Jay C. Hormel Nature Center has plenty of opportunites to get outside this summer

Sisters Emma Larson,5, right and Grace Larson, 7, examine a tadpole during last year's Water Festival at the Jay C. Hormel Nature Center. Herald file photo

Sisters Emma Larson,5, right and Grace Larson, 7, examine a tadpole during last year’s Water Festival at the Jay C. Hormel Nature Center. Herald file photo

There will a be a mix of old and new faces at the Jay C. Hormel Nature Center when it comes to its free summer events this year.

People will find a little bit of everything from the young to old and everything in between.

Tom Pease will return this year to once again entertain nature center visitors. Photo provided

Tom Pease will return this year to once again entertain nature center visitors. Photo provided

“We’re pumped about who we’re bringing in,” nature center director/naturalist Larry Dolphin said. “It’s very diverse.”

Among the old faces returning are David Stokes and Tom Pease — both of whom are energetic and family orientated.

“These are high-energy people that do wonderful work with families and youth,” Dolphin said. “David and Tom are so much fun to have around. People keep coming, and we keep bringing them back.”

Another big summer attraction at the nature center is the Water Festival. In its second year, the event will take place the second week of July and will include several water-conservation activities.

Speakers include Chad Pregracke and Al Singer along with performer Peter Mayer.

Alex Watson, a former nature center intern, is also making his return. He is currently a Minnesota Department of Natural Resources Regional Naturalist and will talk about the reintroduction of bison to Minneopa State Park.

Among the new faces is Doug Elliot, who will be visiting from North Carolina. Elliot, who will also be giving a presentation in Minneapolis, will bring his knowledge of edible backyard plants as well as his musical talent.

“He will make it real interesting for people,” Dolphin said. “He’s really a storyteller.”

Also included in this year’s run of summer talent will be bird-watcher Terry Doresey, Karla Bloem and owl friend Alice, reptile expert Jaime Edwards, Amber Dolphin and the Pectonica String Quartet, and Al Batt.

For more information about these events as well events with a fee visit www.hormelnaturecenter. org or call 507-437-7519.

 Summer free special events

Elliot

Elliot

Doug Elliott, Naturalist

June 11

9:30 a.m., Summer senior special

1 p.m., Family, children’s program

7 p.m., Evening program

RSVP by June 10

 Terry Dorsey, bird watching

June 18

9:30 a.m., Summer senior special

RSPV by June 17

 David Stokes, Nature educator

June 18

1 p.m., Family, children’s program

RSPV by June 17

Karla Bloem, the director/naturalist at the Houston Nature Center and Alice the great horned owl. Photo by Sue Fletcher

Karla Bloem, the director/naturalist at the Houston Nature Center and Alice the great horned owl. Photo by Sue Fletcher

Karla Bloem and Alice

June 25

9:30 a.m. Summer senior special

1 p.m. Family, children’s program

RSPV by June 24

 Second annual Water Festival

July 6-10

Monday, July 6: Al Singer, Dakota County Land Conservation Manager, 7 p.m. RSVP by July 3

Wednesday, July 8: Chad Pregracke, clean water expert, 7 p.m., RSVP by July 7

Thursday, July 9: Peter Mayer, songwriter/performer, 9:30 p.m., Summer senior special; 1 p.m. family, children’s concert; 7 p.m., evening concert. RSVP by July 8

Friday, July 10: Clean Water Service Day: 8:30 a.m., River cleanup; Staff-led water quality testing of Austin’s waterways; 8:30 to 11:30 a.m., Join Nels Rasmussen, Austin Water Quality Specialist in attaching “No Dumping/Drains to River” signs; 1:30 p.m., Staff-led water quality testing of Austin’s waterways; 2 p.m.,

 Jaime Edwards, entertainer/educator

July 16

9:30 a.m., Summer senior special

1 p.m., Family, children’s program

RSVP by July 15

Alex Watson. Photo provided

Alex Watson. Photo provided

Alex Watson, Minnesota DNR Regional Naturalist

July 23

9:30 a.m., Summer senior special

1 p.m., Family, children’s program

RSVP by July 22

 Amber Dolphin and the Pectonica String Quartet

July 31

10:30 a.m., Summer senior special

1 p.m., Family, children’s concert

7 p.m., Evening concert

RSVP by July 30

 Al Batt, Storyteller

Aug. 6

9:30 a.m., Summer senior program

RSVP by Aug. 5

 Tom Pease, entertainer

Aug. 20

9:30 a.m., Summer senior program

1 p.m., Family, children’s concert.

RSVP by Aug. 19

 

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