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Gas woes? Not for local parks

By Staff | Aug 8, 2008

Emmet County Conservation Foundation Board member Kim Swanson suggested how the area around the nature center could be landscaped to board director Eric Anderson Thursday. EDN photo by Michael Tidemann

Far from hurting Emmet County parks, soaring gas prices have helped park attendance.

Board Director Eric Anderson told the Emmet County Conservation Board Thursday that July camping receipts were well above the same month last year. Similarly, for the Iowa Lake campground, receipts for July were $1,750 compared to $1,591 for all of last year.

Anderson attributed the difference in attendance figures to more people camping locally rather than traveling out of state.

Also Thursday, the Emmet County Nature Center Foundation Board examined the Nature Center grounds and discussed landscaping. Anderson said students in the landscaping program at Iowa Lakes Community College in Emmetsburg were already booked with other projects. However, he said students in the Iowa Lakes Conservation Club were planning on doing a fire ring and interpretive trail at Wolden.

Naturalist Anita Fisher said one of her major priorities would be to see the rock wall leading to the outside basement entrance completed first.

Anderson said directional road signs for the nature center would cost $200 each. Board member Dave Enerson suggested that one sign be placed at each of the T intersections between Wallingford and Wolden Campground.

The board also discussed possible content for the Emmet County Conservation Foundation newsletter. The board agreed that the newsletter should be mailed at least twice yearly.

Board Chair Steve Weisman suggested that the newsletter update foundation members on the banquet-fundraiser held last March and preview the next annual banquet March 28.

Fisher reviewed the many groups that have used the Nature Center in July, including the Armstrong-Ringsted Summer Reading Program, Ingham Lake Lutheran Bible Camp, 4-H Camp, summer school students, a Farm Bureau picnic and an Iowa Department of Natural Resources meeting.

The Nature Center is open weekends, and Fisher said volunteers are always needed to host guests.