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Sally Hausken, left, talks to a group of kids from the Detroit Lakes Boys and Girls Club about the different types of insects they might encounter on a walk through Sucker Creek Preserve on Monday morning. BRIAN BASHAM/TRIBUNE

Sessions at Sucker Creek

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news Detroit Lakes, 56501
Detroit Lakes Minnesota 511 Washington Avenue 56501

Did you know there are 90,000 different species of insects in North America? Did you know there are 5 million species worldwide? Did you know that only 2 percent of those insects are actually considered pests?

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Those are just a couple of the fun facts Sally Hausken is teaching kids. On Monday, she took a group of kids from the Boys and Girls Club of Detroit Lakes to Sucker Creek Preserve to teach them that bugs really get a bad reputation.

“We have a jaundice view of insects – a pretty distorted view,” she said.

This is just one of the nature walks Hausken provides for kids at the 60-acre Sucker Creek.

“Whenever they want to go,” she said, she’s available to educate.

Taking a hike along the paved path, visitors can see more plants, trees and insects than they could possibly identify.

The lay of the land also gives indications of what was in the park before it was a park.

“We wanted to restore it, obviously,” Hausken said.

Contours of what a glacier did to the land are evident. Native trees and grasses meet, providing a habitat for creatures of the park.

An archeological dig was performed at Sucker Creek before the paved path was constructed. Results showed that there was some Native American activity in the park, but a dig in the new Upstream portion shows that there were not Native Americans passing through there.

Earlier this year, the city purchase Upstream Sucker Creek, which is located across 290th Street from the existing preserve. The property has 10-15 fresh water springs, an essential entity for not only humans and the critters that live in Sucker Creek but to the creek itself.

Hausken said if a beverage company would have come in and bottled the fresh water, Sucker Creek would have dried up and ceased to exist.

Thanks to donations and a DNR grant, the newest portion of the park will include bathrooms, a bog walk, parking and more interpretive signage.

“We’ve got to create an entrance and we don’t have that yet,” she said of plans.

That portion of the park should be open next summer for visitors. It will also include trout fishing in the creek.

It will take about three years to restore the native grasses in the park.

One more set of facts Hausken left with the students:

If all human beings ceased to exist, would the earth survive? Yes.

If all insects ceased to exist, would the earth survive? No.

“So get your priorities straight,” she said.

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