3M Lake Menomin Park

On Saturday, September 10, 2011, a group of honor students gathered together to learn more about the lands of Menomonie. My group was assigned to travel to a place called 3M Park. So after getting our assignment, we piled on a bus and arrived shortly after at our destination. Once there, we split in half and traveled along two separate paths. My group took the road less traveled, which truly wasn’t a metaphor. There were plants growing on, in, and around the path. However, it was still a beautiful area, and the shade from the trees made it nice and cool. After walking for some time, we found the lake, or rather, we smelled it. So as to get away, we went to a prairie. For a while, we couldn’t find the way out and we turned around many times in the thick prairie grass. Luckily, we found the right path and lived to spread the word about a nice spot to walk, regardless of the lake.

Joshua M

My experience at 3M Park was eye opening.  Before the trip we were assigned an article to read concerning Lake Menomin.  In the article it talked about why the lake was to green and the affect it had on the community.  In the article there was an interview with a woman who became very sick from the lake and was hospitalized.   At first I thought it was an overreaction but once I got to the lake and saw how green it was and the smelled the horrid odor it gave off I realized how bad the lake was.

Elizabeth N

One day six men went to pit their will against the unexplored wilderness around Menomonie.  The men stumbled across a great lake of slime that reeked of decomposition and slowly engulfed all that entered it.  It swallowed rocks and sticks and covered them with a green sludge from which there was no hope of escape.  The great lake was surrounded by a field of maddening proportions. The field surrounded the travelers and prevented them from going on in the direction of their intended course.  The group finally found where they needed to go after over an hour of vigilant search throuh the high grass and gopher holes of the 3M park.

Charlie M

On Saturday, September 10th, I participated in City as Text, the freshmen orientation for UW-Stout’s UHP Group. After dividing up the students, I ended up going with a small group of my peers to 3M Park. When we arrived (after a short bus ride), it was sunny – perhaps a little too hot – and there was a small family playing on the grass; it seemed like quite the place to go to unwind and just relax. Then we took the next hour or so to walk around, find the trails, etc. With the exception of one dead vole located right in the beginning of the walking path, all the wildlife was happy, healthy, and incredibly interesting to look at. The only unpleasant part of this trip was the river (in its entirety). Due to excess phosphorus, the water is green, slimy, and doesn’t smell too great either!

Vikki M

My group for the city as text around Menomonie went to the 3M Park. I felt that this was a wonderful experience to learn not only about the beauty around our university, but also learn about the people we will be spending these 4 years in the Stout Honor Program with. What I enjoyed most about the 3M Park were the colors. I noticed right away all the different colors and hues of the many plants and other wildlife. Another aspect that I enjoyed from the park was the contrast in wildlife, as we were walking we saw a corn field, a lake, and a prairie. It was interesting to me that all three were so close in proximity to one another. I very much enjoyed this adventure and I plan on going to the other places around Menomonie and learning about then as well.

Natalie O

I was a part of group six and as a group we went to 3m park. When we arrived at the park we divided into smaller groups and began to explore.  The smaller group that I was in first encountered a dead vole in the path. Soon after, we saw a jumping toad, several butterflies, and a black and yellow snake.  As we walked towards the water we could smell the effects of the high phosphorus levels and we could feel the bites of the mosquitos. Later along the path, we came across a beautiful prairie and more butterflies. The path we took led us around a loop, which took us back to where we started.  Overall, it was good sunny day to see the scenery and the creatures in the park as well as, to meet new people however; the mosquito bites and heat were a bit unpleasant.

Brittany M

You come around the corner, the sweet smell of grass assaulting your nose as the some sounds of crickets and the occasional songbird fill the air.  The soft glow in the air adds to the feeling of anticipation as the sun struggles to get through the boughs of the mighty pines intertwined with the oaks and maple trees. You look to your right catch of a squirrel disappearing into the safety of the undergrowth. A butterfly, a regal Monarch, flits silently in front of you, dancing in and out of sunbeams till landing lightly on a bright, colorful perch.  You look around yourself and smile, enjoying the peace and relaxation a walk through the 3M park offers.

Carolyn Q

On Saturday, September 10th, a group of students and I received the chance to take a trip to the 3M Park in Menomonie, Wisconsin. To be honest, I was not sure what to expect, but when we got there it was a beautiful park with plenty of trails. Walking through the trails, there was so much to see: insects, plants, wildlife and stunning scenery. Although most of it was gorgeous we also  witnessed the effects of pollutions on Lake Menomin. It did not even look like the lake I thought it was. But although we witnessed the lake pollution we also saw what the parks in Menomonie have to offer. Plus, it is definitely a nice place to get away from the college life and to take a break and be able to enjoy nature. I surely plan on going there again.

Sara O

With my group I went to 3M park.  At the park we traversed the trails that led near the water and through the prairie next to Lake Menomin.   We saw varied wildlife in the prairie, ranging from bugs to small birds and even a snake.  Near the water the smell of the blue-green algae was very obvious, and very putrid.  This raised concerns with me of what might be happening to the lake, the surrounding wildlife, and the surrounding community.  I feel like a solution to what may be causing the blue-green algae growth should be a necessary goal of this community because of how it could affect the people living around the lake.  I personally feel like I would enjoy visiting the lake as often as possible, if it weren’t for the smell and the fact that not much can be done in the lake due to the algae.

Kyle M

When I visited the 3M Park I found a variety of different ways everyone can connect with nature. This park allows you to break free from the city and enter a world full of peace, tranquility, and comfort. I was able to walk along the trail and discover everything from death to life along the trail. Only a couple minutes into my small group’s walk and we found a dead volt in the middle of the trail. Another few minutes passed and we discovered a snake slithering into the tall green-brown grasses alongside the neatly trimmed trail. Towards the end of our walk through the nature trails we found both beautiful majestic butterflies floating through the breeze alongside a handsomely plump brown-black caterpillar inching its way up wildflowers. Throughout the walk I felt calm and had no other worry then discovering the beauties of nature. This is a place where anyone can escape from the city.

Erika M

If I had to describe my experience in one word it would be “smelly”.  I will be honest though. The 3m park was nice except the part by the lake. When we arrived, we saw an open field with a background of forest separated by different paths. There were two main ones. The girls went down the one on the right, and we went down the wrong one. The path we went on got progressively stinker by each step. After we passed the swamp thing’s home, we came across the better part of the place which was the prairie field. It had many flowers and butterflies and it was hot, so we walked back and it took about an hour because we got lost.

Nathan O


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