MN Nature Activities: May 15-21

May is the time to celebration Minnesota moms. As always, the outdoor activities listed here are free unless otherwise noted.

Mother & Daughter Weekend at Camp Sandy Cove from Sandy Cove Ministries on Vimeo.

SUNDAY

05/15/16 Bird Watching Trek
8 – 10:30 AM Join us for a bird walk on one of the many refuge units and learn about the birds that migrate to and through the refuge, during their spring migrations. With a variety of habitats at the different units, you will want to explore them all. During these walks we will search for some of the species of waterfowl, shorebirds, warblers and sparrows. Birders of all skill levels are welcome on these walks. Bring along your binoculars, favorite field guide and dress appropriately for the weather.
Bloomington Education and Visitor Center (Minnesota Valley National Wildlife Refuge)

05/15/16 Ask the Roving Naturalist
10-4 PM Weekends beginning April 16 through May 15 roving naturalists are stationed along Hidden Falls Trail to assist with wildflower identification, pollinator observations and other signs of spring. MN Dwarf Trout Lily likely to bloom late April to early May. Ask at the Roving Naturalist for your 2016 Special Edition “Call of the Wildflower” card. Call or check web site for details.
Nerstrand-Big Woods State Park

05/15/16 BOW – Family Archery – Ages 8+ $$$
10-Noon $10 Learn the basics of shooting safely and accurately with skilled instructors. Use a Matthews Genesis compound bow to shoot at stationary targets and try shooting from an elevated platform. All equipment is provided.
Elm Creek Park Reserve, Maple Grove

05/15/16 Climate Change Impacts on MN Birds, Photo Expo
11-Noon Latina bird photographer Monica Bryand travels across Minnesota inspiring diverse audiences to try birding. Dozens of species of migratory birds in our state are expected to be affected by global climate change. Meet Monica in the St. Croix Lodge to see her photos and hear about the Audubon MN commissioned project.
St. Croix State Park

05/15/16 MN State Parks and Trails License Plate Design Gallery
Noon-4 PM There’s a contest going on! Artists from around the state have submitted original art work to become the first-ever Minnesota State Parks and Trails license plate and all of these entries will be on display at the Fort Snelling State Park. Stop by and check them out, because soon you’ll get to vote for your favorite.Fort Snelling State Park

05/15/16 BOW – Women’s Archery – Ages 14+ $$$
1-3 PM $10 Learn the basics of shooting safely and accurately with skilled instructors. Use a Matthews Genesis compound bow to shoot at stationary targets and try shooting from an elevated platform. All equipment is provided.
Elm Creek Park Reserve, Maple Grove

05/15/16 Build a Bluebird House
1-2 PM Reserve your $10 bird house kit in advance (cash only) at the Interpretive Center. We provide precut, predrilled kits along with all the tools and hardware you need to assemble. Limit 1 kit per family. Each kit requires at least one patient adult.
St. Croix State Park

05/15/16 BOW – Geocaching Basics for Fun and Sport
2-3:30 PM Want to try out the latest high tech treasure hunt at state parks? Hoping to use your GPS unit to mark the perfect fishing, hunting, or foraging hotspot? Join the naturalist for an afternoon of fun skill-building activities that will leave you feeling comfortable and confident about GPS use. GPS units provided.
Interstate State Park

05/15/16 Becoming an Outdoors Woman: Geocaching for Fun and Sport
2-3 PM try out the latest high tech treasure hunt at state parks? Hoping to use your GPS unit to mark the perfect fishing, hunting, or foraging hotspot? Join the naturalist for an afternoon of fun skill-building activities that will leave you feeling comfortable and confident about GPS use. GPS units provided. Meet at the park office. Please pre-register by e-mailing Jenni Webster at jenni.webster@state.mn.us
Interstate State Park

05/15/16 Pioneer/Old Time Music & Bluegrass Jam
3-5 PM Imagine the songs that echoed off the bluffs in the Whitewater Valley during the days of the pioneers. Park visitors along with bluegrass pickers and old time music players of all skill levels are invited to re-create the music of our ancestors the second Sunday of each month, May – October. Meet at the amphitheater behind the visitor center.
Whitewater State Park

05/17/16 BOW – Flatwater Kayaking Essentials for Women $$$
5:30-8:30 PM $50 – Ages 14+ Through hands-on experience with qualified instructors, learn beginning kayak safety, proper paddling form, and paddle strokes while surrounded by the beauty of the park. Equipment is provided. Reservations required.
French Regional Park, Plymouth

05/15/16 Techno Birding
8-9 PM You bring the gadgets, we’ll bring the birds! Meet the naturalist on the back deck of the St. Croix Lodge to learn how to use your smartphone or tablet for birding. Practice digiscoping, using our spotting scopes and binoculars as telephoto lenses. Learn what apps are great for beginning to advanced birders and enjoy the view of birds landing at the feeders over the river bluff.
St. Croix State Park

—- MONDAY
05/16/2016 Bird Watching Trek
8 – 10:30 AM Join us for a bird walk on one of the many refuge units and learn about the birds that migrate to and through the refuge, during their spring migrations. With a variety of habitats at the different units, you will want to explore them all. During these walks we will search for some of the species of waterfowl, shorebirds, warblers and sparrows. Birders of all skill levels are welcome on these walks. Bring along your binoculars, favorite field guide and dress appropriately for the weather.
Bass Ponds, 2501 86th Street East, Bloomington (Minnesota Valley Natural Wildlife Refuge)

—- TUESDAY

05/17/2016 3 PM National Parks AdventuresAdmission is $8 for adults and $7 for ages 4 to 12 and 60 and older. The U.S. National Park Service is turning 100 in 2016, and this Omnitheater film, opening March 4, features stunning footage from 30 well-known parks such as Yellowstone and Glacier, as well as lesser-known parks such as Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore and Bryce Canyon. See it March 4 through Oct. 12.
Science Museum of Minnesota, St. Paul smm.org/parks

05/17/2016 Growing and Gathering Native Edible Plants
7- 8:45 PM
Wood Lake Nature Center, Richfield MN

05/17/2016 Urban Bird Festival – Film: THE MESSENGER
6 – 8 PM Co-hosted with Audubon Minnesota, this new documentary by award-winning filmmaker Su Rynard chronicles the struggle of songbirds worldwide to survive in turbulent environmental conditions brought about by humans and argues that their demise could signify the crash of the ecosystems globally, akin to the disappearance of honey bees and the melting of the glaciers. Bi-lingual Spanish/English
Oxboro Library, 8801 Portland Avenue South, Bloomington (Minnesota Valley National Wildlife Refuge)

—-WEDNESDAY – THURSDAY
05/18/16 – 05/31/16 SpringTurkey “F” season

05/19/2016 Big River Big Woods Wild Ones May Board Meeting
6:30 – 8:30 PM
Caribou Coffee, Roseville MN

05/19/16 Glendalough State Park Citizens Advisory Board Meeting (Friends Group)
7-9 PM Glendalough State Park Citizens Advisory Board Meeting (Friends Group).
Glendalough State Park

—–FRIDAY
05/20/16 Endangered Species Day
9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. Endangered Species crafts and self-guided activities.
Bloomington Education and Visitor Center (Minnesota Valley National Wildlife Refuge)

05/20/16 – 05/21/16 BioBlitz: A Search for Species
Noon Join naturalists, researchers, biologists, and people just like you as Interstate State Park strives to identify as many plant and animal species as possible within 24 hours. Special citizen science walks will allow you and your family or friends to join in the search for species. The event begins at noon on May 20th and wraps up at noon on May 21. S
Interstate State Park

05/20/16 Bird Banding
5-8 PM The public is welcome to watch and ask questions at the annual bird banding event. Spring migration should be in full force and this will give people an up-close of some of the birds that make Minneopa their home. Merrill Frydendall of the Friends of Minneopa State Park will be leading the bird banding event. Dr. Frydendall is a retired biology professor from Minnesota State University, Mankato and has been maintaining and documenting 50 blue bird houses at the park for over 30 years. Meet at the Group Campground Area.
Minneopa State Park

05/20/16 Return of the Peregrine Falcon
6-7 PM After nearly a half century absence, peregrine falcons have returned to nest on the cliffs of Whitewater State Park! This is a long awaited event. Meet at the Nature Store parking lot for a short walk to observe the nest site. With spotting scopes and binoculars it is likely we will see adults and young. Join us as we celebrate their wonderful return.
Whitewater State Park

—-SATURDAY
05/21/16 Gateway State Trail Little Sit Bird Watch
7-8 AM The rest stop is one of the best places to view migrant and resident birds along the trail. We will sit or stand there from 7 to 8 a.m. (no walking) and identify as many species as we can by sight and sound during the hour. Bring binoculars and a chair (optional) if you have them. Watchers with limited mobility are welcome! This Little Sit is an abbreviated version of the 24-hour Big Sit bird watching events held at many places around the country. Drizzle or light rain is OK, but the walks and sit will be cancelled if it?s very windy or significant precipitation is likely. Questions? Contact Bob Bystrom at robertbystrom1@gmail.com No registration is needed but if you let Bob know you are coming he will send you an e-mail notice in case of cancellation by 6 a.m.
Gateway State Trail

05/21/16 Celebrate Urban Bird Festival and Endangered Species Day!
9 AM – 7 PM Celebrate the centennial of the International Migratory Bird Treaty by participating in bird hikes, bird crafts, bird identification and a whole lot more! Family–friendly activities for the bird-curious or bird nerds.

9:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. Family Birding Activities for All Ages
Stations to keep everyone busy including crafts, bird-house building, interactive science, and raptor demonstrations

9:00 a.m – 10:30 a.m. Film: THE MESSENGER sponsored by Audubon Minnesota
This new documentary by award-winning filmmaker Su Rynard, chronicles the struggle of songbirds worldwide to survive in turbulent environmental conditions brought about by humans and argues that their demise could signify the crash of the ecosystems globally, akin to the disappearance of honey bees and the melting of the glaciers.

11:00 a.m – 12:00 pm University of Minnesota Raptor Center Demonstration
Discover the key features that make raptors unique in this live bird program. Explore common Minnesota Raptors and find out the important roles they play in our environment. Find out how the Bald Eagle and Peregrine Falcon populations have changed and learn how you can support raptors.

1:00 pm – 2:00 p.m. Bird Language
Join us as we gather on the slopes of the Minnesota River Valley to explore what the birds are telling us about our surroundings. Learn about observation, journaling and mapping techniques that can be used collaboratively to understand our ecosystem. For more information visit: http://www.mntracking.org/
Jonathan Poppele, Volunteer Refuge Naturalist

3:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m. Film: THE MESSENGER Introduction by Audubon Minnesota
This new documentary by award-winning filmmaker Su Rynard, chronicles the struggle of songbirds worldwide to survive in turbulent environmental conditions brought about by humans and argues that their demise could signify the crash of the ecosystems globally, akin to the disappearance of honey bees and the melting of the glaciers.

5:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m. Guided Bird Hike with Audubon Minnesota
Explore your National Wildlife Refuge and discover the joys of birding with Audubon Minnesota. This early evening hike is prime time to catch a view or hear some of our resident and migrating birds.

Bloomington Education and Visitor Center (Minnesota Valley National Wildlife Refuge)

05/21/16 Bird Banding
8-Noon The public is welcome to watch and ask questions at the annual bird banding event. Spring migration should be in full force and this will give people an up-close of some of the birds that make Minneopa their home. Merrill Frydendall of the Friends of Minneopa State Park will be leading the bird banding event. Dr. Frydendall is a retired biology professor from Minnesota State University, Mankato and has been maintaining and documenting 50 blue bird houses at the park for over 30 years. Meet at the Group Campground Area.
Minneopa State Park

05/21/16 Birding at Bear Head
8-10 AM Meet at the park office for a guided walk to listen and look for the variety of bird species within the park. A limited number of binoculars will be available for free checkout or bring your own. Dress for the weather, insect repellent is recommended. Current Minnesota State Park vehicle permits are required.
Bear Head Lake State Park

05/21/16 Full Moon Woźupi-wi Walk
9-10 PM The moon is a part of our daily routine, in many more ways than you may think. For the Dakota it was a way to share what was happening in nature during that month. Along this guided full moon hike the meaning of Woźupi-wi and what is happening in our natural world around us will be revealed. Meet in the Interpretive Center Theater.
Sibley State Park

05/21/16 Become an Aquatic Invasive Species (AIS) Volunteer
9-Noon Citizens who are interested in informing the public about aquatic invasive species and how to slow their spread can receive AIS volunteer or ambassador training from the Watercraft Inspection Program staff. This training includes information on how to educate members of the public on AIS and how to prevent the spread. Once you have chosen a session please contact the Regional Supervisor listed to RSVP. Please include contact information in your RSVP in case of cancellations.
Hazelton Town Hall

05/21/2016 Native Plants for Pollinators $$$
10 – 11:30 AM (Adults and children ages 10 and older) Prepay $10/ person by Wednesday, May 18. Learn how to start gardening with native plants to provide native bees and butterflies with what they need to thrive. Tour the gardens at the Nature Center to identify what’s up and get ideas for your pollinator garden. Watch a planting demonstration, then take home plants to get your garden growing. Fee includes a starter set of 4 different native plants, 12 plants total. Register.
Maplewood Nature Center, Maplewood MN

05/21/16 Invasive Removal —Volunteer
10 AM -2 PM Try your hand at a little lopping. The day’s task will be removing invasive sumac. See the site’s web page for a map and description. This event will be led by the Lost Valley Prairie Site Steward, Jim Smetana. No advance sign-up, but contact us if you have a large group.
Lost Valley Prairie SNA

05/21/16 Spring Wildflower Hike: Exploring the North Country Trail and Itasca’s Westerly Woods
10-1 PM Meet at the North Country Trail Head at the South Entrance Itasca State Park (along Highway 71) at 10 a.m. to car pool to the trailhead on Anchor Matson Road. Remember to bring your camera when you join us as we discover the array of spring wildflowers during this late morning hike along the North Country Trail. We will be looking for the first ephemeral wildflowers of the “flower-budding” season as we hike through old growth hardwood forests. Watch for large flowered bellworts, hepatica and trillium. Portions of this 4 mile route will pass numerous wetlands and lakes where we might see returning waterfowl and shorebirds, so don’t forget your binoculars. (refer to Map 12, page 104 of the “Guide to the North Country National Scenic Trail in Minnesota”).
Itasca State Park

05/21/16 Species Steward —Volunteer Training
10 AM-1 PM Want to be a part of Wild River State Park? Become a part of our Prairie Care program as a species steward! Learn the basics or get a refresher if you have helped in the past. Then stick around for a free picnic lunch of hot dogs, chips and s’mores over the fire. Register by calling 651-583-2125 ext. 227 or emailing michael.dunker@state.mn.us.We will meet at the Visitor Center.
Wild River State Park

05/21/16 Turtle Crossing
10:30-11:30 AM This program will include a talk and slide show about turtles of the Mille Lacs area and a visit from our friend Shellby the turtle. Meet at the interpretive center.
Mille Lacs Kathio State Park

05/21/16 Nature-in-Story: Birds and their Feathers
10:30-11:30 AM (kids, ages 5- 9) Learn about nature with this fun program interactive with craft, game, or other hands-on learning experience. Meet at the River Inn Interpretive Center.
Jay Cooke State Park

05/21/16 BOW – Women’s or Moms/Daughter Firearm Safety Course (FAS) Field Day
12:30-5:30 his is a Field Day for women ages 16+, or mom with daughters ages 11+, who have completed the on-line program. Complete the online FAS course at www.huntercourse.com prior to the field day, students must bring their Field Day Voucher to attend. (Click on the Minnesota version and at the end pay $24.95 by credit card for the required Field Day Voucher). The range and field day will cover firearms handling and training, tree stand safety, tracking and recovery of deer, and written exam. You need the FAS voucher and must pass the range and field exam to be certified.
Carlos Avery WMA, Forest Lake

05/21/16 Spring Wildflower Walk
1-2:30 Spring has sprung and the flowers are celebrating. Join us on this 1.5 mile hike to discover the many beautiful flowers of the park and how they can survive the varied weather of spring. Meet at the River Inn Interpretive Center.
Jay Cooke State Park

05/21/16 River Fishing for Fun – Class is Full
1-2 PM Learn what fish need to survive and how to identify them, then fish on the Mississippi River. Fishing poles and bait will be provided; no fishing license is needed. Space is limited and registration is required. Program will start at the Visitor Center.
Call 612-725-2724 to register.
Fort Snelling State Park

05/21/16 Mushroom Hunting
1-2 PM The gathering and eating of edible mushrooms (a fleshy, spore-bearing fruiting body of a fungus) is a popular activity and one that can be fraught with danger. You can get sick from eating mushrooms due to allergic reactions or food poisoning from old or improperly stored ones and mushrooms that are poisonous. Join local mushroom hunter Ben Prehn and learn some of the places to find mushrooms at Minneopa. We will talk about some of the more popular edible mushrooms including morels, Chicken of the Woods and Gold Chanterelles along with tips for preparing them. Meet at the waterfalls side of Minneopa State Park.
Minneopa State Park

05/21/16 Rock Balancing for Kids and Families
1-2 PM Learn the art and the technique of Rock Balancing on the Lake Superior Beach from local artist and rock balancer, Lauri Olson-Hohman. Balancing rocks is a fun, temporary art form and process using natural materials and serves as a sort of meditation for some. Bring a camera to record your work as we’ll leave the beach just as we found it. This program is in celebration of national Kids to Parks Day. Adults are welcome to join the fun, but bring a kid with you!
Tettegouche State Park

05/21/16 Spring Songbird Walk
1-2 PM The melodies of various warblers, sparrows and finches now fill the air as our migrant songbirds return from their southern wintering grounds. Join us on a walk to locate migrating species found at Whitewater State Park including the rare Louisiana waterthrush and yellow-throated warbler. Meet at the Nature Store amphitheater.
Whitewater State Park

05/21/16 The Power of Balance: Stone Sculpture in the Garden Class  $$$
1 p.m. – 3:30 PM $42 member/$55 non-­member, includes Arboretum admission. Register.
Minnesota Landscape Arboretum Visitor Center

05/21/16 Spring Wildflower Hike
3-4 PM This is a wonderful time of the year to go for a hike through the woods to see what types of wildflowers are beginning to bloom. We should be able to see a wide variety starting to pop up including Bloodroot, Columbine, Dutchman’s breeches and Jack-in-the-Pulpit. In addition, we will check out the prairie to see if we can find some of the earlier plants like Prairie Smoke and Golden Alexander. Please meet at the Picnic Shelter on the Waterfalls Area.
Minneopa State Park

05/21/16 Full Flower Moon Gardening —Volunteer
6:30-7:30 PM Check out this new community garden and trail in St Paul. Help remove weeds, clean up trash, plant flowers. Social event to follow. For More Information, leave a message for the organizer (612) 524-9851.
Little Bohemia Trail, St Paul

Minensota Full Moon Gardening 2016

 

—-More Mom Ideas

July 31 – August 4 2016 Mother and Daughter Canoe Trip $$$
$495 A special opportunity for mothers and daughters to share a wilderness canoe trip together. During this five day session you will prepare for and then enjoy a guided three day, wo night small group canoe trip in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area. No prior experience or special equipment needed. This is also a great chance to experience a real Menogyn session, including an opening day campfire, a welcome back from trail, sauna, banquet, and closing campfire. For mothers of any age and daughters 12-18.

August 19 – 21 2016 Mother and Daughter Camp $$$
$189 (Adult) $149 (Child, 6 – 16) Be a camper with your daughter! Share a one-of-a-kind weekend of boating, traditional camp activities and special time together. Just for the girls: sail, powerboat, indulge your inner artist, zoom down the zipline, pick up a paddle and grab your daughter’s hand for the most exciting weekend away! All-inclusive weekend centered around activities and experiences for you and your daughter to share together. It’s more than a vacation – it’s memories that last a lifetime. (featured photo: YMCA)