Mandan News

Vern Davis: Looking to the brighter side

Hello from Morton County Parks.

Here it is February already and the snow and cold haven’t let up a bit. I’m in a bit of a winter “funk” with the weather we have had the last month, so let’s look at the brighter picture.

The hours of daylight have been getting a little longer, so that’s a good thing. Who knows, by this time next month we may have had our “January Thaw,” although as I write this at home it shows 36 degrees on the Weather Channel, so “quit griping,” I tell myself.

Looking ahead to his summer, here are a few improvements I would like to see in the parks.

1. We will replace the table surfaces at the fish cleaning stations at Graner and Fort Rice Recreation Area.  We were going to do this last fall but the weather and other things prevented it from happening.  We already have the table tops ready to go. 

2. We badly need a new vault toilet at Little Heart-Schmidt Bottom boat ramp. This will be a downsized one and hopefully will be placed on the east edge of the parking.

3. Several projects should happen up at Harmon Lake. They are:

• Installation of a floating fishing pier much like the one put in at Nygren Dam last spring. 

• Making a couple parking lots; one near the beach area and one at the area where the bike trail starts.

• Putting rock and gravel on the surface of the rock fishing piers near the boat ramp.

• Building of a simple picnic shelter or two in the primitive camping area.

• Planting of more trees, especially around the maintenance building that is already there.

• Making the bike trail with markers every 1/10 mile – this will be an Eagle Scout project.

4. Replace a vault toilet at Graner Park with a downsized one. The one near the playground is terrible and really needs to be torn down.

If you are planning a summer get together at one of the parks, Graner or Sweetbriar, I would advise you to get a shelter reservation soon. I can tell you that Graner park weekends for the two main shelters area already taken for the month of June.

With the predicted cost of fuel on the upswing, we are assuming the camping will be a little more crowded this summer, especially if a large rise in fuel price occurs. People won’t go on the longer trips and will stick closer to home.

With the approach of spring we’ve got Tim working on getting the equipment ready for summer; you never know, we could be using the mowers in another eight weeks.

That’s about enough for this month – stay warm and look at the brighter side. See ya next time.