Mandan News

Vern Davis: Tremendous restoration continues at Graner Park

Hello from Morton County Parks.

Well, it is already spring and we really didn’t have much winter so we can’t complain about too much as far as the seasons changing are concerned.

This month, I want to mention a few things about the current happenings in our park system.

It has been a tremendous month at Graner Park. I have just returned from there and the work that has happened in the last three-four weeks is unbelievable. Thanks to the Morton County Highway Department, their operators and machinery, a huge dent has been put in the restoration of the park.

First off, a lot of trees that were victims of the flooding were cut and piled up. Our crew went down with chainsaws and cut quite a few down and the loaders piled them up. These piles will eventually be burned as this is a lot easier than trying to cut them up and haul them out.

Another thing that has happened is that a large amount of sand has been moved out. A lot was used to fill in the craters that were washed out during flooding but there is still a huge amount left to move. Hopefully a large amount will be used to fill the old harbor, which has basically been abandoned for 10 to 15 years. This area will then be graveled over for a parking lot for vehicles and boat trailers.

The area south of the paved road has a large amount of work, but that will have to wait for another time.

At this time, we don’t know for sure how all of the trees came out of the flood. I had hopes for the pines and their cousins during winter, but it looks like they are turning gray with the warm spring conditions. A lot of the cottonwood, ash and elm are not going to leaf out the way it looks, so they will also have to be cut down and hauled to the burn piles. I’ll give you a better idea on the “Tree Toll” next month when they should all be leafed out.

Now a little on the brighter side: the three boat ramps have been operating since early in the second week of March. This is about the earliest I have seen that in my eleven years in the parks.

The fish cleaning station at Fort Rice should be open by the end of April; don’t look for the one at Graner to open very soon – it will need to have all systems restored and then the tanks pumped. It will take a lot of debris removal and cleaning as well.

The first fishing tournament of the season has been set for April 28 out of Graner if all things are go. The alternate site will be Little Heart bottoms. This tournament is put on to benefit North Dakota Teen Challenge.

That’s about it for now. If you want to go for a pleasure ride, go to Graner and check out the progress, go to Harmon Lake and look over the new picnic shelters (they are nice) and go to Sweetbriar, Fish Creek or whatever you will be happy you did.

See you next month.