Mandan News

Vern Davis: Parks closing for the season

Hello from Morton County Parks.

October already and soon the frost will be on the pumpkin.

Things are winding down as far as summer parks activities are concerned and soon hunting will take the place of camping and boating.

By the time this is in print, the water will be shut off at Graner Park and the Fort Rice Recreation Area and Campground. We will leave the electricity on at the two campgrounds until after the first weekend of pheasant season, about the 10th or 11th of October

About this time of the year we also say so long to Glen and Gloria Finck, our campground hosts at Graner Park this past summer. They do a great job of keeping track of things down there and we wish them well as they travel to the great southwest to play snowbirds over the winter.

You may think: what a fun, cushy job they have, but let me tell you it isn’t all easy. Try this every week:

1. Check that the fire rings and boxes are all dead and clean them for the next week.

2. Meet and greet the people who use the park all those weeks in the summer.

3. Check on the facilities and make sure there is paper in the correct places.

4. Check that all the electric boxes are in working order.

5. Check on the fish cleaning stations for operation and cleanliness.

6. Keep the pocket gophers in check.

7. Pick up branches, etc. after the big blow of a summer storm.

8. Probably most important, warn unwary people of approaching storm conditions that could happen about anytime during summer.

I had a comment from two different people about Glen’s concern for the camping population during stormy weather – how he came around and knocked on camper doors and gave a warning about an approaching storm. This is all a part of his daily routine.

In return, Glen gets a small stipend for all his work and he gets to go fishing when he wants to.

If you have been to Graner Park the last few weeks you probably couldn’t miss the fact that the huge piles of rock are still in the parking lot. It looks like they will be there a while yet. The water is so high in the river that the replacement of the boat ramp is not doable at this time. With 27,000 cubic feet per second coming down the river, the conditions are not good for removing the old ramp and building a new one.

Another thing at Graner; by the time you are reading this, the new playground unit will be in place to the east of the old one. This should be a big attraction for the younger set next year. Putting this apparatus together took quite a few man hours, perseverance and patience on behalf of Tim, Roger, and Bill. We hope it is enjoyed by all.

With the beautiful colors of fall, the crisp air, the calls of the migrating birds and all that other stuff that makes the changing seasons great, remember you live in a beautiful location, and there is still time to go for a drive and take it all in.

See you next month.