Park going back to nature

To the editor:

Several years ago the school building at Riverside Park became home of Riverside History & Nature Learning Center which has grown into a very worthwhile attraction. Admittedly, as curator of the facility, I am biased but I’ve not had any visitors express disappointment.

In that vein, I was delighted with the prospect of allowing a portion of the park to “go back to nature” as a means of dealing with the long flooding periods which make it impossible to cut. There are several area naturalists regularly joining me in nature programming at the facility, so rest assured this “jungle” will be incorporated into our programming in multiple ways. Exposing youngsters to nature within the facility is laudable, so why be reluctant to offer them something other than a manicured lawn as a learning experience outside? It was not my decision to make but I am pleased with what is happening and hope it continues.

Over 60 years ago while I grew up in New Ulm, the South German Park area was referred to as the slough, and it was a real jungle. It also played a huge part in instilling my love of nature and I value its memories still. It was no doubt an eyesore, a mosquito producer and a place for kids to get lost, but that was also a part of the attraction.

Guess it’s all in the eye of the beholder.

Ron Bolduan

Curator, Riverside History & Nature Learning Center

New Ulm


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