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Visit the natural playground


Fri, Oct 25th, 2013
Posted in All The Great Outdoors

In the day and age of television, computers, and video games there is a Natural Playground a short drive away that will stir your child’s imagination in a new way. The Houston Nature Center, in Houston, Minn., has long been a favorite for families to get out of the house and closer to nature. With the addition of the Natural Playground, the ability for children to play, learn, and enjoy the outdoors has been combined in a cool way.

A path leads around and behind the Houston Nature Center where visitors feel a change in their attitude as different plants, trees, and shrubbery start to envelope the area. The view of the beautiful scenery and bluffs seem to make a person slow down and take it all in.

A sign marks the beginning of the one-acre Natural Playground where many different and educational areas await. Play elements listed in the Natural Playground brochure include:

•Enormous sand play area with buried fossils for kids to find and take home (one per child, please)

•Hand water pump and moveable log sluice

•Several four foot boulders to climb on

•10 foot tall hill for rolling and running in the summer and sliding in the winter

•Stone tunnel with large, hidden fossils inside

•Two small stone caves with large fossils inside

•Embankment slide (it’s fast!)

•Boulder climbing wall

•Wooden climbing wall(handholds to be installed when the grass on the hill is established)

•Straw bales for building forts

Three sets of pedestal pipes for making sound

•Two sets of listening tubes for listening to sounds

•Two wrap around tree benches for adults to sit in the shade

•Two stump circles for hopping from stump to stump or for sitting, one with a fire ring in the middle

•Labyrinth with circuits just wide enough to accommodate a standard wheelchair

•Four foot tall concrete mosaic owl and three giant eggs in a nest for kids to climb into

•LOTS of native trees for shade

•Flying owl entrance sign surrounded by stones engraved with the names of all the donors who made the playground possible. You’ll find three more donor inscriptions on the four foot boulders in the playground

•Interpretive signs for the trees, rocks, lumber, fossils, and play .....
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Soil health: building a resilient landscape

Fri, Oct 18th, 2013
Posted in All The Great Outdoors

Commentary from the Fillmore Soil and Water Conservation District Board of Supervisors: Travis Willford, Harmony Brian Hazel, Lanesboro Pamela Mensink, Preston Tim Gossman, Chatfield Leonard Leutink Jr., Spring Valley Summer and fall 2012: dro ..... 
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Blaze orange safety requirement reduces hunting accidents

Mon, Oct 7th, 2013
Posted in All The Great Outdoors

With Minnesota’s small game hunting season underway and the firearm deer season set to begin Nov. 9, the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) says making a blaze orange fashion statement this fall might not get you on the best-dressed ..... 
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Highlights of 2013 Trout Rendezvous

Fri, Sep 27th, 2013
Posted in Preston The Great Outdoors

The 2013 Trout Rendezvous, held at the Preston Trailhead Park, was a time for trout enthusiasts to gather and participate in a number of trout related activities. The event was sponsored by the Hiawatha Trout Unlimited Chapter and the National Trout ..... 
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Comprehensive Review of Minnesota Frac Sand Mining Requested

Tue, Sep 17th, 2013
Posted in All The Great Outdoors

No Permits to be Issued Until Analysis is Complete John Michaelson ST. PAUL, Minn. - Residents of southeast Minnesota are pushing for a comprehensive review of the possible impacts of what would be one of the largest frack sand mining operation ..... 
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2014 annual Trout Fishing Rendezvous

Fri, Sep 6th, 2013
Posted in Preston The Great Outdoors

The public is invited to join in on some fishing fun at the Preston Trailhead Park on Saturday, September 14. The National Trout Center and the Hiawatha Trout Unlimited Chapter are co-sponsoring the event which offers a variety of afternoon outdoor ..... 
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Accessing clean water funds for your conservation projects

Fri, Sep 6th, 2013
Posted in All The Great Outdoors

On September 3, 2013, the Minnesota Board of Water and Soil Resources (BWSR) announced that local governments can apply for funds to protect and improve water quality in their communities. The grant application period is open until October 4, 2013. ..... 
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Volunteers Needed for “The Great Mississippi River Cleanup”

Tue, Sep 3rd, 2013
Posted in All The Great Outdoors

WINONA, Minn. (FWS) – The Upper Mississippi River National Wildlife and Fish Refuge – Winona District, Friends of the Refuge Headwaters, and Mississippi River Revival will host a river cleanup as part of the “The Great Mississippi River Cleanup ..... 
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Hog roast & trout fishing activities

Fri, Aug 30th, 2013
Posted in All The Great Outdoors

Hiawatha Trout Unlimited and the National Trout Center have partnered to offer a variety of afternoon outdoor activities, ending with a hog roast dinner in the evening. The public is invited to attend the September 14 event taking place at the Prest ..... 
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