Fall is off and running

The calendar may still say August, but the sights and sounds of fall were all around Mt. Lake on Monday. Fall sports practices for the Wolverine teams began Monday. The football team opened practice Monday morning at Munson Field, while the cross country team worked out in and around the school building. The Wolverine volleyball team got the season started Monday afternoon.

First events of the season are:

• Football: at MACCRAY (Maynard), Aug. 31, 7 p.m.

• Volleyball: at Sleepy Eye St. Mary’s, Aug. 24, 6 p.m.

• Cross Country: at Fairmont, Aug. 25, 9:30 a.m.

Activity passes to go on sale

Activity passes for Mt. Lake Area sporting events go on sale Wednesday (Aug. 23) on sale at the public school office. Passes may be purchased at the office during regular business hours. The passes are valid for admission to any regularseason athletic event held at Mt. Lake Public High School, as well as any sporting events where Mt. Lake is a cooperative sponsor, including wrestling, gymnastics and boys and girls hockey.. Passes are not valid for holiday tournaments or post-season tournaments. Passes are $45 for adults, $25 for students and $25 for senior citizens age 65 or older. The first home volleyball match of the season is Sept. 5 against Cleveland, while the first home football game of the season is Sept. 8 against Hills-Beaver Creek. Single-game admission for regular-season MLA sporting events is $6 for adults and $4 for students grades K-12.

DNR has State Fair exhibit set

A wide range of educational displays, exhibits, presentations along with music and entertainment highlight the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources’ annual exhibit at the Minnesota State Fair, which runs Aug. 24- Sept. 4. “The DNR building and surrounding park area serves as a landmark, a meeting place and a mustvisit educational and entertainment destination,” said Dawn Flinn, who helps coordinate the DNR exhibit. “It’s where generations of fairgoers have created life-long memories.” About 500,000 people visit the DNR’s building and exhibit area during the fair. “Minnesotans are passionate about the state’s natural resources,” she said. “This is a great way for us to spread the word about how interesting, important and exciting nature is.” This year’s DNR State Fair theme is Wonderful Water. “We’ll have displays and signs that emphasize the link between clean water and natural resources heath and recreation,” Flinn said.

Some new opportunities at this year’s exhibit include:

• Step inside a giant hiking boot surrounded by huge leaves for a unique Minnesota photo. Just imagine what it is like to experience a real Minnesota forest.

• Wonderful Water Day, booths and presentations related to water (Sept. 1).

• Explore a life-sized white pine tree, complete with roots a person can walk on and learn how forests create clean water.

• Gaze upon a wall of tree cookies 11 feet tall — all native, Minnesota trees.

• A kayak and paddleboard simulator to experience two of fast-growing paddle sports.

• Interactive theater production: “Da Range – Minnesota Iron Range Comes to Life” (Aug. 28).

• Iron “Ore” man, photo op of person dressed in a northern Minnesota clothing from early 21st century (Aug. 28).

• Explore interactive displays to learn how to prevent spread of invasive species.

• Small children’s nature play area with climbing boulders and rock interpretation.