MN Nature Activities: May 22–28

MN Nature in St Paul, MN, has fun environmental activities and volunteer opportunities you’ll love around the state. From bingo to music and wildflower hikes to fishing, we share ways to celebrate the great outdoors with educational, entertaining, philanthropic, and fitness activities. After all the rain, the forests have transformed into lush paradise. This means the mosquitoes and ticks are sure to be out as well so dress appropriately and be prepared for the elements!

NOTE: A MN state Park vehicle permit is required to attend events at state parks, and can be purchased at the park for $5/day or $25 for an annual permit.

05/26/17

Ecothermathon 5
Celebrate cold-blooded creatures at St. Croix State Park’s 5th annual Ectothermathon! All weekend we will learn about reptiles, amphibians and bugs through interactive, fun programs for all ages. Don’t miss…
Cold-blooded Paddle, Saturday 12-2:30 p.m.
Live Reptile Program by Minnesota Zoomobile, Saturday 5-6 p.m.
Secret Code of Bees & Blooms, Sunday 10-11 a.m.
Build a Bee House, Sunday 1-2 p.m.
St. Croix State Park

Pond Bingo, Ectothermathon 5
5-6 PM Come to the St. Croix Lodge to play bingo, learn about aquatic creatures and win semi-fabulous prizes!
St. Croix State Park

Ghost Town Cemetery Field Trip
6-8 PM Explore a ghost town cemetery that holds many stories of pioneers, civil war veterans, Minnesota conservation hero Richard Dorer and others who have lived in the Whitewater Valley. Bring your own transportation as the cemetery is located 5 miles north of the park. We’ll begin at the Visitor Center.
Whitewater State Park

Itasca’s Presenters Under the Pines: “Dollar a Day Boys” Music and Storytelling about the Civilian Conservation Corp with Bill Jamerson
7-8 PM Join Michigan-based author/songwriter Bill Jamerson as he presents a music and storytelling program about the Civilian Conservation Corps including telling stories, reading excerpts from his novel, and performing original songs with his guitar. He has presented at CCC reunions around the country and at dozens of state and national parks. The program is as entertaining as it is important; as honest as it is fun.
Itasca State Park

Campfire Cooking 101
7-8 PM
Sibley State Park

Ribbet and Blues: Songs of Frogs and Toads
8-9 PM Amongst the songs of birds there are also frogs and toads adding their own notes to the chorus. Find out which songs you are hearing and who sings it. You will also get a chance to become part of the Wild River State Park Frog and Toad Choir! Meet at the amphitheater.
Wild River State Park

 

05/27/17

LE GRAND DU NORD
INFO Starting out of Grand Marais, Minnesota’s spectacular harbor the route climbs to a breathtaking view of the US/Canadian border. With almost 6000 ft of climbing, it is the punchiest route of the three Heck Production events. Voyageur Brewing Company will be hosting registration and providing their exceptional craft beer on Friday evening. After the ride on Saturday, there will also be a barbecue at Voyageur Brewing. The race will be finishing at the YMCA
Grand Marais

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. Meet at the Park Office.
Bear Head Lake State Park

Geocaching 101
9:30 AM Geocaching 101
Discover the fun of Geocaching and use a GPS unit to find hidden treasures in Minnesota State Parks. You will receive hands-on training in this program designed for beginners. Bring your own GPS unit or use one of ours. Meet at the visitor center.
Afton State Park

Jr. Naturalist: The Great Animal Cover Up!
9:30 AM Geocaching 101
Discover the fun of Geocaching and use a GPS unit to find hidden treasures in Minnesota State Parks. You will receive hands-on training in this program designed for beginners. Bring your own GPS unit or use one of ours. Meet at the visitor center.
Itasca State Park

Stop Invasive Garlic Mustard on the Sakatah Signing Hills State Trail! –-VOLUNTEER OPPORTUNITY
10 AM On May 27, enjoy a Saturday morning program at the Sakatah Singing Hills State Trail in Mankato. Find out about garlic mustard, a noxious weed just beginning to invade this section of the trail. Learn why controlling this invasive plant is extremely important. Experience how easy it is to pull out this non-toxic plant. Bring gloves if you can. Join us in a walk and/or a bike down the trail as we pull garlic mustard. Pulled plants will be placed in yard waste paper bags for proper disposal.
Sakatah Singing Hills State Trails

Make a Walking Stick
10-11:30 AM Join us for a real hands-on activity making your own walking stick. We will transform buckthorn, an invasive species, into a practical tool you can take home with you. We?ll also learn how you can stop the spread of other invasive hitch-hikers when you?re hiking, fishing, and recreating at Whitewater State Park!
Whitewater State Park

Leave it to Beavers
10-11:30 AM Throughout history, beavers have played important roles in shaping not only the ecosystems around them, but also the history of North America. Come learn all about beavers and their history on a short hike to see a beaver dam and lodge, and hopefully get lucky enough to see a beaver! Meet at the Visitor Center.
Wild River State Park

Fabulous Frogs- Story Time
10-11 AM Listen! Do you hear that? The frogs are singing from high and low. The frogs of the park have come out of hibernation and have headed to the pond to have their babies. So, bring your babies down to the visitor center for this pre-school age (2-6) story time program. There will be activities and games that your little “tadpoles” are sure to enjoy!
Lake Carlos State Park

Lake Itasca Region Pioneer Farmers Tour
10-NOON Tour begins at the Levorsen Building located on the Pioneer Farmer showgrounds.* The showground is located on the north side of Itasca State Park. Go out the North Entrance to Itasca State Park, entrance is on the east side of the North Entrance Road (across from the church and gas station).
Itasca State Park

Bike United – Ride to Benefit United Way of McLeod County
10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. INFO United Way of McLeod County’s Bike United event on Saturday, May 27. Riverside Masonic Park, beginning at 10:00 a.m. Bicycle with yourself, your family, your friends or your team to enjoy exercise and raise money for the local United Way. Minimum donations are $25 per person, $45 per family and $105 per team. Those with youngsters can do the loop around the park past the wildlife refuge as many times as you wish. Luce Line route will go from Masonic Riverside Park to Winsted.

Wildlife CSI Challenge
10-10:30 AM There is a mystery afoot. Become a wildlife detective as you collect clues to solve which animal left behind evidence near the campground. Begin this adventure at the campground clubhouse. The naturalist will share hints to help you on the case during the next 24 hours. Then, join the naturalist at 10 a.m. on Sunday when the answer will be revealed.
Interstate State Park

Special Program: Professional Photography Workshop
10-NOON Professional photographer Steve Kohls will lead this special 2-hour class. Bring your camera. Learn how to use and maximize your individual camera, while learning tips on techniques and equipment. Meet at the Interpretive Center.
Mille Lacs Kathio State Park

Fossil Hike
10-NOON We are expecting a good yield of 450 million year old brachiopods on this fossil collecting field trip. Meet at the amphitheater for a brief talk followed by a car caravan to a location outside the park where you can keep the fossils you find. Collecting is not allowed in the park.
* Participants must drive their own vehicle from the meeting location to another site. Sun protection is recommended.
Forestville Mystery Cave State Park

The Boys who Built Gooseberry
10-11 AM Step back in time to discover the lives of the Civilian Conservation Corps boys who lived and built Gooseberry Falls State Park. Explore the park?s creation through their eyes and hard work.
Gooseberry Falls State Park

Spring Wildflower Walk
10:30-11:30 AM Join the park naturalist on a walk to learn about spring wildflowers of northern Minnesota! Find out some identification tips and tricks and where to find the prettiest flowers in the park. Meet at the River Inn Interpretive Center.
Jay Cooke State Park

Wood Ducks to Wood Chucks
11-NOON During your visit at Sibley State Park you’ll sharing this land with the wildlife that resides here all or part of the year. Take a stroll on the paved Woodland Wildlife trail to discover who is who in our wetlands and woods.Meet the naturalist outside the Interpretive Center. Tick protection highly recommend. This is a great trail to travel with little ones in carriers or strollers. This hike ends at Lake Andrew.
Sibley State Park

Wildflower Walk
11:30-NOON What’s doing the blooming? Join a park naturalist in search of spring wildflowers on this short walk through the Itasca forest. Bring your camera! Meet outside Forest Inn (across from Douglas Lodge)
Itasca State Park

Primitive Fire Starting Skills – Drop In
11-1 PM Try your hand at old fire starting technologies such as flint and steel, bow drill, fire pistons, magnifying lenses and more. Feel free to bring a lunch to cook over the fire during this program.
Tettegouche State Park

Guided Glacial Pothole Tour
NOON-1 PM You are invited to experience the stunning scenery and incredible story of Interstate State Park. An interpretive naturalist will lead you over, under and through world-renowned rock features on this 45-minute tour. Discover how lakes of lava and gushing glacial waters formed the unique glacial potholes and even step inside one. All ages are welcome. Expect some uneven terrain and stairs. Meet at the visitor center.
Interstate State Park

Secret Mission: Bumblebee Spies
1-2:30 PM What makes a bumblebee unique? And why do scientists study them? Come out to the park to learn about our fuzzy flying friends and help a park naturalist gather data about the park?s bumblebee population.
Meet at Thomas Savage Visitor Center (two miles from park entrance. Plan for an additional 10 minute drive through the park).
Fort Snelling State Park

In Search of Wildflowers
1:30-3 PM Join Bre Bauerly from Minnesota Native Landscapes in search of spring flowers. Make your yard a refuge for pollinators, including our state butterfly, the monarch. Discover the simple steps to create a pollinator-friendly landscape around your home or workplace. Learn about the wide variety of plants to include, which species work best in your zone, including larval host plants, water sources, houses and much more. Begin in the visitor center theater with a visual introduction. Followed by a gentle hike. Begins in the Visitor Center Theater.
Gooseberry Falls State Park

Naturalist Tent – What Knot?
1 p.m-2:30 p.m. Naturalist Tent ? What Knot? Stop by the Naturalist tent for 5 minutes or 20 and tie a few useful knots from fishing to tarp tying.
Afton State Park

Junior Naturalist-Magnificent Monarchs
1-1:30 PM What are white, black, and orange all over? Monarch butterflies! Discover the amazing lifecycle of the monarch butterfly during this kids program. Create your very own caterpillar craft to take home. Meet at the River Inn Interpretive Center.
Jay Cooke State Park

Voyaguer Canoe
1 PM to 2 PM
2 PM to 3 PM
3-4 PM
Enjoy an hour long guided canoe ride with 14 other people on a Voyageur Canoe. The 34 foot long canoe will glide over the waters of Lake Andrew while you help row us along. Together, with a state park and Prairie Woods Environmental Learning Center Naturalists, you will discover the past, present and future of this glacial lake. Rides will take place at 1, 2, and 3. Registration is strongly suggested. Please email or call the naturalist today or sign up the day of at the Interpretive Center if spots are available. CONTACT: 320-354-2002
Sibley State Park

Voyaguer Canoe
1-2:30 PM Stop by the Naturalist tent for 5 minutes or 20 and tie a few useful knots from fishing to tarp tying.
Sibley State Park

Camping with the Good, the Bad, and the Ugly Weather
1-2 PM From sunny skies to downpours, a camper has to be ready for whatever the weather may bring. Join Phil Schumacher of the National Weather Service for a discussion of camping safety in all types of weather.
Split Rock Creek State Park

Fish Printing
1-2 PM Come try your hand at this ancient art form while learning more about the fish that live in Southeast Minnesota. You?ll get to make a fish print postcard to bring home. Meet at the beach.
Whitewater State Park

Frog Pond Splash, Ectothermathon 5
1-2:30 PM Drive to the wildlife pond by the park office to explore an aquatic ecosystem. Wear clothes and shoes that can get wet
St. Croix State Park

Historic Building Hike
1-2 PM We will take a walking tour to learn how the impact of the 1930’s Great Depression still resonates at Fort Ridgely State Park. To put people back to work President Roosevelt created programs like the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) and Veterans Conservation Corp (VCC) through his groundbreaking New Deal. Young men formed into companies were put to work building structures found at Fort Ridgely and many other Minnesota state parks. Many of these features are still being used today by park visitors. Meet at the Upper Picnic Area.
Fort Ridgely State Park

Stream Walk
2-4 PM The park streams are loaded with invertebrates that tell a story about the condition of the water. Find out why fish thrive in the park streams as you help a park naturalist capture and identify the stream life. Shorts and old shoes that can be worn in the water or water shoes (flip-flops are not recommended) are advised for this program. Meet at the amphitheater.
Forestville Mystery Cave State Park

Voyaguer Canoe
2-3 PM Meet inside the Jacob V. Brower Visitor Center Classroom Kids, join the naturalist, head outdoors and investigate the Great Animal Cover Up! Learn about animals in disguise and how they play hide and seek.
Sibley State Park

Kids’ Activity: Makin’ Tracks
2-2:45 Learn about animal tracks and tracking… and take home a “track souvenir” you make yourself. All Ages welcome! Meet at the Interpretive Center.
Mille Lacs Kathio State Park

Snapping Sensation
2-3 PM Snapping turtles thrive in our lakes and wetlands. Hear a snapping turtle story, play a game and meet a live one. This is a great program for little ones. Meet in the Interpretive Center.
Sibley State Park

Snakes Alive!
2-3 PM Learn about the snakes found in this park and get an up-close look (and feel if you dare) at our live resident garter and bull snakes. We will even feed the snakes in front of your own eyes at the end of the program! See that there is nothing to fear from these amazing reptiles. Meet at the Visitor Center.
Wild River State Park

Fossil Field Trip
2:30-4:30 PM On this trip you will find, and can keep, fossils of plants and animals that lived here hundreds of millions of years ago. They were on earth long before the dinosaurs! Bring transportation, as the site is nine miles from the park.
Whitewater State Park

Remarkable River Mammals: Investigation Station
2:30-3:30 PM What animal has built-in ear plugs? How long can an otter hold its breath? Stop by the visitor center to investigate some of the amazing animals that live in the St. Croix River. Activity takes about 10 minutes.
Interstate State Park

Animal Mysteries – Junior Naturalist
3-4 PM You and I are mammals, but nearly 30 other species are found in the park. Even when you cannot see, hear, or even smell them…there are ways you can tell an animal has been there. Join the naturalist to explore the clues they leave behind for us to solve the animal “whodunit.” Meet at the visitor center for this family friendly program, children must be accompanied by an adult.
Lake Carlos State Park

Constellation Star Wheels!
3-4 PM Stop by the Visitor Center between 3 & 4:00 p.m. and make a Star Wheel you can keep! Learn how to use it during the day, and then bring it back that evening for the Starry, Starry Night Program and put it to good use under the dark night skies! Meet at the Visitor Center!
William O’Brien State Park

Rock Talk Walk
4-5 PM Jay Cooke State Park has been shaped by many natural events over time. Join us on this geology walk along the river as we discover the stories left behind in the stone. Meet at the River Inn Interpretive Center.
Jay Cooke State Park

Geocaching 101
4-5 PM Join the naturalist for this high tech treasure hunt and learn the basics of this new worldwide recreational sport. GPS units are provided. There will be a chance to test out your GPS skill on a critter activity before going out to find the park geocache. Limit of 20 people (must be 8 years of age and children must be accompanied by adult). Please sign up at the park office (prior reservation required). Participants will be able to practice their new skills. Meet at the Upper Picnic Area.
Fort Ridgely State Park

Live Reptile Program, Ectothermathon 5
5-6 PM Celebrate cold-blooded creatures at St. Croix State Park’s 5th annual Ectothermathon! Meet at the Council Ring amphitheater for a live reptile program from the Minnesota Zoomobile.
St. Croix State Park

Campfire Cook-Off
5-6 PM Bring your best sample of your fine campfire cooking recipe. A select group will judge your recipes. The winner will be awarded the Golden Spoon. Official registration and rules will be reviewed during Friday’s evening program or stop by the Interpretive Center to learn more. Meet in the Lake View Building by the shower building. Food must be delivered by 5 pm. Judging will occur at by 6 pm. Please bring a dish for showing, a dish for judges sample and a recipe card with your recipe.
Sibley State Park

Dollar-A-Day Boys: Music and Storytelling about the CCC in Minnesota
6:30-7:30 PM Michigan-based author/songwriter Bill Jamerson’s program about the Civilian Conservation Corps includes telling stories, reading excerpts from his novel, and performing original songs with his guitar. He has presented at CCC reunions around the country and at dozens of state and national parks. The program is as entertaining as it is important; as honest as it is fun. It is about people both ordinary and extraordinary, with stories of strength, wit and charm. Program will take place in the shelter connected to the restrooms in the campground.
Buffalo River State Park

Slithering Snakes of Minnesota
7-8 PM Slither into the world of native snakes during an entertaining evening program for all ages as you discover what makes snakes so unique. You can even feel for yourself if snakes are really slimy when a snake guest makes an appearance. Meet at the stone shelter in the picnic grounds (near the campground).
Interstate State Park

Bird Ecology
7-8 PM What makes a bird a bird? Discover all the different parts of a bird, why birds are important to us and how birds get along in nature. We will talk about a number of different bird species that make their home in Minnesota and in particular how they evolved from Dinosaurs. To get a good look at the unique characteristics of a mallard, one lucky person will dress like one.in this ecosystem. We will also talk about its benefits to the natural environment and how people over time have viewed and managed it as a resource. Please meet at the Creek Picnic Area in the campground.
Fort Ridgely State Park

Whitewater’s POW Camp
7-8 PM Did you know that Whitewater State Park was once home to German prisoners of war? Come learn about one of lesser known parts of Minnesota?s History. What did they do here? Where did they go? What was life like being a prisoner? Did they cause mischief? Come find out!
Whitewater State Park

Antlers and the Animals Who Wear Them
7-8 PM The animals who wear antlers are a unique group. Check out our collection of antlers from different animals and hear about the ecology of these amazing antlered critters.
Tettegouche State Park

Stories in the Stars: Ojibwe Constellations
7-8:30 PM Stars have long been the center of imagination and legend. They have been used to record the stories of the past. The Ojibwe also used the stars as a way to remember the oral history of their people and marked the rise and fall of the seasons. Come discover for yourself the beautiful history of the Ojibwe people told through the stars. WE will start at Lady Slipper Lodge to learn Ojibwe constellations and make a constellation chart to take home. Next a short ½ mile walk to the picnic flow for viewing the Ojibwe Constellations for ourselves (weather permitting).
Gooseberry Falls State Park

Tales of Animal Folklore by the Campfire
7:30-8:30 PM Ever wonder how the turtle got its mottled shell or how possum paid for smells? Gather up with your family and listen and learn about the animals of Wild River State Park like you haven?t heard before. You may even get the chance to help pick the stories that are told! Meet at the amphitheater.
Wild River State Park

Life of a Voyageur!
8-9 PM Paddle back to the days of the North American Fur Trade and explore the lives of the hardy French-Canadian Voyageurs. Audience participation is definitely included as you’ll watch an “average Joe” transform into a robust fur trader right before your eyes! Meet at the River Inn Interpretive Center.
Jay Cooke State Park

Special Program: Hunters of the Sky
8-9 PM The Audubon Center of the North Woods will use live birds to illustrate this program about raptors of Minnesota. Meet at the Council Ring in Lakeview Campground. The program will be held in Lakeview Picnic Shelter if it rains.
Father Hennepin State Park

Take Flight! Spotting Spring Birds
8-10 PM Discover the songs and sights of Minnesota’s spring migratory birds! Join birder and instructor Ron Miller MD for a birding walk in Itasca State Park to discover recently arrived breeding birds as well as species passing through on their northward migration.
Itasca State Park

The Blue Mounds Bison Story
8:30-9:30 PM Meet at the park amphitheater to hear the story of the North American plains bison and how the herd at Blue Mounds links directly to the millions of bison that once roamed the North American continent, as well as the exciting development of the Minnesota Bison Conservation Herd. Limited bench seating is available, so bring a camp chair if you have one.
Blue Mounds State Park

A Starry Starry Night!
9-10:30 PM Join amateur astronomer, Kenny Bahmer, as he takes you on a tour of the night sky. We will start indoors with a program on the evening skies and then head outside to view some of these evening delights through a telescope. If it is cloudy, there will still be the indoor program. Meet at the Visitor Center.
William O’Brien State Park

Night Hike
9-10 PM As humans we flock indoors towards the light at night but in nature it is when the action is just starting! Join the naturalist for a night hike to discover what really happens when the sun goes down! Meet at the Interpretive Center amphitheater. Tick prevention recommended.
Sibley State Park

Are You In The Dark About The Dark?
9:30-10:30 PM Sometimes the dark can seem somewhat scary but come along on this short night hike and you?ll discover a whole new world that you might never have known about before. Meet at the Beach House.
Lake Shetek State Park

 

05/28/17

Birds & Blooms
8-9 AM Join park manager for a short hike, along lower unpaved campground trail, looking for birds & what’s blooming. Birding kits with binoculars & birding guides will be available for use.
Meet in Sherlock Campground at group site. Dress for the weather.
Red River State Recreation Area

Birding for Beginners
9-10 AM Wild River State Park is an amazing place to find birds of all kinds! So what was that bird that you saw at the campsite or while out on a hike? Join a park naturalist in learning the birding basics and sharpen your birding skills. A limited amount of binoculars will be available for use, but you are welcome to bring your own. Meet at the Visitor Center.
Wild River State Park

Lumberjacks–Music for Kids!
10-11 AM Bill Jamerson will present a 45-minute children’s lumberjack show Sunday morning, at 10 am at the Dining Hall. The program is free and open to the public (and follows immediately after the Friends of Lake Bemidji State Park Pancake Breakfast). With guitar in hand and dressed in costume, Bill will tell stories about the lumberjack experience in Minnesota and sing traditional songs about working in the woods, living in a bunkhouse, lumberjack work ethic, the hardships of river drives, and the importance of camp food. It’s great fun and family-friendly.
Lake Bemidji State Park

Ephemeral Flower Hike
10-11:30 Stroll along the shores of two beautiful lakes to view the ephemeral, or short lasting, carpet of flowers at Monson Lake State Park. The hike will begin around 10:30 am at Monson Lake. Meet us there at that time or meet outside the main office at Sibley State Park to caravan over there. The hike will travel on dirt and mostly flat trails on the two mile trail at Monson Lake. Bring a picnic, fishing pole, or water craft to enjoy on Monson Lake afterwards.
Sibley State Park

Who’s living in the Bluebird House?
10-NOON Join us at Meadowbrook office to learn about the Bluebird nest boxes that are located around the state park. The park ranger will talk about different birds that nest in the boxes and how to identify the bird and their nest. We will go on a short hike to look at who is using the next boxes. The Display used is courtesy of the Big Stone County 4-H Shooting Sports club.
Big Stone Lake State Park

The Secret Code of Bees and Blooms, Ectothermathon 5
10-11 AM Celebrate cold-blooded creatures at St. Croix State Park’s 5th annual Ectothermathon!
St. Croix State Park

Snakes of Forestville
10-11 AM Learn which snakes you might see in the park and how to tell the difference between a rattlesnake and many similar looking non-venomous snakes in the area. You will also have the opportunity to see a live timber rattlesnake. Meet at the amphitheater.
Forestville Mystery Cave State Park

Intro to Trout Fishing
10:30-NOON Join us at the South Picnic Area for some fishing fun! Equipment will be provided at this activity designed to introduce trout fishing to inexperienced anglers, families and youth groups. Youngsters must be accompanied by an adult. Bring your own bait; worms often work best. Fishing licenses and trout stamps are not required when fishing during the activity. This program will be offered at Whitewater every Sunday through September 3.
Whitewater State Park

Turtles & Snakes
10:30-11:30 AM This talk about turtles and snakes of the area will include a visit from Shellby the turtle & Corny the snake. Meet at the Interpretive Center.
Mille Lacs Kathio State Park

Picnic Hike to the Cascades
11 AM-2 PM Join a Tettegouche Park Naturalist for a classic Nature Hike to the Cascades of the Baptism River. Come prepared with questions or just keep your eyes open for interesting things along the way. Wildflowers should be in full bloom. Who knows what else we’ll see?
Tettegouche State Park

Geology Rocks Gooseberry
11-12:30 PM Listen to the rocks as they tell of lava flows, glaciers and roaring rivers on this hike of discovery. Join the Naturalist around the middle and lower falls. Majority of the hike will involve descending stairs. Meet at the Visitor Center Art Column. Please dress for the weather and wear comfortable shoes.
Gooseberry Falls State Park

Guided Glacial Pothole Tour
NOON-1 PM You are invited to experience the stunning scenery and incredible story of Interstate State Park. An interpretive naturalist will lead you over, under and through world-renowned rock features on this 45-minute tour. Discover how lakes of lava and gushing glacial waters formed the unique glacial potholes and even step inside one. All ages are welcome. Expect some uneven terrain and stairs. Meet at the visitor center.
Interstate State Park

Bird Banding Demonstration
12:30-2 PM Join Master Bird Bander, Greg Munson, at the visitor center bird feeders for close-up experiences with birds. Program participants will have the opportunity to handle and release birds after they have been caught in nets, studied, observed and banded with an aluminum tag. In the event of rain, the program will be cancelled.
Whitewater State Park

Dollar-A-Day Boys: Music and Storytelling about the CCC in Minnesota
1:30-2:30 PM Michigan-based author/songwriter Bill Jamerson’s program about the Civilian Conservation Corps includes telling stories, reading excerpts from his novel, and performing original songs with his guitar. He has presented at CCC reunions around the country and at dozens of state and national parks. The program is as entertaining as it is important; as honest as it is fun. It is about people both ordinary and extraordinary, with stories of strength, wit and charm. Outdoors at the amphitheater, indoors at the visitor center in case of rain.
Lake Bemidji State Park

All About Rocks
1:30-3 PM Rock ON! Explore the amazing and complex geologic history of the Gooseberry area. Listen to the rocks as they tell of lava flows, glaciers and roaring rivers. Learn to distinguish between the common rocks of the North Shore. Discover the creation of the Lake Superior agate.
Gooseberry Falls State Park

Pioneer, Old Time Music & Bluegrass Jam
3-5 PM Dependent on participation of musicians. 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 fourth Sunday of each month, May – October.
Whitewater State Park

I Can Trout Fish
4-6 PM Learn how to fish at this introductory program. Limited fishing gear will be provided and fishing license requirements are waived for this educational program. Learn about the trout, the food they eat, and how to catch and release them. To register, call 507-937-3251. Meet at the picnic Shelter. * Participants must drive their own vehicle from the meeting location to another site.
Forestville Mystery Cave State Park

Creatures of the Potholes: Investigation Station
2:30-3:30 PM Just who lives in the glacial potholes at Interstate State Park? Drop by as we share a sneak peek into the underwater lives of these strange creatures. Magnifying glasses will be provided to get a better look at these critters. Find us at the visitor center for this ongoing program. Most participants drop-in for 10-15 minutes.
Interstate State Park

Build a Bee House, Ectothermathon -VOLUNTEER OPPORTUNITY
1-2 PM Support pollinators at your house by providing a home for solitary nesting native bees. Meet on the back deck of the St. Croix Lodge any time from 1-2 p.m.
St. Croix State Park

Archery in the Park
1-2:30 PM The sport of shooting arrows has been around for thousands of years. First humans used archery as a way to hunt animals and later as a way to compete against each other. Archery is an activity that people from all walks of life and almost every size and ability can participate and have fun. This program covers the basics of archery (safety, proper care of the equipment and how to use a bow). Participants will be able to practice their new skills on a target. Please meet at Group Campground on the campground side.
Minneopa State Park

Mini Monsters
1-2 PM Tiny attacking creatures live in our waters! Come and catch and take an up close look at the water world of macro-invertebrates, the small neighbors who live in the lakes and wetlands of Sibley.
Sibley State Park

Jr. Naturalist: Frogs and Toad
2-3 PM Meet at the lakeside Museum Amphitheater in the picnic grounds (near the picnic shelter)
Itasca State Park

St. Louis River Walk
1-2 PM The mighty St. Louis River is one of the centerpieces of Jay Cooke State Park and has been captivating people for centuries. Gain a new appreciation for the river as we walk and talk about the stories behind its natural and cultural histories.
Jay Cooke State Park

Aquatic Critter Catching
2-3:30 PM Prepare to get your feet wet as you will get a chance to scoop up aquatic life and find out what they mean for a healthy river. Depending on the height and speed of the river, you may get a chance to use a seine net for fish too. Meet at the boat landing.
Wild River State Park

ABC’s and 123’s of Fishing
3-4:30 PM Have you ever said “I wish I fished…” well today is the day to make that a reality! Join the naturalist by the Lake Andrew fishing pier for a quick run down of the basics from types of fish to knot tying. Then borrow a pole and bait from us and cast that line! A fishing license is not required in Minnesota State Parks. Please walk your child down to the program.
Sibley State Park

Hidden Treasures- Geocaching
3-4:30 PM Join the naturalist to learn about geocaching, a real life treasure hunt! We will be using GPS units to guide our way from one hidden treasure to the next. Learn the basics before putting your new knowledge to the test. All tools needed for this hunt will be provided. Come prepared to be outside on the trails and meet at the visitor center.
Lake Carlos State Park

Digital Photography
4-5 PM Photography is a great way to take some memories home with you after your visit to a state park. Participants will get a chance to learn how to use a digital camera and shoot photos of what interests them. Digital cameras are provided and everyone will be able to print one photo to take with them. Limit of 20 people (must be 8 years of age and children must be accompanied by an adult). Please sign up at the park office (prior reservation required). Meet at the waterfalls area.
Minneopa State Park

Snakes of the Blufflands
6-7 PM Sixteen of Minnesota?s seventeen kinds of snakes live in the Blufflands. Learn how we can live, work and recreate in the Blufflands and still conserve these awesome creatures. Bring a camera for a picture of your loved one touching a live snake!
Whitewater State Park

Leave it to Beavers
7-8 PM Even from outer space the architecture of beavers can be seen! Take a deep breath and dive into the world of the beaver. Meet outside the Interpretive Center in the Amphitheater.
Sibley State Park

Beaver Ecology
7-8 PM We will learn what makes this animal special and show off some of its unique characteristics by dressing one lucky person up as a beaver. This aquatic mammal spends a great amount of time in the water and has ability to the change the environment around it. As the largest rodent in North America, the beaver has had a major effect on the continent’s history. The program will also cover the ecology of beavers and some of its physical adaptations. Please meet at Group Campground on the campground.
Minneopa State Park

A Fish’s House: A MinnAqua Activity
7-8 PM Join us to discover a little bit about what a fish’s idea of a perfect home is. We?ll also be doing an art project with fish printing and drawing so that you can design the perfect home for your favorite Minnesota fish! Meet at the picnic shelter.
Lake Shetek State Park

Itasca’s Music Under the Pines: Julie and Bill Kaiser
7-9 PM From the northwoods of Minnesota, Bill and Julie Kaiser will be performing inside historic Forest Inn. Bill and Julie’s music has been described as acoustic “folkgrass” with a mix of bluegrass, folk, and original. Come enjoy a wonderful night of music! Held inside Forest Inn (across from Douglas Lodge)
Itasca State Park

Early Bird Walk
7:30-9 PM Learn tips and tricks on identifying bird songs and birds. Hike along with us as you discover who’s making the chirps, twitters and trills you’ve been hearing. Great for beginning birders. Meet at the campground shower building.
Jay Cooke State Park

A Day at Lumberjack Camp
7:30-8:30 PM From cutting to loading and even heading the logs down river, there was never a boring moment. Discover the daily routine and you may even get a job as a road monkey, bank beaver or river pig! Meet at the amphitheater.
Wild River State Park

Amazing Beavers- Campfire
7-8 PM Beavers are amazing animals that are well suited for their lives in the water. These extremely active and resilient engineers, change their habitat in many ways, not always for the better. Come enjoy an evening around the campfire, while exploring the life of a busy little beaver. Meet at the amphitheater for this entertaining program.
Lake Carlos State Park

 

 

* SAVE THE DATE *

Volunteer Citizen Scientist for Monarch Butterflies
9 AM – 5 PM The monarch butterfly population has seriously declined over the last twenty years. To protect these beautiful pollinators, it’s crucial that we have high quality information on their distribution, habitat availability and habitat quality. The Monarch Conservation Science Partnership needs the help of volunteer citizen scientists, like you, to collect this information. As a volunteer, you would:
Visit a site to monitor once per month during the growing season (2-4 hours per session)
Collect data on monarch adults, larvae, and habitat
Test new field techniques
Provide feedback on the monitoring program
MN Valley National Wildlife Refuge, Bloomington, MN: June 3-4

 

Landscaping for Pollinators (150-06-03-17)
Saturday, June 3, 9:30 a.m. – noon
Julie Weisenhorn, Horticulture Educator, University of Minnesota ExtensionPollinators are responsible for two thirds of the food we enjoy, and gardeners of all levels can help encourage pollinators to thrive by providing much needed food and shelter in the form of plants. Choosing plants that provide food and shelter, creating transitional landscapes, and considering bee lawns all help lessen “bee sterile” landscapes. Join fellow gardeners as Julie gives you a “pollinator perspective” on landscaping, and shares practical ways you can transform your yard to support these important insects. You will be inspired to help and will leave with the confidence to make simple changes in your own backyard.
Limit 40, Snyder Building