A stroll through Kenue Park

The scent of fall is in the air.

To me the scent of fall means dry leaves, wood smoke and a hint of chill to the air. Take a breath and it awakens the spirit. My eyes open wider and search for the beautiful change of colors. My lungs take in the sweet aroma.

On a beautiful fall day, I strolled through Kenue Park, just outside the Dickinson County Nature Center. I really needed to get visitor logs from the Westport Schoolhouse and Pollinator Paradise, but I figured I might as well enjoy the view along the way.

Photo of the trail through Kenue Park with fall leavesopens IMAGE file

Walking through a canopy of plenty of oak trees is liking walking into a fantasy world. Beams of sunlight cascade through limbs full of leaves that are amidst their autumnal change. The turn of seasons involves a change of wardrobe for people as well as nature as greens turn to yellow, red, purple and brown.

Photo of a fall tree with the Westport Schoolhouse in the backgroundopens IMAGE file

The canopy of trees opens up on the west side of Kenue Park, where oaks rise out of green grasses and dried prairie flora. The Westport Schoolhouse grabs your eye to the north, its new wood shake shingles looking pristine atop its white siding. The bell in the tower on the roof seems lonely, like it wishes it was time again to have children inside and that it could once again ring the start of a new day of school.

Photo of the Westport Schoolhouse with new wood shinglesopens IMAGE file

Take a step off the paved trail and birds zip by, startled by the unexpected intrusion into their peaceful world. Butterflies chase each other, stopping every so often to check out a small flower and then fluttering off when you get too close.

Leaves crunch underfoot. A garter snake slithers by. A grasshopper freezes in its attempt to hide in plain sight.

Photo of a grasshopper on the asphalt trailopens IMAGE file

I turn around to see the schoolhouse with the sun shining overhead, and it's like looking back in time. On one side, the disc golf baskets and buildings look modern, and then just a few feet away, this beautiful building is a memento of the past. Like the trees that shade the entire park, that have been growing for hundreds of years, the school is a piece of history that is staying alive in the new era.

Photo of Westport Schoolhouse with a red tintopens IMAGE file

Take a walk through Kenue Park this fall. Stop to enjoy the beauty of the leaves, the history of the trees and the school, the freshness of a new season.

(Read about Judd Wildlife Area.)


  1. Greg Gamble on October 15, 2015 at 9:11 am

    Beautifully written, Kiley!

    • kiley on October 15, 2015 at 9:13 am

      Thank you 🙂