Join the Friends of Itasca State Park during the peak of fall colors for activities Saturday.

All are welcome to attend the Friends of Itasca State Park’s annual meeting at 10 a.m. at the Jacob V. Brower Visitor Center classroom to learn about park activities — past, present and future.

Then from 2:30 to 3:30 p.m. join a park naturalist outside Forest Inn for an autumn nature walk to discover how the wildlife, woods and water prepare for winter’s approach. Masks are encouraged for unvaccinated visitors.

The Friends of Itasca State Park’s efforts the past year have been focused on raising money for new playground equipment at the swimming beach on Lake Itasca. The Friends’ traditional fundraisers — a raffle and ice cream socials — were cancelled the past two summer seasons so board members wrote grants and sought donations. Their efforts have been so successful that rather than replacing only a couple of pieces of equipment the board will continue fundraising with the goal of replacing most of the existing playground equipment.

At the annual meeting there will be a brief presentation on this project and ways outdoor activities benefit park visitors of all ages.

Annual membership in the Friends is $20 per person or $30 per family. Donations also are welcome. Either may be mailed to Friends of Itasca State Park, 36750 Main Park Drive, Park Rapids, MN 56470. Or go online to www.friendsofitasca.org and click on “Join/Renew.” The Friends is a tax-exempt 501(c)(3) organization.

For more information about the Friends, go to www.friendsofitasca.org or visit the Friends of Itasca State Park on Facebook.

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