Over 100 ring in the NOON Year! at Springbrook

Over 100 participants rang in NOON Year! at the Springbrook Nature Center in Fridley Dec. 31.This was the second year that families were able to celebrate the new year 12 hours early. The event lasted from 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Prior to last year, Springbrook held its New Year’s Eve event from 7 to 9 p.m.

Tara Rogness (foreground), naturalist for the Springbrook Nature Center, and other volunteers released the beach balls at the stroke of noon Dec. 31 to ring in the NOON Year.  Photo by Eric Hagen
Tara Rogness (foreground), naturalist for the Springbrook Nature Center, and other volunteers released the beach balls at the stroke of noon Dec. 31 to ring in the NOON Year. Photo by Eric Hagen

“It’s fun to be able to see families come out and celebrate the new year together and not worry about it being too late for kids,” said Tara Rogness, naturalist at Springbrook.

The kids were able to make crafts, play games and view the educational displays inside the nature center. Outside, they hunted for letters along the paths through the woods and tried to decipher what word the letters spelled out.

About 15 people volunteered to help run the event, according to Rogness.

Roger Lukkarila of Coon Rapids kept a large fire going outside to keep people warm. Springbrook Director Siah St. Clair said the wood was from old broken fence posts and other scrap wood that accumulated during the year and was set aside for this bonfire.

As noon approached, everyone counted down and at the stroke of noon, snowmen beach balls were released.

Rogness said beach balls were chosen because they would last when the kids took them home. They previously dropped balloons.

As he left Springbrook with his beach ball, crafts, candy and memories, Harrison Reed, 3, said, “I had lots of fun.”

Kristin Bury of New Brighton helps her two-year-old son Riley Bury work on crafts at the Springbrook Nature Center. Photos by Eric Hagen Sharla Hanson, 8, of Blaine works on a craft bag to hold her candy and other crafts she made at Springbrook Nature Center’s NOON Year! celebration. From left, clockwise, Axel Randall, 5, Fridley; William Thomas, 5, Fridley; Aria Randall, 5, Minneapolis; and Jaya Zeitler, 5, St. Paul and many other kids were able to work on arts and crafts at the Springbrook Nature Center’s NOON Year! event Dec. 31. Chad Nelson of Fridley reads a book on insects to his five-year-old nephew Sam Hoyos of Minneapolis. Killsy Petersen, 4, of Fridley and Orson Fabb, 4, of Brooklyn Park assemble the parts they need for their crafts. The Ketterling siblings of Coon Rapids look at a display at the Springbrook Nature Center. Left to right: Dylan, 1; Caleb, 8; Megan, 5; and Ryley, 10. Samantha Gunderson of Andover, her kids Noah, 6, and Hannah, 3, their grandmother Pat Scheuer of Osseo, and Springbrook Nature Center volunteer Kevin Rahne of Brooklyn Park try to stay warm near the roaring camp fire. Noah is making a snow angel on the ground. Roger Lukkarila of Coon Rapids tosses another piece of wood on the fire. Lukkarila and about 15 others volunteered for the Springbrook Nature Center’s NOON Year! celebration Dec. 31. Eight-year-old Eric and his six-year-old sister Sylvie Marion of Mounds View make snow angels. Emily Thompson, 6, of Spring Lake Park helps her two-year-old brother Joey dunk a ball. The Fabb family of Brooklyn Park on a scavenger hunt at the Springbrook Nature Center. They looked for letters attached to various trees and tried to decipher what word they made. In this photo are Gary, Jessica, their four-year-old son Orson and their six-month-old daughter Radley. Getting ready to release the snowmen beach balls at noon. Tara Rogness (foreground), naturalist for the Springbrook Nature Center, and other volunteers released the beach balls at the stroke of noon Dec. 31 to ring in the NOON Year. Pat Farley of Blaine looks for a snowmen beach ball for his 18-month-old son Ian. Laci Lilledahl, 8, of Coon Rapids and other kids bounced and kicked the snowmen beach balls before bringing them home. Tara Rogness (foreground), naturalist for the Springbrook Nature Center, and other volunteers released the beach balls at the stroke of noon Dec. 31 to ring in the NOON Year.  Photo by Eric Hagen
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The Fabb family of Brooklyn Park on a scavenger hunt at the Springbrook Nature Center. They looked for letters attached to various trees and tried to decipher what word they made. In this photo are Gary, Jessica, their four-year-old son Orson and their six-month-old daughter Radley.

Eric Hagen is at [email protected]