“Fish Clean” stickers are shown in June 2021 on fishing bait containers at one of three Austin retailers working with CRWD on its new initiative to remind local anglers to not litter. This is in response to fishing-related litter frequently being found along local shorelines and waterways.

CRWD uses Austin Area Foundation grant to target anglers

July 27, 2021 — Anglers who enjoy fishing in the Cedar River Watershed are getting a visual reminder this summer to not leave trash behind, including along shorelines.

Part of the newly named Herzog View on June 9, 2021, overlooking the East Side Lake dam on Dobbins Creek in northeast Austin. The City of Austin redeveloped this public space in recent years in coordination with Mower County replacing the adjacent Oakland Place bridge.

New public area at East Side’s dam honors Austin man who led its creation in 1930s

July 15, 2021 — Jacob Herzog became inspired in 1910 after reading a newspaper article that put a $1 million value on a city having a lake.

That night, Herzog discussed the idea of Austin getting a lake — worth $28 million in today’s dollars — with a local barber who fished and swam in the former Beaver Lake on Austin’s east side. The old lake was the backwaters of a dam on Dobbins Creek that operated a flour mill near today’s East Side Lake dam until a June 1892 flood destroyed it.

Circa 1935 photograph looking east or downstream on the Cedar River at the former Fox Drive bridge, an iron-truss crossing that spanned the river from 1931 to 1961 when locals removed it to build a new entrance into downtown Austin. This effort led to a new river channel being cut into Austin Mill Pond and the old, horseshoe-shaped bend being filled and developed over.

Narrow crossing once part of Austin’s state park but removed to create new entry to downtown when Interstate 90 opened

Just before the iron-truss bridge, a pickup truck stopped in December 1952 to allow a bus to go through the narrow crossing over the Cedar River in Austin’s state park.

Another driver was not able to do the same and collided with the back of the pickup, damaging the vehicle.

Historic Paramount Theatre will host free, monthly movies related to nature June 17, July 15 and Aug. 19 as part of the Friends of the Hormel Nature Center’s 50th anniversary celebration of the nature center. Show times each day are 3 p.m. and 7 p.m. Free popcorn and a free beverage will be given to each attendee.

Friends group offers monthly showings at Paramount in Austin

June 11, 2021 — Free, monthly movies at Austin’s Historic Paramount Theatre will celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Jay C. Hormel Nature Center.

Starting Thursday, June 17, the nonprofit Friends of the Hormel Nature Center will offer monthly showings of nature-related movies for all ages at no charge at the Paramount Theatre, 125 Fourth Ave. N.E. Each attendee also will get vouchers for a free popcorn and a free beverage.

An exhibit of the wholly mammoth — the species believed to have dropped a tooth that was found by a dredger in June 1920 in today’s Austin Mill Pond — at the University of Minnesota’s Bell Museum in St. Paul.

Summer 1920 effort to create Horace Austin State Park leads to ancient discovery that’s showcased in downtown store window

By Tim Ruzek, CRWD outreach coordinator

In the early 1900s, the Austin Furniture Co. promoted itself as having “three Mammoth Stores.”

By summer 1920, the downtown Austin store was showcasing an actual mammoth tooth in its display window.

A dredger working on a Saturday (June 12, 1920) on the Cedar River at Austin Mill Pond — part of developing Horace Austin State Park — had unearthed the prehistoric tooth.

“Monster Tooth Is Uncovered” read the headline in the Rochester Daily Post & Record on June 14 1920.

This Week 2 winner of the 2021 Cedar Scenes contest is a photo by Jens Raffelson of a geese family in May 2021 along the Cedar River State Water Trail at Austin Mill Pond near the Austin Public Library.

CRWD’s weekly photo contest runs to Oct. 3 on social media

May 28, 2021 — After a record year, the weekly Cedar Scenes photo contest has returned online for another run of sharing water-related photos by the public.

1930s image (color added) of the Cedar River above Ramsey Dam, north of Austin. On the right, eastern shoreline was the land known at one time as Paddy’s Point.

100 years ago, cottage owners along Cedar River fought off controversial lease agreement at Paddy’s Point above dam

Paddy was poisoned by “moonshine whiskey.”

At least that was the legal excuse Patrick “Paddy” Walsh gave 100 years ago as to why he signed a lease allowing two men to build a dance pavilion in the woods of his farm along the Cedar River near Ramsey Dam.

The wooded area was known as Paddy’s Point or Ramsey Point — it’s east/upstream from today’s Old Mill Restaurant at the dam.

Austin Lions clubs will host a drive-through pancake fundraiser on May 1 at the Jay C. Hormel Nature Center in Austin to support nature center projects, including improving the covered bridge the Lions built in 1973.

Clubs’ drive-through fundraiser May 1 to support Jay C. Hormel Nature Center in its 50th year

April 26, 2021 — Eating pancakes and sausage on Saturday will help support the Jay C. Hormel Nature Center in its 50th year thanks to the efforts of Austin Lions Club members.

On Saturday, May 1, three clubs — Austin Noon Lions; Austin Morning Lions; and Evening Branch Lions — will host a pancake fundraiser from 7 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the nature center’s parking lot, 1304 21st St. N.E.

Cost is $5 per person for a meal of three pancakes, two sausages and milk or orange juice. Ankeny’s in Austin is donating the milk and orange juice.


Unused wells like this are the target of a cost-share assistance program in Mower County for sealing abandoned wells. (Minnesota Dept. of Health photo)

Mower SWCD, Austin Utilities partnership protects groundwater

April 19, 2021– Mower County property owners have more opportunities this year to qualify for financial help with sealing unused wells under a continuing effort to protect groundwater drinking supplies.

Mower Soil & Water Conservation District (SWCD) and Austin Utilities — the City of Austin’s municipal water provider –have nearly $50,000 available for cost-share assistance for sealing unused or abandoned wells. These funds are offered as a 50-percent cost-share payment (capped at $1,000 per well) on the cost of sealing a well.

“After seeing great interest the past two years under a state grant for well sealing cost-share, we found…

MN DNR staff from Waterville stocks rainbow trout in Wolf Creek on May 6, 2020, at Austin’s Todd Park.

MN DNR to stock 600 this spring in Austin’s Todd Park

April 12, 2021 — Hundreds of rainbow trout once again are headed for Austin’s biggest park this spring in hopes of enticing anglers of all ages to catch them.

For the second-straight spring, the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) will stock rainbow trout at Todd Park in Wolf Creek, which flows into the Cedar River State Water Trail about one mile downstream from the park.

Staff with the DNR’s Waterville area fisheries plan to stock 300 rainbows this week ahead of the state’s trout opener on Saturday, April 17, at which time — through Sept. 14 — anglers can…

Cedar River Watershed District

Formed in 2007, CRWD works to reduce flooding and improve water quality on the Cedar River State Water Trail and its tributaries in southern Minnesota.

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store