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Monday, December 30, 2013

Winter is one of the best times to enjoy the Mississippi River

Ward 7 has a special relationship with the Mississippi River as we look down on it from high above the city.  From our vantage point, we are able to see the river unfold before us, weaving its way through downtown, past Holman Field and on to Pig’s Eye Lake.

View from Mounds Park
It is especially apparent from Ward 7 that the river is an important commercial corridor with planes landing on the river flats, trains snaking along its banks, and barges carrying supplies to neighboring communities.  In addition to its influence on our commerce, it is impossible to ignore the incredible beauty, natural diversity, and opportunities for recreation that the river offers our city. 

During the winter months, most of us want to stay indoors and curl up by any source of warmth.  But winter can be one of the best times to explore the secrets that the river offers.  As the seasons change, so does the kaleidoscope of color that adorns the river’s banks. Herons and egrets routinely fly over Mounds Park on their way to one of the largest urban rookery’s at Pig’s Eye Lake.  Walking and biking trails in the Bruce Vento Nature Sanctuary and Battle Creek Regional Park give way to excellent opportunities for snow-shoeing or cross country skiing. 

Ski trail
In fact, the groomed trails at Battle Creek Park are one of the premier places to experience cross country skiing in the Twin Cities.  These trails are likely to take you by deer and wild turkeys--sights not often associated with city living.  This year, Ramsey County purchased snow making equipment as a pilot project to ensure that the trails at Battle Creek Region Park West are in top shape throughout the season.

So, as you are looking for ways to work off those extra holiday calories, why not get out and take advantage of the beauty and fun that our natural areas along the river offer.  You will enjoy experiencing this treasure from a whole new perspective.

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