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Nature’s Best By Elma Chapman - Celebration in the Park

The Friends of the LaGrange County Parks will have their annual meeting at noon on April 26.

They will be briefly reviewing activities and successes this past year, and electing some new board members.

But that’s not the fun part – they will have a catered picnic lunch at Dallas Lake Lodge, complete with live music and a guided hike to see the recent land acquisition at the park. There will be door prizes, too.

April 26 just happens to be John James Audubon’s birthday and it’s rumored he may show up to lead the hike. (He was born in 1785, so be very gentle with him if he does show up!)

All this will only set you back $25 per person ($15 for children under 12 years old), and that includes a year’s membership in the Friends of the LaGrange County Parks. The luncheon will be catered by the folks at the Emma Café and we will be dining indoors. If the weather is iffy (and when hasn’t it been in the last three months?) dress for the weather for the hike or just stay inside and enjoy the music, friends, and conversation.

Tickets must be purchased in advance so we can tell the caterer how many meals to prepare. Tickets can be purchased from any board member, at the park office at Dallas Lake, at LaGrange Publishing Company, or at Dr. Bowen’s dental office at 210 West South St. in LaGrange.

You can leave a message through our Facebook page (search for Friends of the LaGrange County Parks – and “like” our page while you’re there!) or e-mail us at and we’ll see that you get tickets.

If you aren’t free on April 26 but would still like to become a member, our annual membership fees are $10 for individuals or $25 for a family. For $50 you can be a park supporter, for $100 you can be a park booster, and for $250 you can be a park benefactor. Or you can purchase an individual life membership for $500. But if you buy a ticket for the annual meeting for $25, you get an individual membership, a meal, and entertainment, all for one low price! If you were previously a member, you recently got a letter reminding you that it is time for your renewal. All memberships except life memberships expire in April.

I have been surprised talking to various acquaintances in LaGrange County to find that some of them have never been to our parks. Most people, if they have been to a park, have been to Dallas Lake because of the swimming in the summer. But there’s more to the park than just the beach. Come out and enjoy the park with us! And make it a point to visit our other parks this year, too. Lots of other counties lack our natural areas or have failed to protect them. So come out and celebrate with us.

I hope to see you at noon on April 26 at Dallas Lake. Ticket sales end this week!