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Big Bog visitor center subject of forum

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources invites public review and comments on plans for a new visitor center for the Big Bog State Recreation Area from 5-7 p.m. Aug. 18, at the Waskish Town Hall.

The event is free and open to the public.

The new visitor center will be funded through state bonding. It will include a registration area, interpretive displays, nature store, modern restrooms and possibly a meeting room. An outdoor courtyard will include interpretative displays and a fire tower. Parking will include space for vehicles pulling boat trailers. Construction is tentatively scheduled to begin next spring.

The Big Bog State Recreation Area became part of the state park system in 2000. It boasts a mile-long boardwalk into Minnesota's largest expanse of patterned peatland, commonly referred to as the Big Bog, with orchids, insect-eating plants and 110 bird species. The park is also popular for its access to the Tamarac River and Red Lake.

Current facilities at the park include modern campgrounds, year-round camper cabins, a fish cleaning house, lakeside picnic grounds and shelter, a swimming beach and a boat launch to Upper Red Lake.

Big Bog State Recreation Area is located in Waskish, 17 miles north of Kelliher and 39 miles south of Baudette along State Highway 72. The Waskish Town Hall is located one-quarter mile east of Highway 72 on Waskish Road (Township Road 5), just north of the of the Big Bog Southern Unit, on the way to the boat access.