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Nature center fundraising planned

By Staff | Jul 5, 2008

Vi West and Steve Wiesman of the Emmet County Nature Center Foundation accept the Terry Redlin print Spring Fever, donated by J.D. Speltz of Speltz Studio of Wild Life. It will be raffled during Estherville’s Sweet Corn Days Aug. 2. Tickets are $5 each or four for $20 and are available from any Emmet County Nature Center Foundation member or by calling 867-4422. EDN photo by Michael Tidemann

Completion of the Emmet County Nature Center at Wolden Campground and fundraising efforts to help finish paying for the nature center took up much of the time of the Emmet County Nature Center Foundation and the Emmet County Conservation Board Thursday.

Conservation Board Director Eric Anderson told the Emmet County Nature Center Foundation that landscaping, signage and the south parking area were future costs yet to come in before the tally is final on the project slated for a $500,000 cost, including fixtures and exhibits.

Foundation chair Steve Wiesman moved that $5,000 be transferred from one of the foundation’s accounts to pay on the note for the nature center.

Anderson said the rock retaining wall by the Nature center should be done by Labor Day.

In the fundraising report, Anderson said J.D. Speltz had donated a Terry Redlin print, Spring Fever, to be raffled Saturday, Aug. 2 during Sweet Corn Days. Tickets are $5 each or five for $20 and are available from any Emmet County Nature Center Foundation member or by calling the Nature Center at 712-867-4422.

Another Redlin print donated by Speltz, Morning Frost, will be raffled in conjunction with Christmas on the Farm at Peterson Point Dec. 14. Speltz is donating a total of 72 Redlin prints over a three-year period.

The foundation will also sell coolers and memberships at the Emmet County Fair July 24-27.

In other matters, Anderson recapped the Emmet County Nature Center Foundation banquet and the donor wall update. Anderson also noted that a lot of visitors had passed through the nature center since it had opened.

In another matter, Anderson reviewed the disaster drill held June 21, the largest that has been held in Northwest Iowa. He said 14-15 emergency responders were represented.

In new business, the foundation board discussed leveling and graveling the south parking area. Other matters included the new water hydrant on the north edge of the parking lot. Anderson said road signs denoting the Emmet County Nature Center would cost $200 each.

Naturalist Anita Fisher noted programs in June for Forest Ridge, the Ingham Lake Lutheran Bible Camp, Estherville Good Samaritan Society to be coming in July, and the summer reading program.

Anderson said an anonymous donor had given $5,000 for picnic tables and benches for the deck area and around the nature center.

After the Foundation meeting concluded, the Emmet County Conservation Board met. Anderson noted a $10,427.32 budget shortfall which he attributed to reduced campground attendance due to foul weather. Anderson said gas prices could have also kept campers away.

“I can’t believe it’s not affecting it more than I would like to think it is,” Anderson said. On a related note, Anderson said he has seen more locals coming on weekends rather than visiting elsewhere.

The board also discussed the Complete Recovery recycling project.

Anderson said he would do further study of the smoking ban in public areas and return to the board with a recommendation for county campgrounds.