Sept. 30 Fall Festival is first-time event

Fort Ridgely State Park will host a fall festival and seed collection event on Saturday, Sept. 30.

Volunteers are needed to collect seeds from native grasses and wildflower species. The event is open to anyone, regardless of ability. Volunteers should bring gloves and bug spray. The seed collection event will begin at the upper picnic area of the park at 1:30 p.m. and should run approximately two hours.

The seeds that are harvested will be used in future restoration efforts.

Also on Sept. 30, an evening of outdoor fall fun is on tap at Fort Ridgely State Park with the Fall Festival. The Fall Festival will run from 5 to 8 p.m. at the upper picnic area. Guests are welcome to stop by at any time to enjoy cider around the bonfire. Hot dogs and marshmallows will be available for roasting, and guests are welcome to bring their own food to grill as well.

Activities for kids will include leaf art and make-your-own animal track molds. Area naturalist Scott Kudelka will lead tours at the adjacent Fort Ridgely Cemetery. Families can also take a short hike to historic Fort Ridgely to learn about the fort and see the foundations of the original buildings.

The Sept. 30 events are free, but a vehicle permit is required to enter the park.