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Kevin Nelson: Bridges at Nature Center

As regular visitors to the Jay C. Hormel Nature Center may have noticed or soon will notice, two bridges are in need of repair or replacement.

Our trail suspension bridge, which was planned for replacement in 2022, now has a broken cable, so the crossing has been temporarily closed, and the bridge likely will be removed prior to the replacement bridge being ready for install.

Our low-water crossing, near the stepping stones, has been under-washed numerous times, and this latest storm resulted in much more deterioration. There will be some short-term repairs made, including removal of some of the concrete, filling the pooling area (with larger rocks, which will be less prone to wash out), and pouring some new concrete on the bridge itself. We hope for and anticipate the work to be completed this early fall, within the next several weeks. Watch for updates on the Nature Center Facebook page.

Adopt-a-Spot/Parks Adoptions

We’ve had a group step forward to adopt Honor Guards Park for regular clean-up and maintenance and most recently had someone step forward to adopt Fayette Sherman Park as well. Thank you to those who have volunteered to take care of these areas. Our parks crew will still be responsible for mowing and other heavier maintenance, repairs, and improvements.

Shirley Theel Park moisture test

Those in the neighborhood got to see it first hand; the infield was playable within 24 to 48 hours following the deluge of rain this past weekend, thanks to the new drain-tile system. In recent years, the infield and low areas within the grass would have remained wet/soggy and unplayable for days to come. Thanks to the donation by the Hormel Foundation, which covered the cost of tiling and related park repairs, the park is no longer a wetland. Those areas in which the grass was torn up have been or soon will be re-seeded, and the paved trail sections will be replaced this fall.

Enjoy your long holiday weekend through time in your parks!