Pool changing its hours for the month of August

Kevin D. Nelson

Austin Parks and Recreation

The August schedule for the Municipal Pool/Aquatic Center changes in regular hours (as is listed in the summer brochure):

• Wednesday, Aug. 7: No evening swim due to fair

• Thursday, Aug. 8: No evening swim due to fair

• Friday, Aug. 16: The Aquatic Center closes for the swimming season with public time ending at 4:30 p.m. It is necessary to wrap up that weekend, and it was planned that way, due to college guards leaving beginning that weekend and practices starting for fall high school sports the following week.

Thank you for all you do, aquatics staff!

Watering plants

The flower watering crew, who are employed through the Parks, Recreation and Forestry Department, have done an exceptional job this summer of keeping the flowers looking great.

Many don’t realize the dedication that it takes to do this job, as it does need to happen seven days a week, and sometimes two or even three times a day (the Thursday/Friday two weeks ago were evidence of this).

Kevin Nelson

The crew members typically begin their routes at 7  a.m., but on days which require putting up/taking down flags (in addition to their watering duties) or avoiding downtown traffic (ie. Crazy Days), they begin at 5 a.m. Two such mornings were on July 18 and 19, when dramatic heat was coupled with Crazy Days. Thus, the watering began at 5 a.m. on Thursday, and because it was such a hot day, the hanging plants required a second watering.

Crew members were able to begin their second shift by late afternoon, but because Crazy Days was scheduled until 7 p.m. on Main Street, they couldn’t finish that portion of the route until after that time.

The next day two others in the crew were at it by 5 a.m., completing the full route plus the hanging plants twice by 11 a.m. However, the heat required returning to water the hanging plants (which are anchored in moss versus black dirt) again on Friday evening. People might think that with all of the rainy weather this summer, watering might not have been required as much.

However, the crew is out watering, rain or shine (except in the case of lightning or substantial rain), to make certain that they’re fulfilling their main task of keeping alive the lovely flowers with which they’re entrusted. It has become routine for the regular crew to mix fertilizer with the water, spray plants (with insecticide) which have become affected by Japanese Beetles, to use hand signals at each intersection, and to traverse traffic on both streets and sidewalks.

This past week, when one of the two regular machines had a major breakdown, the crew got to experience something which many have never before seen much less driven, a clutch and manual transmission (in the spare watering machine); they needed to learn relatively quickly, on the dead-end street near their daily starting/ending point. They took it in stride as it was all in a day’s work.

Austin Youth Football

Austin Youth Football registration is taking place through Aug. 8. Registration forms are available at the Parks and Rec office and at South Central Athlete. This program is offered for those entering fifth and sixth grades.

Riverside Arena

Open activities (by paid admit) at Riverside Arena this week include:

  • Sunday: Stick Time, 1:15-2:30 p.m.; Public Skate, 2:45-4 p.m.
  • Monday: Stick Time, noon to 1:15 p.m.
  • Tuesday: Public Skate, noon to 2 p.m.
  • Wednesday: Stick time, noon to 1:30 p.m.; Public skate, 5-7 p.m.
  • Thursday: Public skate, noon to 2 p.m.; Stick Time, 6-7:30 p.m.
  • Friday: Stick Time, noon to 2 p.m.; Stick Time, 5:30-6:45 p.m.
  • Saturday: Public Skate,  7-8:15 p.m.

Did you know?

Contact with even very small green spaces in cities leads to improvement in children’s abilities to pay attention, delay gratification, and manage impulses. (Source: Davis, “Psychological Benefits of Nature Experiences: Research and Theory.”)

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Visit us in person at Park & Recreation @ 500 4th Avenue NE; contact us at 507-433-1881; visit us online at www.ci.austin.mn.us.