Mandan News

Vern Davis: All signs are go for spring

Hello from Morton County Parks.

There are indications that springtime may be here. The parks are in reasonably good shape and are basically open for the 2011 season.

How do I know it must be spring? I was out south of Judson looking over a site for a living snow fence for 2012 and upon walking along on the prairie here was a hillside with bunches of crocus flowers in full bloom. With permission from the landowners, my wife now has a small bouquet of these pretty little flowers sitting on our dining table. Sure beats paying big bucks for roses! Nature is sure beautiful this time of year.

This past week, things really stated to happen – the guys got everything up and running. The electricity is on at Graner Park and the Fort Rice Campground. At this time the water is on as well, and the fish cleaning stations are open for business. By the time you read this, they will be down for a day or two for major improvements to faucets and replacements of the table tops.

Also this past week, Randy Graner of RG Manufacturing was in the vicinity of Graner Park with his tractor and box blade that he manufactures. He went through the whole park as he has done before. The roads and camping spaces are very nicely groomed. So, Randy a BIG THANK YOU is in order from Morton County Parks.

Once again, Glen and Gloria Finck are back at Graner Park as our hosts and caretakers. Talk about timing, they arrived from winter in Arizona just in time for the last 6-inch snowstorm of the year. Anyway, I hope it was the last one! So, welcome back to these people they do a wonderful job for us.

It seems with the beauty of spring, there always seems to be ugliness as well. After the snow banks and ice chunks had melted we started to see a couple things that make you really disgusted. At Schmidt Bottom boat ramp area there was a dead deer – sure you see them along the roads all the time, but this is different. Someone had killed a rather nice buck; field dressed it and then cut the antlers off, leaving the animal there to be disposed of by someone else. I think there would have been quite a few people who would have enjoyed some venison, but it was all wasted.

At Graner Park there were pheasants in grocery bags dumped into a dumpster. Sure I know there isn’t anything we can do about sad things like this. It just goes to show you can’t cure stupid.

I could site other cases of dumping as well, but these two will always stand out in my mind.

Sorry to be so blatantly discouraging in this column. So I will close with this: it is a beautiful time of the year with the plants starting to grow, the birds coming back to nest, the warm sun shining on you… All is not lost. Get out and enjoy Morton County Parks. Thanks, and until next month – Happy Trails.