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Community pitches-in to clean flood aftermath in Byron’s Oxbow Park

BYRON, Minn. (FOX47) –  Cleanup efforts continue Tuesday in many parts of Southeast Minnesota following last week’s sudden flooding. One of the most affected areas was Byron’s Oxbow Park.

Littered with fallen branches and debris, Oxbow Park’s picnic areas and campground remain closed until further notice. Zollman Zoo is open during regular hours. 

Tuesday morning dozens of volunteers spent the day cleaning flooded structures and clearing cluttered pathways.

Oxbow Park Superintendent Karlin Ziegler says, for the grounds, the aftermath is worse than the flooding experienced in 2010.

“Every single picnic area in the park was flooded and so debris and trees and garbage were all dropped onto all our different picnic areas,” said Ziegler.

“Most of our picnic tables were swept down the river. Our woodshed in the campground was taken down the river.”

Ziegler says 40 volunteers were scheduled to help volunteer through Tuesday. Already, 30 volunteers have signed up to help clean the park from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. tomorrow.

“The staff already have a huge love for this park. We love working here. We love being here. So it’s really humbling and really special to see how many people in the community love this park and are willing to put their blood, sweat and tears into coming out and helping us get this place restored again,” said Ziegler.

If you’d like to help, call the nature center (507-328-7340) to sign up and arrive through the north entrance wearing long pants, close-toed shoes and work gloves.

Jack Keenan

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