Autumn Hiking in Owen Conservation Park

–submitted by Roberta Sladky; photos by Karl Gutknecht

Owen Park 4

Rotary Club of Madison’s Hiking Fellowship was hosted on October 10 by Rotarian Bob Graebner and his wife Linda, at their home in Madison’s Parkwood Hills neighborhood. The hike was a spectacular walk through their leafy neighborhood and into Owen Conservation Park.  The 92 acre Owen Conservation Park includes a 40-acre woodland, a 15-acre restored prairie, and a 37-acre meadow, as well as 3 stormwater/wildlife ponds that were added in 2008 to reduce the sediment that flowed into Lake Mendota from area mall parking lots.  Bob described having seen cranes, herons and other waterfowl at the ponds.  He led us up hills and down dales through prairies and woodlands which were beginning to show fall color.

Owen Park 2

Back row from left: Stan Kitson, Al Goedken, Charlotte, De Monceau, Dawn Crim, Bob Graebner, Linda Graebner, Kay Schwichtenberg, Roberta Sladky, Frank Stein and Dean Nelson Front row from left: Robyn Kitson, Carol Goedken and Herman Baumann

Charlotte De Monceau, our Rotary Youth Exchange student from Lyon, France, joined the group and shared her experiences thus far in Madison. Multiple conversational groups formed and reformed during the 3.4 to 4.2 mile hike.  (Mileage reported by various cell phone apps.)  The hikers enjoyed a delicious luncheon prepared by Linda Graebner. The cheeses and French bread added a touch of Francais to the meal, and the large windows and leafy views made it feel like a pique-nique! All in all, it was a gorgeous fall day shared by companionable Rotarians.

Owen Park 1

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