Mandan News

Vern Davis: Summer camping season coming soon

Hello from Morton County Parks.

Last month I mentioned I would give an update on the trees that are at Graner Park as far as survival is concerned. We have written off all the Chokecherries and Ponderosa pines that were in the park. The judgment is still waiting on some of the spruce trees. It seems that if they weren’t in too much water they may make it – about on half are gone though.

A lot of the Cotton woods, Elms and Box Elders stand a good chance of survival. They are just starting to bud out so we are keeping our hopes up that they will make it.

You may be tired of my writing about Graner Park, but so much good has happened there the past few weeks, that I just can’t help it. Last month (March-April) our Highway Department spent quite a bit of time there and moved a mountain of sand and logs.

I am writing this in the latter part of April and we are about ready to replant grass in the upstream, electrical site campground. Once the large sand dunes were taken care of, Tim and the crew started our part. They filled a few low spots and then took the Toro mowers and towed what we commonly call “drags” – four-footers around there for a couple days. Now things were really starting to shape up

Then Ron Crouse and a crew of students from the Youth Correctional Center came out and picked the area clean of sticks, stones, logs and whatever there was lying around. These kids did a fantastic job – I looked over at the riverbank and here comes a log out of the rocks – with four or five young men lifting and pushing it up. They cleaned up the playground area of the 2 or 3 feet of sand surrounding the new piece of equipment. I can’t say enough good things about these “kids.” By the way, Ron said they are looking for public service jobs for these students. If you have something you feel they could do, give Ron a call at the Y.C.C.

Still on Graner Park – there is a group of people whom I’ll call the Friends of Graner Park who approached me about doing a fundraiser for the work that has yet to be done. There will be a freewill spaghetti supper at the Moose Club on July 16. They hope there will be a big turnout for this event. If you are interested in helping in any way, please call 220-4343 or 471-0390 and tell them in what way you would like to aid the cause.

At Harmon Lake, trees have been planted and a parking area should happen shortly near the beach and playground. There recently has been a set of play equipment installed in the concrete circle area at the beach.

Soon also, the second rock fishing pier will be covered with crushed rock like the one near the boat ramp. This will help everyone who would like to fish from shore.

There will be a camping fee this summer at Harmon Lake. Being as though it is still “primitive” camping, the fee will be $5 per night. This is the same as primitive camping at our other fee spots. There will be a fee drop box installed on the way in to the park.

Finally, the second Walleye Tournament of the season will be held at Fort Rice Boat Ramp, the date is May 18-20. We have turned the Fort Rice Campground over to the Bis-Man Reel and Recreation Club for this event. All camping spaces have been reserved as of at least a month ago. We felt we should allow this reservation system for the tournament because of the great amount of help they have given us in the past few years.

So, as one of the old time newscasters used to say: “That’s the way it is in May of 2012.”

Take care, and hope you will still read this column next month. Bye ’til then.