Improvements have been made to Rotary Park

Published 6:30 am Wednesday, October 14, 2020

Please note the improvements which have taken place at Rotary Park over the past several weeks.

LED lighting has been installed over the basketball courts, alongside concrete slabs that have been poured for placement of aluminum bleachers for spectators, players hanging out between games of hoops, etc. The court lights, of course, will be on a timer, so the lights will be off by 10 a.m.

There is now electrical service (outlets) at the pavilion, so reservations for this site will commence next year. Also upgraded is the lighting within the restrooms; the lights are no longer solar powered, so they should work very well at all times during the season, when the restrooms are open.

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This is great news for those who utilize the park into the evenings.

These park improvements are compliments of the Rotary Club of Austin. Thank you, Rotarians!

Morning Lion’s Park

Park users are encouraged to check out the face-lift on the lion on the corner of the park at Oakland and Eighth Street Southeast. Your local Morning Lion’s Club recently provided the labor and the materials to freshen its appearance. They’ve also funded two benches which will be installed outside the pavilion by next summer. Thank you, Austin Morning Lion’s Club members, for your continued ‘giving back’ to your home community of Austin!

City Archery Deer Hunt

The approved hunters will be out beginning this weekend, placing their elevated hunting stands (one per hunter) at their specified hunting sites (again, one per hunter). The actual City Archery Deer Hunt season will begin on Oct. 17, and will run through Dec.31, the same season-end date for state archery deer season. As was requested in earlier notes to the public, please be respectful of all hunters, as they are expected to be respectful of everyone whom they might encounter in the woods.

Shoreline mowing

It’s that time of year again when the Parks, Recreation and Forestry Department will begin to cut back the growth close to the shoreline at Mill Pond and East Side Lake in an effort to control the non-native species and eliminate the “volunteer” (willow and other) trees. Park users might notice that not all areas are completed at the same time. We are very light on seasonal staff in the fall, and the tasks for the full time crew are many in prepping for winter including blowing out irrigation lines, restroom winterizations, assembling hockey rinks, stump grinding, planting of replacement (boulevard and other) trees, pouring concrete, repairing buildings, prairie burns and more.

Then, there’s the regular mowing and trimming plus seasonal trim-downs. We wish these shoreline areas could all wait until the very last moment in the fall, but ultimately, as noted above, they cannot. Ground and weather conditions play a huge factor in this process (we actually had a mower get stuck again earlier this week, even with it as dry as it has been). Our department has but one extendable-boom mower, which mounts on a tractor, and it’s the only effective way to get ‘close’ to most shoreline areas.

Much of this week, it (and its operator) have been at the Nature Center, prepping for the work as listed below.    

Burn-back at the Nature Center

Users of the Jay C. Hormel Nature Center will have noticed or will soon notice some areas of grassland which are being burned back, also in an effort to control non-native species and provide a ‘fresh start’ to the remnant prairie grasses. Mowing ‘control breaks,’ which is done via the department’s extendable-boom mower, makes managing the burn easier, as does. Using common sense, which includes burning only when the weather conditions are favorable for such.