News from the Park

Friends of HBSP News - Summer 2020

Written by Rebecca Hall

It is a different summer at the park in 2020

The office remains closed so some visitors remain puzzled as to how to pay admission and where to go or not go. The campground was opened later than usual, and the cabin and group campground even later.

The Friends of the Park are unable to sell firewood, ice, shirts and other merchandise from the office, and soda and water from vending machines, so have no income that would eventually go back to the park. We cannot use or rent out the Ansay Center. We can do volunteer work only singly, following Covid-19 precautions.

The Friends again funded a natural resource educator position and Phyllis planned a wonderful schedule of programs by her and guest presenters. So far those events, as well as the Northern Cross Foundation opening the observatory, cannot take place. Shoreline beach areas have been reduced by erosion and downed trees. Staircases and benches have had to be removed and there is no weekend shuttle bus. The erosion undermined the shuttle trail between the Quarry Lake and Pet Picnic areas, requiring closing of that section of the Stonehaven Trail road, with a detour to the south beach area. The lovely north beach is now shrunk and contains more stones than sand, and the south beach is totally stony.

It is the same summer in the park in many ways

purplemartinhouseThe purple martins returned to their house by the office and sing beautifully. The bobolinks and other birds fill the prairie areas. Rabbits and fawns were born and can be seen in the meadows and woods.

Spring flowers gave way to summer blooms, and although they are invasive the dame rocket purple flowers were stunning again. Now the brown eyed susans, grey headed coneflowers, goldenrod, and purple bergamot color the park.

People fish in Quarry Lake and many love to walk its trail around the lake. People still use the beach, and especially enjoyed some warm and calmer water for swimming earlier in July.