See the leaves change colors at local parks

Published 6:21 am Tuesday, October 15, 2019

By Kevin D. Nelson

Austin Parks and Recreation

As the chlorophyll within the leaves retreats back into the trees, the leaves reveal their vibrant colors for their end-of-season spectacle, which we cherish each fall. The first frost of the season will hasten their departure of ornamental display, suspending from the limbs above. Say what? Get out and view leaves while they’re still on the trees! Peak colors will likely be visible over the next couple of weeks. What better place to view the leaves than your neighborhood parks and the Jay C. Hormel Nature Center? If you enjoy the fall leaves and are game for a short road trip, you might want to head toward the hardwood forests in the valleys of the far southeast corner of our state. If you’re able to venture out a bit further, Minnesota’s State Parks feature some of the most remarkable colors this time of year.  

Kevin Nelson

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The greenery will be removed from the big round planters in downtown and outlying areas this coming week. The remaining plants may be green until the end, if they survived the cold from this weekend. Even if they were to make it, removing the plants is a much easier task when they are not frozen into the planters. This’ll also allow for seasonal decorations to be placed within them prior to the dirt freezing solid. We are thankful for those who supported the plantings, which were enjoyed by many from late May until now. Let’s not forget the reliable and friendly watering crew laborers that were out daily throughout that time. Their final spin for the season will be removing the orange flags early in the week.

Thanksgiving Feast

It’s time to mark your calendar to join the Friends of the Jay C. Hormel Nature Center for their 17th Annual Thanksgiving Feast Fundraiser, which will be held from 5-9 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 2. The event will take place at the Austin Holiday Inn in the Conference Center at 1701 Fourth St. NW. Tickets can be purchased for $40 online at You may also call 507-433-6928 or e-mail to reserve tickets. The fun-filled evening includes social hour, a delicious meal, music, entertainment, raffles and games, as well as both silent and live auctions! You can add better value to your night by joining the Friends of the Hormel Nature Center and thereby receiving a $5 coupon at the Feast to use towards raffles, games or auction items. All proceeds will go to the Jay C. Hormel Nature Center Operations Fund, which supports interns, staffing and programs throughout the year.

Youth Basketball

Registration for Youth Basketball is open through Oct. 22 online at, or you can follow the link on the City of Austin’s website at, City Departments, Park & Rec – online registration. The program begins on Oct. 22 and offers skills on Tuesdays and games on Thursdays for the second thru sixth grade participants who want to learn the game or work on their skills. K-1 participants will practice skills and be introduced to a game setting as the program progresses.

Adult Flag Football

Adult Flag Football will be offered and played in the Wescott Dome beginning Dec. 4. Deadline to register your team is Nov. 20.

Dome Baseball

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 is Dec. 31.

Skate Times

Riverside Arena Public Skate times are 4:14-5:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 16, and 4:30-6 p.m. on Friday. Oct. 18. Stick Time will be from 4:30-6 p.m. on Friday. We add times as different opportunities arise, so check our Facebook page regularly.