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Restoration of Minneopa State Park waterfall bridge will limit park access


Tue, Aug 7th, 2012
Posted in All The Great Outdoors

An extensive reconstruction of the 90-year-old waterfall bridge at Minneopa State Park will limit access to certain areas of the park over the next three months, according to the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR).



"The waterfall bridge is an important and recognizable feature of Minneopa State Park," said Paul Hansen, district supervisor for the DNR's Parks and Trails Division. "Our concern for the historic nature of the structure and the natural areas surrounding it will create some access restrictions during the restoration process."



Hansen said the bridge site will be closed while the project is underway, and access to the lower waterfalls area will be restricted. In addition, no parking will be allowed along Gadwall Road, which runs parallel to the falls. The roadside and vicinity will be used for construction access and staging of supplies and equipment. The public will not be allowed to enter the project work area.



The restoration of the open-spandrel arch bridge begins in mid-August and will involve carefully removing portions of the bridge that have been weakened by time, weather and periodic high water levels, said Kent Skaar, acquisition and development section leader.



Once the railings, deck, spandrel beams and portions of the columns, piers and structural arch of the bridge have been removed, reconstruction will begin. New, cast concrete components will add strength to the bridge, while maintaining the design of the original structure.



"We worked closely with the State Historic Preservation Office on the restoration of this structure and think the public will be pleased with the end product," Skaar said.



The project is scheduled for completion in October.



All other areas of the 1,145-acre park remain open, including the campground, interpretive exhibit and programs, prairies area and geocaching.



The word "Minneopa" means "water falling twice" in the Dakota Indian language. The twin waterfalls drop a total of 45 feet, making them the largest waterfalls in southern Minnesota. In 1921, a bridge was built over the creek between the falls at a cost of $2,200. Since that time, hundreds of thousands of people have crossed the bridge. In 2011, more than 130,000 people visited the park and falls.



Minn .....
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1899 Independence Day celebration at Historic Forestville

Fri, Jun 29th, 2012
Posted in All The Great Outdoors

Join us for an Independence Day celebration with a flavor of the 19th century! The Grand Ceremony with the reading of the Decleration of Independence begins at 1:00 p.m. Enjoy a food concession provided by the Friends of Forestville which includes K ..... 
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FREE! Fly casting, fly tying and fishing instruction with the federation of fly fishers

Mon, Jun 18th, 2012
Posted in Preston The Great Outdoors

Join us on Saturday, June 23, 2012, at the National Trout Center in Preston, MN for a full day of free fly fishing activities. Learn from the best. The Federation of Fly Fishers (FFF) is a highly respected national organization, well known for produ ..... 
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National Bike Month promotes health in children in Harmony and Preston

Mon, May 7th, 2012
Posted in All The Great Outdoors

The Harmony Area Chamber of Commerce and Preston Tourism are proud announce the “Harmony-Preston Biking Passport” for all children and youth up to age 18. To celebrate National Bike Month in May and to encourage local children and youth to use o ..... 
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Prairie Walk at Houston Nature Center

Mon, Sep 12th, 2011
Posted in The Great Outdoors

Come for an easy one hour walk along the award-winning Houston levee prairie in Trailhead Park. Find out why cord grass can give you welts and which plant holds water for the birds to drink. Smell the plant that bears the same name as an ingredient ..... 
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Swifts enjoy communal roost in Preston

Mon, Sep 5th, 2011
Posted in The Great Outdoors

About twenty bird and nature enthusiasts spent a pleasant evening, Wednesday August 31, at the Trailhead parking lot watching a current local phenomenon. Hundreds of swifts swarm around the old Preston elementary school chimney before funneling down ..... 
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Transporting Injured Raptors - You Can Help!

Fri, Jul 15th, 2011
Posted in The Great Outdoors

What should you do if you find an injured hawk, eagle, or owl? The Houston Nature Center serves as a collection and transportation hub for the sick and injured raptors of this area since the nearest wildlife rehabilitators are in the Twin Cities, bu ..... 
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Houston Nature Center & tent camping open for business

Fri, Jul 15th, 2011
Posted in The Great Outdoors

The Houston Nature Center is owned and operated by the City of Houston, with no state (or county) funding. There you can meet Alice the Great Horned Owl, check out the hands-on nature displays, extensive native prairie plantings, and recycled bicycl ..... 
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