With summer ending, still opportunities to get out and about

Published 11:20 am Saturday, July 27, 2019

By Kevin D. Nelson

Austin Parks and Recreation

The summer recreation season is quickly drawing to a close. Rolling Rec will continue throughout August.  Watch Facebook for details.

Kevin Nelson

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The aquatic center will be open through Friday, Aug. 16. Parents and day care businesses deserve a big thank you for all they’ve done to make certain that kids have gotten to where they needed to be for their scheduled activities and for use of the aquatic center. Summer staff have also done a wonderful job in providing services.

Mark your calendar for the Free Family Fun Night at the aquatic center from 7-9 p.m. on Friday, Aug. 2. Please note: This is a date change from the brochure which had it listed as one week earlier. Thank you, to sponsors VFW, Austin Eagles Club, and APAC! It is with their assistance that this annual event is made possible.

Trees and limbs

We’ve received numerous calls over the course of the past week regarding boulevard trees with downed branches and hanging limbs as a result of last weekend’s storm. If you’ve recently contacted the Parks and Rec office regarding such a boulevard tree bordering your property, you are probably on the list.

Please note that our crew’s response time to deal with your issue may not be immediate; in fact, in can take a considerable amount of time with just the two individuals who are on our tree crew and the tens of thousands of boulevard trees in our community. The duo was challenged earlier this summer when their aging boom (hydraulic lift) truck was down again (for several weeks) for repairs.

Boom truck down time results in a back log of tree work. A new, replacement boom truck was budgeted and approved, and it has since been ordered, but the truck isn’t expected to arrive for several more months. Thank you, all, for your patience if you are one of those who is awaiting tree work on your boulevard.

Nature center

There are two remaining free Family Nature Programs at the Jay C. Hormel Nature Center this summer. They will be held on Saturday, Aug. 3 and Thursday, Aug. 15. Both begin at 1 p.m. Please call 1-507-437-7519 or email info@hormelnaturecenter.org for more information, or visit the website at www.hormelnaturecenter.org.

Cold weather fun

Not that anybody wants to think about the inevitable approaching winter months, but for those who prefer cold weather for their activities, we do provide for winter-type activities year-round at Riverside Arena where there is ice available 12 months of the year.

We offer scheduled time for individual hockey-type practices (Stick Time) and open leisure skating (public skate). There is a nominal charge for each. The open activity schedule for each week is typically posted on, you guessed it, Facebook

Youth archery

Save Aug. 3 for Youth Archery Day and bring the kids out to the Cedar River Archery Club for some fun activities from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. The rain date is Aug. 4. For more information call 1-507-438-7619.

Dog park

We’re happy to have and be able offer a dedicated dog park in Austin, one where your dog(s) are free to run about with other dogs and due their duty in this restricted area. We’re grateful for those dog owners who clean up after their dogs, here and elsewhere, so, thank you.

For those who seem to be above cleaning the waste of their dogs, think of the parks crew who has to mow through it and then wash the tires of their mowers directly after the job. A new ‘doggie bag’ dispenser will be installed at the dog park soon for your convenience, so we ask that you please make use of it.

Smoking in Parks

Please note that there are no butt cans within our parks. This isn’t because we don’t care about keeping our parks shelters and grounds clean and free from related smoking waste but rather because we have policies and posted signs regarding smoking not being allowed in our parks. Thank you for complying.

Did you know

Volleyball ranked second globally amongst participation sports, with an approximate 800 million players worldwide (Source: Parks and Recreation [NRPA] – May 2011).