River critter mounts, pelts brought to Oak Hills Living Center

Since Riverside History & Learning Center Curator Ron Bolduan is recovering from back surgery at Oak Hills Living Center, a number of river critter mounts and pelts are on display outside his room. Above, Bolduan holds one of his friends, a mink outside his room at Oak Hills.

Not even Macie the therapy cat can stay away from the river critter collection in the hallway outside room 318 in Deer Haven Hallway at Oak Hills Living Center.

Riverside History & Nature Learning Center Curator Ron Bolduan recently underwent back surgery for the sixth time but is on the mend after 64 staples were removed from the top to the bottom of his spine.

Bolduan recently lost feeling and movement in his legs, which was diagnosed as a pinched nerve in his back some time ago. His surgery was done at Abbott Northwestern Hospital in Minneapolis.

With therapy, Bolduan is recovering, getting feeling back in his legs.

In order to cheer him up, keep him company and entertain Oak Hills residents, visitors and staff, Bolduan’s daughter and son-in-law, Lori and Chad Wengert of New Ulm brought a number of Minnesota River critter mounts and pelts from the Riverside History & Nature Learning Center in Riverside Park.

Macie, the Oak Hills Living Center therapy cat, gets a good look and sniff of Riverside History & Nature Center mounts.

Bolduan invites anyone who wants to visit him and the river critters to come to the Oak Hills Living Center second floor. If he isn’t in his room, he’s probably wheeling around nearby in his wheelchair. He may even be walking a little bit.

For two decades, Bolduan has been giving nature presentations including photographs, mounts and belts at the River History & Learning Center and in area schools. Bolduan partners with a number of area naturalists to offer day programs at whatever time frame suits the audience.

A Pioneer Public Television program, “Prairie Birds & Beasts”1 will be broadcast as part of the Prairie Sportsman series at 7:30 p.m., Sunday, Jan. 28. For more information, visit prairiesportsman.org and www.experiencenature.com

The Riverside History & Nature Center provides a hands on learning experience for all visitors. Topics include Goosetown history, river clamming and riverboats and a fishing wall including photos of fish and those who landed them. Other artifacts include bison bones, turtle shells, pelts, skulls, track replicas and other displays.

Story, photos by Fritz Busch; additional photos by Sarah Reinhart

Riverside History & Nature Center artifacts include mink, weasels, foxes, and many other river critters.

Riverside History & Nature Center artifacts include mink, weasels, foxes, and many other river critters.


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