News Column

Pease visits nature center

August 29, 2014

By Jenae Peterson, Austin Daily Herald, Minn.

Aug. 29--The Jay C. Hormel Nature Center's busy Nature Play program came to an end Thursday.

Tom Pease performed for children, parents and senior citizens at two programs on Thursday morning and afternoon in the Ruby Rupner Auditorium at the nature center.

Children squealed in delight as he sang their names in some of his songs and fist-bumped them during his performance. Executive Director Larry Dolphin was excited to have the musician come back to the nature center.

"He's been here for many, many, many years, and he's a wonderful children's folk singer who knows how to work with youth," Dolphin said.

He hopes to bring Pease back to the nature center again next year. The performance brought about 45 people to the nature center. But this wasn't the only summer event to bring people in to the center.

"Very, very busy summer, with good attendance all summer," Dolphin said of the Nature Plays and other events.

The nature center's Nature Play program, which has been going about four years, has brought many different concerts, programs and animals to the center to help teach children and adults about conservation and helping the environment. It has also showcased many of the outdoor things that Austin has available, such as canning or kayaking, hiking and biking the trails, and camping.

Despite a rainy Thursday, Dolphin said overall the weather has been decent for the summer, which helps with attendance.

"All in all, I'm real pleased with the summer and the attendance," Dolphin said.

The center will look into some future changes, such as making more programs available to young children or having an amphibian program, but Dolphin said he was happy with the programs this summer, and organizers are already planning for the future.

"We're already planning for next year, and we're scheduling, booking people for next year," Dolphin said.


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Source: Austin Daily Herald (MN)

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