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Our opinion: Gem of Austin

Fifty years.

A lot is accomplished in that time frame and if you need evidence, look no further than the Jay C. Hormel Nature Center.

On Wednesday, we featured Dr. Richard Nordin, lover of the center and chairperson for the Lay Advisory Committee that led to the formation of the center in those early days half a century ago.

The work put into this landmark in the early 70s gave way to the rich rewards of the Nature Center today. The impeccable example of an Interpretive Center is just the latest, most visible example of how far the Nature Center has come through amazing and caring leadership. It has evolved into a gem of a destination, not only for those in Austin who enjoy the outdoors in all seasons, but for those coming from out of town.

The work that was put into the Nature Center these past 50 years has turned it into an example of how a nature center should be — an accessible avenue to the world around us.

And yet, we can’t help but to think that this is just the beginning for the Nature Center, that the next 50 years is going to be just as rich and innovative as the last.

With each successive year, it seems the Nature Center is adding and including something new. That’s evidenced by the addition and nurturing of the three stacks of bees that demonstrate the intricate workings of the bee and how it benefits us all.

Last summer they introduced goats to try and wipe out buckthorn at the center.

The Nature Center isn’t just there for outdoor recreation. It’s a source of education that seeks to teach us about the world we live in and the ecosystems of which we are a part.

It’s amazing to see the development of the Nature Center in 50 years and the pride taken by those involved in its creation and its further growth. With that kind of determination, we can’t wait to see what the next 50 years brings.