how to have fun with the foliage
In case you haven’t already noticed, summer is gone. Kaput. Finis. Which means two things: apple-cider-induced sugar headaches and – you guessed it – crashing into a dirty leaf pile! Jumping into a pile of leaves may, in fact, be the single most satisfying thing that you do for the next three months, if only for the fact that it gives you a singular goal: to rake all leaves everywhere into a monstrous pile, then scatter them everywhere … over and over again. Most of us grew out of “leafing” when we entered middle school, because social mores forced us to act like young adults. But this year, let your hair down, rake your leaves up, and get to some serious jumpin.’ For fun variations, try doing it with pinecones or, better yet, your neighbor’s leaf piles. Good luck, and watch out for slugs.
Irvine Park, Chippewa Falls • Irvine Park, the home of Chippewa Fall’s zoo, is a great possibility in your leaf-searching endeavors, especially along the hiking trails and playground areas. Make sure you stop and say “hi” to the bison and there are even picnic tables where you can rest and eat an apple at if you leaf-jump a little too zealously.
Owen Park, Eau Claire • There is definitely no shortage of trees at Owen Park, located along First Street, to fulfill their duty of leaf dropping around the bandshell. Be careful where you jump, though, not all visitors follow the cleaning-up-after-your-dogs rule and you could be in for a stinky surprise.
West Hill, Chippewa Falls • This neighborhood is rife with trees, just waiting to shake loose their cushiony and crunchy ground padding, all for your enjoyment. The best piles might be found between Dover and Miles streets or between Mansir and Governor streets.
If you happen to see a leaf pile in Menomonie, take advantage of it right away! Richard Henning, the city’s parks supervisor, said they mulch when they cut the grass to prevent a large build-up of leaves and they collect large bags of leaves from everyone else in the city.