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Byron, MN (KROC-AM News) - The new Nature Center at Oxbow Park and Zollman Zoo is officially open.

A ribbon-cutting ceremony was held today to celebrate the opening of the new facility, which replaces a nature center that was built more than 40 years ago. A news release says the new nature center offers visitors more room to view exhibits and learn about southeastern Minnesota's geology, flora, and fauna.

"We are thrilled to offer visitors an opportunity to connect with the rich natural environment through our new nature center," said Olmsted County Parks Director Karlin Ziegler. "The new nature center is a destination in its own right, with educational exhibits and live animal displays."

The $5 million construction project began in May 2021. The funding was provided through a $2.1 million grant from the Greater Minnesota Regional Parks and Trails Commission, $1.2 million from the federal American Rescue Plan Act, and over $600,000 in private donations from the Friends of Oxbow organization. That fundraising campaign is ongoing with a goal of $1 million.

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