Now that there’s no denying that summer is over and autumn is here let’s embrace the new season! The Winnebago County Community Park has lots of activities to take part in during the autumn. How about trying something new, like disc golf? The course has fewer players this time of year so you can take your time and learn the sport. Or, like our fictional marketing character Stan did, make up your own game! (If you spot Stan, take his photo and send it in to our Facebook page to win prizes.) Walking, running, bicycling, roller blading, or skateboarding on the shared use path through the Park is much more enjoyable in cooler weather. You can try ping pong at the pavilion, kick around a soccer ball on one of several fields, sight in your bow at the archery range, or just sit on a park bench and take in the scenery. The prairies are showing off their last blooms and the leaves on the trees are turning, creating a colorful landscape.
Animals, insects and birds are preparing for winter. Along the recreation trails, and in the nature preserves, you can spot migrating birds and butterflies, along with squirrels hiding nuts for winter sustenance. Other animals are getting ready for hibernation and may be spotted readying their dens for a long winter’s nap. Now is a good time to get outside and prepare yourself for upcoming winter sports as well. Work on strength training for cross country skiing, skate skiing, or snow shoeing on the outdoor fitness equipment in the Park.
The cooler weather and earlier sunset are great for stargazing with the Northern Lights visible at times as well as several opportunities to see meteor showers in the autumn sky. The best viewing is away from city lights so a trail trek to a secluded spot with open skies should provide an awesome show.
There’s still time to have your opinion heard at the last Open Space Public Meeting on September 17 at 5pm in the JP Coughlin Building Room B located on County Y in Oshkosh. This meeting will provide residents with the opportunity for input on the use of open spaces, green area, parks and recreation areas within Winnebago County.
The Sunnyview Expo Center survey is also still open at https://www.getfeedback.com/s/SfwVkX04/23.
Speaking of Sunnyview Expo, there’s always events happening. Check out the Winnebago Pet Expo for everything you want to know about the care of your pet. This event benefits the Friends of Winnebago County Dog Parks. There’s a Veteran’s Benefit Car Show and the Sunnyview Cyclocross is taking place again this year. See all the upcoming events and the info on them here, https://www.co.winnebago.wi.us/parks/sunnyview-exposition-center/event-calendar. Pick up a copy of our newsletter at the Parks Office or visit our Facebook page @WinnCoParksExpo for info, event calendars and interesting articles. The Sunnyview Stadium opened this summer and though there was little time to prepare in the aftermath of the April 2018 blizzard, the facility was ready and deemed a great success. Expectations are high for upcoming events in 2019, where up to 31,000 can be entertained within the stadium bowl and grandstands.
Now that things have settled down after a very busy summer, attention is being drawn to the project fund for Raise the Arch at the Oshkosh Area Community Foundation. You can make a donation by mail with checks payable to Oshkosh Area Community Foundation with Raise the Arch Project Fund in the memo line. We are almost 1/3 of the way to our goal of $5,000 to erect the historic Fairgrounds Arch at the Expo Center. Contact the Community Foundation at 920-426-3993 or firstname.lastname@example.org for info on donating via other means. Donations can be of any amount.
Some seasonal items of note, the shelter restrooms in the Park will close for the season the first week of October. This includes the restroom at Black Wolf Point boat landing. Once the WDNR declares the navigation season is over for the year, port-o-potties will be withdrawn from the other landings as well. The same goes for the nature preserves in late November. One potty remains at the Best Friend Dog Park within the Community Park year ‘round for use by all park patrons.
Whatever route you choose to follow in your autumn journey there’s no denying that Picturing Yourself in Winnebago County Parks has a lot to offer this time of year.