— Thumbs up
To the creation of a naturalist position to serve in local state parks and the river valley.
Discovering nature is not natural for everyone. If we want people to take care for and appreciate the environment, the naturalist position is a good move in that direction.
Scott Kudelka serves as the new Department of Natural Resources regional naturalist, working in Minneopa, Flandrau and Fort Ridgely state parks, as well as focusing on the water trails system in the Minnesota River Valley. His goal is to do hands-on programs, such as paddling on Swan Lake or going down to Minneopa Creek to see what’s living in the river.
The DNR wanted the position for years but was unable to fund it because of tight budgets. Funding from the Legacy Amendment’s Clean Water fund made the position possible. It’s a good use of that money.
Amboy makes another town attraction
To the folks of the Amboy Community Club who secured the old Huntley train depot and moved it to Amboy for restoration in an attempt to add another attraction to their small town.
Too many of these old train depots were bulldozed even though they represented an important part of America’s history. The community club spent $7,500 to move the depot from Huntley to Amboy and about $2,000 to move wires across roads to facilitate the transport.
Amboy folks aim to restore the old depot for possible use as a place kids can learn about history. Amboy has a history of restoring old buildings to make them attractive to tourists, such as the Amboy Cottage Cafe — a former gas station. People from around the region and, indeed, the state visit the cafe.
Amboy had its own depot several years ago, but in a kind of irony, gave it to St. James.
It’s good to see some of these depots and other buildings preserved. History can be instructive and fun and can shed light on what small-town America was like.
A downtown to be proud of
Recently, my wife and I spent som
time walking the downtown area enjoying the statues that were on the street.
As wonderful as they were, the downtown was equally wonderful. We moved to Mankato in 1969, and I sort of remember what it was like back then.
It doesn’t even look like the same town. It was as if I was seeing it for the first time. The changes are really amazing, to the new US Bank, the new frontage on older buildings, to all the green areas, and the new Veterans Memorial Park. I could go on, but people should go down and see for themselves.
And a big shout out to those who take care of the planters and hanging baskets. They seem especially beautiful this year.
It makes me proud to say I’m from Mankato.
VFW post work for tourney was great
Mankato VFW Post 950 was the host for the Minnesota VFW Baseball Tournament Aug. 8-12. The work put forth by the post members for the benefit of the participating players, coaches, families and friends deserves notice.
The games showed the remarkable talents of the team members.
Not only did the Post 950 members participate in a great deal of planning and organizing prior to the tournament, several members gave their time for various roles to help during the tournament. The tournament was seamless. Most impressively, the event coordinators provided a venue that helped remind the players, coaches, families and friends of the sacrifice the veterans of the U.S. Armed Services gave to make and keep the United States “the land of the free.”
At the final award ceremony, a Post member spoke of the gratitude we all have for the men and women of the Armed Forces past and present. A noticeable, affirming applause came from everyone at the park.
We are fortunate to have had the opportunity to take in this experience.
Lori B. Neutzling