Cedar River Watershed District - Austin, MN

Cedar River Watershed District - Austin, MN Formed in 2007 to reduce stream flows and protect and improve water quality in the Cedar River Watershed District in Mower, Dodge, Freeborn and Steele counties, all within the State of Minnesota.

(Encyclopedia Britannica) Cedar River The Cedar River is a nonnavigable stream in the north-central United States, flowing from southeastern Minnesota southeasterly across Iowa and joining the Iowa River about 20 miles (32 km) from the Mississippi River. Over the river’s 329-mile (529-kilometre) course, it descends 740 feet (226 m). The Cedar River’s 7,819-square-mile (20,251-square-kilometre) drainage basin is mostly fertile farmland. There are several small hydroelectric dams on the river. The river passes through Austin, Minn., and Charles City, Cedar Falls, Waterloo, and Cedar Rapids, Iowa. Its principal tributaries are the Little Cedar and the Shell Rock rivers. The river is named for the stands of red cedar along its lower course.

Mission: To reduce stream flows as well as protect and improve water quality in the Watershed.

Operating as usual

Happy Halloween! This is an old barn along the Cedar River, south of Austin from earlier this month. No scary stories to...
10/31/2020

Happy Halloween!
This is an old barn along the Cedar River, south of Austin from earlier this month.
No scary stories to share - just a blurry pic from a kayak trip that we turned black and white. :)

Check out CRWD's monthly newsletter for October -- it was a BUSY month!Sign up to get the e-newsletter sent to your emai...
10/31/2020
The Cedar Reader - October 2020 e-news for CRWD

Check out CRWD's monthly newsletter for October -- it was a BUSY month!
Sign up to get the e-newsletter sent to your email inbox.

#cedarmn
Minnesota Association of Watershed Districts
Minnesota Board of Water and Soil Resources

https://mailchi.mp/mowerdistrict/the-cedar-reader-may-2020-e-news-for-crwd-6598992

More state funding is coming next year for CRWD to continue building structures that temporarily hold stormwater in upland areas of Mower County.

10/30/2020
Video montage of Cedar Scenes 2020

Check out this video montage we put together on this year's Cedar Scenes photo contest, including all 18 weekly winners.
A big THANK YOU to all 78 individuals who submitted at least one image for this year's #cedarscenes. Overall, we received 533 images of our beautiful watershed!
Both figures shattered previous Cedar Scenes records of 59 participants in 2017 and 335 images in 2018.
We also thank Runnings Stores for sponsoring the kayak drawing and Discover Austin, Minnesota and state Aquatic Invasive Species (AIS) funds for supporting the weekly prizes.

#cedarmn

https://youtu.be/ULrgXjMcWSQ

Weekly photo winners and info on Cedar River Watershed District's fourth Cedar Scenes initiative to get photos from the public of the watershed.

Thanks to Teri Schulz Wermager for sharing this AMAZING sight!Five bald eagles perched Oct. 25 (with a sixth one just ou...
10/30/2020

Thanks to Teri Schulz Wermager for sharing this AMAZING sight!
Five bald eagles perched Oct. 25 (with a sixth one just out of view below) in a tree along the Cedar River State Water Trail on Austin's south side.

#cedarmn
Austin Audubon - Austin, MN
Minnesota State Parks and Trails

#tbt -- It's a tribute throwback this week as we honor the life of Polly Jelinek, who passed away this month at age 87. ...
10/29/2020
LOOKBACK: Honoring Polly’s passion for local history

#tbt -- It's a tribute throwback this week as we honor the life of Polly Jelinek, who passed away this month at age 87.
Below is an article by CRWD's Tim Ruzek about his work with Polly on writing about local history and how she strongly influenced his ongoing efforts to research and share with the public the history of the Cedar River and Austin community.
Our thoughts are with Polly's family and friends.

Mower County Historical Society
https://cedarmn.medium.com/lookback-honoring-pollys-passion-for-local-history-b80f45b2d71c

CRWD’s Tim Ruzek pays tribute to major influence on his historical interest in Austin, Cedar River

Thanks to the Minnesota Zoo and the MN DNR for this important work of reviving the Cedar River State Water Trail.We are ...
10/29/2020

Thanks to the Minnesota Zoo and the MN DNR for this important work of reviving the Cedar River State Water Trail.
We are lucky to get this kind of special project here!

This past fall, the Minnesota Zoo in partnership with researchers at the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources released more than 3,700 freshwater mussels at several locations along the Cedar River in Austin, MN. Researchers hope this is simply the beginning of a reintroduction project that will revitalize the river and provide countless benefits to the people and animals that rely on it. Check out this article to read more about the project: https://bit.ly/2TvaqKj. The Zoo thanks our partners and supporters for helping us make conservation work like this possible!

10/28/2020

#WaterWednesday - Enjoy a minute of water bugs moving around the surface of Turtle Creek in September near Austin’s 12th St SW bridge.
Have a great day!

A pair of coots (duck-like birds) floated on Austin Mill Pond on Saturday near a few dozen geese around Baird Island.Her...
10/25/2020

A pair of coots (duck-like birds) floated on Austin Mill Pond on Saturday near a few dozen geese around Baird Island.
Here are other photos we took along the frozen shoreline during the United Way of Mower County’s volunteer cleanup event.

#uwmcweekofcaring

Chilly but beautiful morning today at Austin Mill Pond for United Way of Mower County’s shoreline/park cleanup. CRWD sta...
10/24/2020

Chilly but beautiful morning today at Austin Mill Pond for United Way of Mower County’s shoreline/park cleanup.
CRWD staff provided some of the trash bags and got in the water to crush up ice to remove trash, filling up this large bag mainly from just the southwest and western shorelines.
Thanks to United Way and all the volunteers for cleaning up our river!

#UWMCWeekOfCaring
#cedarmn

10/23/2020
Let's Go, Minnesota! (Episode 207) Cedar River w/ improv teacher Keren Gudeman

Be sure to check out this AMAZING job by KSMQ Public Television on capturing this 9-mile float in June 2019 down the Cedar River State Water Trail. Lots of fun!
CRWD’s Tim Ruzek, James Fett and Paul Hunter had a great time leading the crew for the “Let’s Go Minnesota!” episode.

#cedarmn
Minnesota State Parks and Trails
Explore Minnesota Tourism
Discover Austin, Minnesota
https://youtu.be/GO1Qz_BVV_g

Today we paddle the Cedar River, starting in Austin. We're joined by improv teacher Keren Gudeman; four members of the Wood family; and Tim Ruzek, James Fett...

CRWD is grateful for the state bonding bill's passage that included funding in 2021 for our flood-reduction projects in ...
10/23/2020
Bonding bill includes CRWD projects

CRWD is grateful for the state bonding bill's passage that included funding in 2021 for our flood-reduction projects in headwaters area of the Cedar River Watershed.
Thanks as always to our local legislators Sen. Dan Sparks and Rep. Jeanne Poppe for their ongoing support of CRWD projects.

https://medium.com/@cedarmn/bonding-bill-includes-crwd-projects-9ad29f409a9d

Gov. Walz signs capital-investment legislation with funding for local flood-reduction structures

#tbt - Here are watershed-related news items from 1956 editions of the Austin Daily Herald because -- keeping with our t...
10/22/2020

#tbt - Here are watershed-related news items from 1956 editions of the Austin Daily Herald because -- keeping with our theme -- this page has 1,956 page likes.
This was the City of Austin, Minnesota's centennial year (1856-1956). Here's the photo info:
1) Wintry photo looking west across the Cedar River in the southeast corner of Austin Mill Pond (Jan. 9, 1956).

2) East Side Lake (Dobbins Creek) boat races on the Fourth of July (July 5, 1956).

3) Drawing of plans for the future Interstate 90 that will cross Dobbins Creek, the Cedar River and Turtle Creek. (April 17, 1956)

4) Construction of the new 12th St SW (MN Hwy. 105) bridge over Turtle Creek that replaced an old one upstream. (Sept. 14, 1956)

5) Austin's skating rink on the Cedar River is moved for safety reasons from Austin Mill Pond's southwest side to upstream and around the bend. (Dec. 11, 1956)

#cedarscenes -- Congrats again to Coulter Wood on being the winner drawn last week for the Cedar Scenes kayak sponsored ...
10/22/2020

#cedarscenes -- Congrats again to Coulter Wood on being the winner drawn last week for the Cedar Scenes kayak sponsored by Runnings Stores in Austin.
CRWD administrator Justin Hanson and Runnings store manager Everett Hackensmith presented the kayak to Coulter on Tuesday along Turtle Creek in southwest Austin.
Many thanks again to Runnings for supporting Cedar Scenes with a free kayak grand prize for the fourth-straight year!
#cedarmn
Discover Austin, Minnesota

Agenda for tonight's virtual, monthly meeting of the CRWD Board of Managers.Minnesota Association of Watershed Districts...
10/21/2020

Agenda for tonight's virtual, monthly meeting of the CRWD Board of Managers.

Minnesota Association of Watershed Districts
https://www.cedarriverwd.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/10/October-2020-CRWD-agenda.pdf

10/21/2020

#WaterWednesday - Enjoy one minute of peaceful water flow on Turtle Creek last month, just downstream from Austin’s 12th St SW bridge.

Mower Refreshed

TONIGHT (Tuesday) at 7 p.m. on KSMQ Public Television will be the airing of "Let's Go Minnesota!" featuring a 9-mile tri...
10/20/2020
Cedar River paddling trip airing on KSMQ

TONIGHT (Tuesday) at 7 p.m. on KSMQ Public Television will be the airing of "Let's Go Minnesota!" featuring a 9-mile trip on the Cedar River State Water Trail from June 2019.

CRWD staff are part of the trip. Check it out!

#cedarmn
Discover Austin, Minnesota
Austin Park & Recreation Department
Minnesota State Parks and Trails

https://medium.com/@cedarmn/cedar-river-paddling-trip-airing-on-ksmq-cfa1ab86fb0a

‘Let’s Go Minnesota!’ public TV show features CRWD on 9-mile float

Exciting news!Another 104 acres of cropland have been enrolled into MN CREP to become permanent native prairie and wetla...
10/19/2020
More permanent prairie planned north of Austin’s Todd Park

Exciting news!
Another 104 acres of cropland have been enrolled into MN CREP to become permanent native prairie and wetlands along Wolf Creek.
It's part of a growing conservation corridor north of Austin's Todd Park that will help protect Wolf Creek, which this year became Mower County's only stream to be stocked for trout by MN DNR.

Minnesota Association of Watershed Districts
Minnesota Association of Soil & Water Conservation Districts
Minnesota Board of Water and Soil Resources
Minnesota Department of Natural Resources
Austin Park & Recreation Department
City of Austin, Minnesota
https://medium.com/@cedarmn/more-permanent-prairie-planned-north-of-austins-todd-park-c1232c649da

MN CREP enrolling 104 acres of cropland along new trout stream

Great day on the water Wednesday afternoon with mostly first-time paddlers from Apac Austin MN with outfitting and guida...
10/16/2020

Great day on the water Wednesday afternoon with mostly first-time paddlers from Apac Austin MN with outfitting and guidance by the Jay C. Hormel Nature Center and CRWD.

#cedarmn

Good News Friday! Check out how 10 #AustinSTAND members, 2 STAND/ Apac Austin MN advisors and representatives from Jay C. Hormel Nature Center and Mower Soil & Water Conservation District #socialdistance on the Cedar! #fallfloat2020 Austin Public Schools

10/14/2020

#WaterWednesday - Enjoy a fall-themed minute of relaxing water flow from this afternoon on the Cedar River State Water Trail near the Turtle Creek confluence.
The canoeing duo — first-time river paddlers — were part of a high school group with the Austin Positive Action Coalition. Thanks to the Jay C. Hormel Nature Center for outfitting the group and helping to lead it.

#cedarmn
Minnesota State Parks and Trails

10/13/2020

Cedar Scenes 2020 kayak drawing at Runnings

10/12/2020
Showing off our mussels

CRWD and DNR staff had fun last week trying to show mussels in action using time-lapse video with our new water-proof camera.
Before spreading them out in the Cedar River near Austin's Marcusen Park, we set some black sandshell mussels together in a shallow, well-lit spot.

#cedarmn
Minnesota Department of Natural Resources
Jay C. Hormel Nature Center

#cedarscenes -- First, we plan to draw the winner of the Cedar Scenes kayak sponsored by Runnings Stores at 11:00 AM nex...
10/09/2020

#cedarscenes -- First, we plan to draw the winner of the Cedar Scenes kayak sponsored by Runnings Stores at 11:00 AM next Tuesday, Oct. 13, live on this page.
Each submitted photo counts as one entry into the drawing.
Now, our final weekly winner (Week 18: Sept. 28-Oct. 4) for this year's Cedar Scenes is ... Rena Langowski!
Rena took this photo last week at Austin Mill Pond (Cedar River) of a rare sighting for this area: a whooper swan. Thought is it's an escapee from a property.
For the photo, Rena wins $15 in Chamber Bucks along with hand sanitizer and a bandana from Discover Austin, Minnesota.

#cedarmn
Austin Audubon - Austin, MN

Our Cedar River gained a lot of "mussel" this week. Check out our article and photos on this continuing effort to restor...
10/09/2020
DNR transplants more native mussels into Cedar River

Our Cedar River gained a lot of "mussel" this week.
Check out our article and photos on this continuing effort to restore the Cedar's native mussel population here in Mower
County thanks to the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources!
Most of these mussels are being raised in Austin's East Side Lake until large enough to tag and release in the Cedar.

Impact Austin MN
City of Austin, Minnesota
Minnesota State Parks and Trails
Minnesota Board of Water and Soil Resources
Minnesota Pollution Control Agency
Minnesota Association of Watershed Districts
https://medium.com/@cedarmn/dnr-transplants-more-native-mussels-into-cedar-river-c08bc5b3ad92

More than 3,700 black sandshells placed at Mower County sites

Good morning! Here's a beautiful photo from yesterday by CRWD technician Paul Hunter of the Cedar River State Water Trai...
10/09/2020

Good morning! Here's a beautiful photo from yesterday by CRWD technician Paul Hunter of the Cedar River State Water Trail in Austin Township, Mower County, Minnesota upstream from County Road 4.
Water levels definitely are low right now but the trees are showcasing their fall beauty.

#cedarmn
Discover Austin, Minnesota

#tbt -- Our page has 1,953 "likes" so here are three throwbacks from 1953 related to the Cedar River -- a dangerous susp...
10/08/2020

#tbt -- Our page has 1,953 "likes" so here are three throwbacks from 1953 related to the Cedar River -- a dangerous suspension bridge, a flood and a possible rabies outbreak among muskrats!
1) November 1953 -- one of Austin's wooden suspension bridges (2nd St SE -- today's dog park) is barricaded from use due to its dangerous condition. There was a flood that summer.
2) August 1953 -- speaking of floods, this was it. Heavy rains caused Dobbins Creek and the Cedar River to flood Marcusen Park, Driesner Park and damage some homes.
3) November 1953 - State game warden warns local trappers that muskrats might be infected with rabies after eight muskrats were found dead along the Cedar River near Mapleview (NW Austin).

#cedarmn
Mower County Historical Society

#tbt -- Mini "throwback" to start the day as we go back to this past July when Eileen Burkhart, of Austin, made the Star...
10/08/2020

#tbt -- Mini "throwback" to start the day as we go back to this past July when Eileen Burkhart, of Austin, made the Star Tribune's "Trophy Tales" for reeling in a 32-inch carp.
She caught the fish with a nightcrawler from the public fishing dock at Austin's East Side Lake (Dobbins Creek), with her husband Phil handling the net.

Good morning, and we hope you enjoyed last night’s beautiful weather as much as this bird (egret or heron?) did perched ...
10/08/2020

Good morning, and we hope you enjoyed last night’s beautiful weather as much as this bird (egret or heron?) did perched below the downtown Austin dam.
What a spot to take in the relaxing sights and sounds of water moving through.

#cedarmn

10/07/2020

#WaterWednesday - Detach from the world for one minute and relax to this video from Tuesday of leaves flowing over a crayfish as it walks across the bottom of the Cedar River State Water Trail near the DNR’s Riverwood Landing in Austin Township.

#cedarmn
Minnesota Department of Natural Resources
Minnesota State Parks and Trails
Discover Austin, Minnesota

#cedarscenes -- Here's our final round of Cedar Scenes photos -- Week 18 (Sept. 28-Oct. 4) for 2020...hopefully it has b...
10/07/2020

#cedarscenes -- Here's our final round of Cedar Scenes photos -- Week 18 (Sept. 28-Oct. 4) for 2020...hopefully it has been a good distraction for you.
We soon will announce the Week 18 winner. Then either late this week or early next week will be the drawing for a kayak sponsored by Runnings Stores
Danny Salinas starts us out with two photos from fishing recently below Austin's downtown dam on the Cedar River State Water Trail -- carp and a smallmouth bass.
Next, we have two pics from Jens Raffelson of a kayak trip Aug. 5 down Turtle Creek in northwest Austin.
Lori Faircloth then took these two photos this spring at the Jay C. Hormel Nature Center's ponds.

#cedarmn
Discover Austin, Minnesota

#cedarscenes -- Week 18 (Sept. 28-Oct. 4) ... our final week...continues with a photo from Jeff Ashley of sunrise last m...
10/06/2020

#cedarscenes -- Week 18 (Sept. 28-Oct. 4) ... our final week...continues with a photo from Jeff Ashley of sunrise last month over the Cedar River at Austin Mill Pond.
Next are two pics from Stephanie Laskewitz from paddling the Cedar River State Water Trail recently between Ramsey Dam and Austin Mill Pond.
Christopher Fomby took the next two images this month at the DNR fishing pier on Austin Mill Pond.

#cedarmn
Minnesota State Parks and Trails
Discover Austin, Minnesota

Good morning! Gorgeous night on Monday for a walk around Austin Mill Pond (Cedar River) and — just like the bees — enjoy...
10/06/2020

Good morning! Gorgeous night on Monday for a walk around Austin Mill Pond (Cedar River) and — just like the bees — enjoy the wildflowers along the north shoreline.

#cedarmn
Discover Austin, Minnesota
Impact Austin MN
City of Austin, Minnesota

#cedarscenes -- Our final week of Cedar Scenes 2020 is here, with Week 18 (Sept. 28-Oct. 4) starting out with a focus on...
10/05/2020

#cedarscenes -- Our final week of Cedar Scenes 2020 is here, with Week 18 (Sept. 28-Oct. 4) starting out with a focus on a rare bird sighting in the past week at Austin Mill Pond (Cedar River).
Rena Langowski took the first two pics of what's believed to be a whooper swan, a large Eurasian bird mostly found in Alaska. With its sighting here, the belief is that it is an escaped bird.
Merlene Stiles took the next photo of the swan shown with geese.
Marilyn Sucha took the last two pics of the swan.
Full story by the Austin Daily Herald:
https://austindailyherald.com/2020/10/rare-swan-gives-birders-a-treat/

Austin Audubon - Austin, MN
#cedarmn

10/05/2020
Partnering for Progress -- Five years of CIP projects in the Cedar River Watershed

Check out our new, short video (includes drone footage) on CRWD's past five years of progress.
We now have built 14 projects to improve water quality and reduce flooding in the Cedar River Watershed.
Many thanks to The Hormel Foundation, State of Minnesota and our partnering townships and landowners.

Impact Austin MN
Jay C. Hormel Nature Center
City of Austin, Minnesota
Minnesota Department of Natural Resources
Minnesota Association of Watershed Districts
Minnesota Board of Water and Soil Resources
Minnesota Pollution Control Agency
Minnesota Department of Agriculture

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pPm4fz_pYFA

This short video highlights the CRWD's Capital Improvement Plan (CIP) launched in 2015 to improve water quality and reduce flooding. This effort was launched...

#cedarscenes -- Our Week 17 (Sept. 21-27) winner is ... Jens Raffelson!Jens took this beautiful photo recently of the Ce...
10/02/2020

#cedarscenes -- Our Week 17 (Sept. 21-27) winner is ... Jens Raffelson!
Jens took this beautiful photo recently of the Cedar River State Water Trail on the north end of Austin Mill Pond.
He will get $15 in Chamber Bucks (thanks to state Aquatic Invasive Species funds -- remember Clean In, Clean Out to prevent the spread of AIS in waterways).
Discover Austin, Minnesota also is providing him with hand sanitizer and a bandana.

#cedarmn
Austin Area Chamber of Commerce
Impact Austin MN

Good, fall morning to you from “The Point”!This is where Dobbins Creek flows into the Cedar River State Water Trail in A...
10/02/2020

Good, fall morning to you from “The Point”!
This is where Dobbins Creek flows into the Cedar River State Water Trail in Austin’s Driesner Park.

Address


General information

After the Austin area suffered its two worst-known floods in 2000 and 2004, Mower County led the creation of the Cedar River Watershed District to focus on flood reduction and water quality improvement. The CRWD is a local government entity with a taxing authority for those who live in the watershed, which covers most of Mower as well as parts of Steele, Dodge and Freeborn counties. On April 25, 2007, the Minnesota Board of Water and Soil Resources established the Cedar River Watershed District. An organizational meeting was held on May 3, 2007, at the Mower County Courthouse. Seven managers were sworn in. Meetings are held the 3rd Wednesday of each month at the J.C. Hormel Nature Center in Austin at 7:00 pm. All meetings are open to the public and time is allotted for public input. Since being sworn into office, the CRWD Managers have contracted with SWCD for administrative services and contracted with JHS Inc. as the Engineer for the watershed.The board also appointed Barr Engineering of Minneapolis, MN, to prepare the district's 10-year water management plan.

Opening Hours

Monday 07:00 - 16:30
Tuesday 07:00 - 16:30
Wednesday 07:00 - 16:30
Thursday 07:00 - 16:30
Friday 07:00 - 16:30

Telephone

(507) 434-2603

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Videos

Reviving Our River

Formed in 2007, the Cedar River Watershed District was created by local and state officials in response to the Austin area’s worst-known flooding in 2000 and 2004 (No. 2 and No. 1, respectively). CRWD’s top priorities are to reduce flooding and improve water quality.

In 2017, CRWD was named the Watershed District of the Year by the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources at the annual Minnesota Association of Watershed Districts (MAWD) convention. CRWD previously won the 2012 Watershed Program of the Year at MAWD.

Water recreation also has been a priority for the CRWD, with staff involved in promoting paddling and fishing on the local waterways along with working on projects that enhance recreation along and on the water. In 2011, CRWD successfully worked with local legislators to get the Cedar River designated as a new “state water trail” in Minnesota (25 river miles from the village of Lansing to the Iowa border), which has increased usage of the river and led to more support from the Minnesota DNR.

Since 2010, CRWD also has led its own “Adopt-A-River” program for the Cedar River and other local waterways within the district. CRWD staff, dozens of volunteers and a few Conservation Corps initiatives have removed hundreds of tons of garbage and flooding debris from the local waterways, including more than 1,100 tires taken out of the Cedar River.

Nearby non profit organizations

Comments

Riverside arena
Eastside Lake, Fall 2013
I have known about the two steamers – “The Belle of Austin” (steamed the Cedar River in the 1890’s) and “The Volborg” (steamed the Cedar River from 1935 – 1942) but have never heard of any others until I came across this article in the Austin Daily Herald from Aug. 28th, 1974 - “Uff Dah” By Nate Johnson. It tells a story about other steamers that were on the Cedar River back in the 1870’s. I checked in the Austin Register and found an article a week before this story took place and it did mention the names of the two steamers in the story and that they were going out on the days mentioned. “Uff Dah” By Nate Johnson: Not that it really makes any difference, but these are the August “Dog Days” The Encyclopedia Britannica says they are the “hot summer days, when Sirius, the dog-star rises in conjunction with the sun.” When we were kids “Dog Days” usually meant that the Cedar River would become green with vegetation, and swimming would be curtailed at the beach in Horace Austin State Park. One of the local ecological tragedies is how much prestige the old Cedar River has lost with the younger generation. The hiking paths, swimming holes and good fishing spots are almost non-existent. The places where we found adventure are too often now immersed in the smell of a polluted, sullen stream. While the Cedar was the center of our young lives, it was even more of a recreational mainstream for earlier generations. Read the following account of a river trip which was taken in June of 1875 as reported by the Austin Register. We would guess the tour went north, past the cemetery. We wonder if anyone knows the location of the “Saratoga Springs” mentioned in the account: or the “Austin Mineral Springs”? “Last Saturday we participated in the piscatorial picnic to Saratoga and Mineral Springs, - leaving Wright’s wharf, in the city of Austin, on the regular line of steamers plying on the Cedar River. May Queen and Belle Dickey being the lucky boats chartered for the round trip by Mrs. Dr. Rabe for Sabbath school and musical class. Your honored reporter was invited to a free ride and free pull. Missing our dinner, we rushed frantically on late time to the landing, about 2 p.m. finding the merry crowd all armed with fishing tackle and lunch baskets, impatiently awaiting the appearance of Doc. “In a few minutes steam was raised on the Belle Dickey by engineer Pearl, the bell rang and off she pulled in fine style, with Mrs. Rabe for pilot, assisted by Fred Knox, Luna Hall, Clarence Hollister, Mary Donaldson, Bert Meigs and Laura Vaughn. “May Queen followed suit in short order, on the strength of Doc’s steam, assisted by the smaller engines of Ed Baird, and Frank Hall, piloted by Mrs. Paden and crew of Charles Hall, Hattie Anderson, Fred Baird, Helen Donaldson, Nattie Bissell, Julia Meigs, Mattie Sharrah and Ellsworth Sterling. We took the usual track of travel, passing out through Wright’s Channel into main Cedar River, rounded Race Point, coming up the Race Track on full head of steam to and past Sandy Hook making for Belle Dickey landing in the edge of Oak Grove. No passengers awaiting the call of the whistle, we did not stop, but steamed away through the clear spring water, arched over by large graceful trees standing on high green banks, covered with countless flowers and fern. “We hailed Mosquito Harbor on out right and Cemetery Spring on the left, as we flew past, coming up in grand array opposite May Queen Harbor, and still we kept plowing forward intent on our own business, leaving these several stations to run their own steamers. “But hark! the conductor sings out “Saratoga! Saratoga Springs!” So here we are at last – the mecca of out journey – with a rush for the gang plank and an Indian war whoop, the boys acknowledge the fact. Leaving the engines to blow off the surplus steam on the banks, watching the party fishing, gathering flowers, moss and ferns, jumping rope, catching bull frogs, and so on for several hours, when notice was given for “all abroad for Mineral Springs!” Away we went again up the river with most of the company, getting farther and farther into the greenwoods. After a pleasant run of over a mile, passing and hailing “Rabe’s Island”, “Harper’s Ferry”, “Craine’s Spring”, and “Anderson’s Spring” on our left, we made the celebrated “Austin Mineral Spring” on the right bank of the Cedat river, where it hisses and boils up about 20 feet from shore, making a stream of some 10 inches diameter, strongly impregnated with sulphur, iron etc. After all indulging in a big drink and a romp, we made all haste back to Saratoga, where we found a beautiful lunch spread out under the trees, awaiting our investigation, with plenty of the world-renowned Saratoga water. “Bertie Meigs was the lucky one to land the first fish, being a fine rock bass, but soon after came the pickerel and bass flopping along the banks. “About six, the whistle sounded to call all on board for Austin, Belle Dickey again getting off first, challenged May Queen to a race, when both boats put to it with a will, playing one engine and two paddles each. They came down to Race Point at a fearful rate, making one hold tightly to the hair on his head. The engines were pufting and Doc plowing, but it was no go, he could not pass Belle Dickey. “Your reporter enjoyed it hugely, especially the lunch part, but the children had the best part of it in the home race. We all gave Long Island and Engle’s Mill two or three songs and cheers, when the boats all put back into Wright’s Wharf for the night, landing her well-pleased passengers and tired engines about 8 o’clock.” Can this possibly be the murky Cedar we gaze on so unfondly in 1974?
Dresner park earlier today
A kingfisher and a green heron, both taken at the Hormel Nature Center pond. Sept. 2020
Old mill
Oliver Lutz checking out the Kayak launch area at Wolf Creek in Todd Park.
Mill pond
Fishing and letting our feeder fish go in the cedar under the Roosevelt
Super cool!