30 p.m. beginning Jan. 2-3, in the 4-H building at the fairgrounds.

Cost is $60 for 11 weeks, sign up early as it tends to fill up fast.

For the young baseball enthusiasts Dome Baseball will begin on Monday, Jan. 7, for those 7 to 9 years old and Tuesday, Jan. 8, for those 10 to 12 years old.

This pitching machine league is designed for skill development and live game experience.  Deadline to register online is Dec. 31. Go to or follow the link on the City of Austin’s website at, City Dept, Park & Rec — online registration.

Packer Arena

Public Skate: 3-5 p.m. Saturday and 1:30-3:30 p.m.

Next weekend there will be a Squirt tournament at both arenas, so please watch our Facebook page as we will update this calendar as they happen.

Having a birthday party or getting your friends and family together? Rent the arena. Call our office for times at 507-433-1881.

Riverside Arena

The Austin Bruins are away until Saturday, Dec. 29. Plan ahead, get your people together and take in a game.

They host the MN Wilderness. PUuck drops at 7:05 p.m.

The Austin girls hockey team hosts Mankato West at 1 p.m. this afternoon.

The boys varsity will host La Crescent at 7:15 Monday and Gentry Academy at 7 p.m. Tuesday.