The Wright County Parks & Recreation Department has announced its Winter Programs for December 2021 through March 2022. Here is a summary of those offerings.
Saturday, Dec. 4 – Santa at Bertram Chain of Lakes Park (10 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.). A family-oriented that will include photos with Santa, a horse drawn rides that will be on a sleigh (if there is enough snow) or on a carriage (if there isn’t sufficient snow). Cost: $20 per child.
Friday, Jan. 7 and Saturday, Jan. 8 – Dog Sledding at Robert Ney Memorial Park (4 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. Jan 7 and 8:30 a.m., 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. Jan. 8). There will be a presentation to explain how the dogs are trained to pull sleds, followed by a 1.5 mile mush through the park. It should be noted that this is a very popular annual program and will fill up quickly. Cost: $25 per person.
Sunday, Jan. 16 – Moonlit Snowshoe Adventure (7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. at Ney Park). The nighttime adventure is conducted under a full moon. It is guided hike led by Minnesota master naturalist David Grack. The hike will go on even if the skies are cloudy. Cost: $7 per person which includes snowshoe rental and an activity
Saturday, Jan. 22 – Lantern Cross-Country Ski (6 p.m. to 9 p.m. at Ney Park). A come-and-go event for skiers to arrive and leave at any time. The 1.5 mile ski loop around the pond at the park will be illuminated with lanterns. There are no reservations required. Cost: Free with your own skis, $5 if you rent skis and poles.
Saturday, Feb. 5 – Woodworking for Wildlife (2 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. at Ney Park). Participants will learn about the native bird species in the area. Participants will construct a birdhouse and learn the proper technique for placing the birdhouse in a backyard setting. Cost: $7 per birdhouse.
Saturday, Feb. 12 – Sweetheart Snowshoe/Boot Hike (6 p.m. to 9 p.m. at Ney Park). A guided evening hike for couples celebrating Valentine’s Day followed by a catered meal at the Ney Park Nature Center. Spaces are limited. Cost: $30 per couple (Note: registrations done online must be done separately – two registrations at $15 each).
Sunday, Feb. 13 – Family Snowshoe (2 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. at Ney Park). Minnesota Master Naturalist David Grack will lead the interactive hike, pointing out the wildlife and habitat of the area. Cost: $7 per person.
Saturday, Feb. 26 – Lantern Cross-Country Ski (6 p.m. to 9 p.m. at Ney Park). A come-and-go event for skiers to arrive and leave at any time. The 1.5 mile ski loop around the pond at the park will be illuminated with lanterns. There are no reservations required. Cost: Free with your own skis, $5 if you rent skis and poles.
Saturday, March 12 – Buckthorn Hiking Sticks (2 p.m. to 3:30 p.m.). Participants convert an invasive buckthorn tree into a hiking stick. Due to the pandemic, last year this event was conducted virtually and the same in expected this year. Parks & Rec staff will cut down buckthorn and bring them to the Parks & Rec office on the Wright County campus for pickup prior to the event. Cost: No charge.
Winter Stargazing – (6 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. at Ney Park). Carson Law of Parks & Rec will instruct participants about what to find in the night sky, from stars to planets to constellations visible in winter. Cost: No charge.
Those interested in any of the Winter Programs can sign up on the Parks & Rec online registration site: https://wrightcountyparksandrec.perfectmind.com/SocialSite/MemberRegistration/MemberSignIn or can call the Parks & Recreation office at (763) 682-7693 to register or find out about program availability.