MN Nature Activities: Nov 13–19

Whether you’re planning to stay active over winter or looking for something to do, well, tomorrow, #MNnature is the place to find free, affordable, and fascinating ways to stay active year-round. There’s activities perfect for individuals and the whole family, and there’s never been a better time to take advantage of the fun offered in our urban forests, plentiful (soon to be frozen) lakes, rolling hillsides, and national forests. Events FREE unless otherwise noted (for all state parks Vehicle Permit is required and can be purchased at the main office or at the self registration station; day passes also available).

11/13/16

Bird Watching Trek
8:00 a.m. – 10:30 a.m. Join us for a bird walk on one of the many refuge units and learn about the birds that visit the refuge during their fall migration. With a variety of habitats at the different units, you will want to explore them all. During the fall migration period the refuge offers the opportunity to observe a mix of waterfowl, raptors, warblers and sparrows. All are stopping at the refuge to rest and feed, before they continue their southerly migration. 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 Trailhead

Geocaching Through MN State Park History
1 PM to 3 PM Explore the history of Minnesota State Parks with a scavenger hunt-style geocaching course. Fun (and educational!) for the whole family! Equipment and instruction will be provided. Registration required. Call 612-725-2724 to register.
Fort Snelling State Park

11/14/16
SUPER MOON Full Moon Hike
6 – 7 PM Witness the rise of the super moon in our November skies. Our park naturalist will take you on a guided hike to learn what makes this moon so super duper. Meet at the Interpretive Center.
Sibley State Park

11/15/16

Bird Watching Trek
8:00 a.m. – 10:30 a.m. Join us for a bird walk on one of the many refuge units and learn about the birds that visit the refuge during their fall migration. With a variety of habitats at the different units, you will want to explore them all. During the fall migration period the refuge offers the opportunity to observe a mix of waterfowl, raptors, warblers and sparrows. All are stopping at the refuge to rest and feed, before they continue their southerly migration. Birders of all skill levels are welcome on these walks. Bring along your binoculars, favorite field guide and dress appropriately for the weather.
Minnesota Valley, National Wildlife Refuge – Wilkie Unit

Circle Time Under the Pines: W is for Woodpeckers
10:30 AM to 11:30 AM Children 2-5 years old, come explore and have fun at Itasca as we learn about nature through stories, songs, crafts, and outdoor discovery. Bring your winter outdoor clothes (including snowpants and boots)… if weather permits, part of the program will be exploring the outdoors. NOTES: Adults must accompany children. Consider bringing a picnic lunch and enjoying your noon meal around the fireplace in the visitor center lobby after the program. Meet at the Jacob V. Brower Visitor Center Classroom (look for the big building under the big pine trees.)
Itasca State Park

15-16, 2016
Preparing TC Urban Forests for Climate Change $$$
9 AM – 4 PM $25 During this active, hands-on workshop, urban forestry professionals will work to understand the impacts of climate change at local scales and ways they can adapt to those changes. Open to all.
St. Louis Park Rec. Center (Gallery Room 3700 Monterey Drive St. Louis Park, MN 55416)

11/16/16
H.O.P. Into the Park: Swan Watching Field Trip
10 – Noon The H.O.P. Into the Park program (Healthy Older People) is offered once a month to provide opportunities for older adults to gather for social time and to learn about nature. Each program will begin with coffee and conversation near the bird feeding windows at the visitor center followed by a formal naturalist presentation. In November, join us on a short field trip up to Weaver, MN to view the migrating tundra swans.
Whitewater State Park

11/17/16
Wild Ones, Big River Big Woods Chapter — November Meeting
6:00 pm / Social — 7:00 pm / Meeting & Program Serving communities in and near St. Paul. Lynn Steiner
Garden Writer & Photographer Grow Native: Bringing Natural Beauty to Your Garden Learn more about responsible gardening, creating a beautiful garden where we can satisfy our love of tending plants without causing further damage to the natural world. Inspirational photos of native-plant landscapes help people get started in environmentally friendly native-plant gardening that will be attractive to birds, butterflies, and other wildlife. The program also highlights special situations where native plants are great choices, such as rain gardens, boulevard gardens, and shade. Lynn’s most recent book, Grow Native: Bringing Natural Beauty to Your Garden, will be available for purchase (cash or check).
Autumn Grove Park Building, 1365 Lydia Avenue W, Roseville

11/18/16
Possum Trot Weekend – Travel Meet
1 PM to 2 PM The Possum Trot is an annual 15-km orienteering event, hosted by Possum Trot Orienteering Club. The race is mass-start, and they typically have rules allowing competitors to skip one or more controls. The Possum Trot is on Sunday, and there will also be a shorter sprint event on Saturday, hosted by Orienteering Kansas.
Longview Lake, Grandview, MO

11/19/16

Bird Watching Trek
8:00 a.m. – 10:30 a.m. Join us for a bird walk on one of the many refuge units and learn about the birds that visit the refuge during their fall migration. With a variety of habitats at the different units, you will want to explore them all. During the fall migration period the refuge offers the opportunity to observe a mix of waterfowl, raptors, warblers and sparrows. All are stopping at the refuge to rest and feed, before they continue their southerly migration. Birders of all skill levels are welcome on these walks. Bring along your binoculars, favorite field guide and dress appropriately for the weather.
Minnesota Valley Wildlife Refuge – Bass Ponds

FREE PlantMaker’s Studio Weekend Activities, ALL AGES
Noon – 4 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays year round Learning Center Free with gate admission. More info. The Plant-Maker Studio offers “make a plant” experiences for all ages. Our technology-loaded lives can leave anyone eager to dig into nature and get their hands on plants. Studio activities, staffed by trained volunteers, will feature specific plants and take-homes for participants. Learn how to start cuttings, plant seeds, print leaves, weave fibers and more. Supplies provided.
Minnesota Landscape Arboretum

Getting Ready for Winter
1 – 2 PM The lack of mosquitoes is a definite plus for MN winters. But what happens to them? Join the naturalist and find out where the wild things go and what stays here. Meet at the Visitor Center.
Wild River State Park

Tour of Old Cedar Avenue Trailhead and Black Dog Trail
1:00 P.M. – 4:00 P.M. Both of these trails have been redone in the past year! Join a Refuge Ranger in the 15 passenger van and witness the work that has been completed. We will first drive to the Old Cedar Avenue Trailhead as a group and explore the new amenities, including the trails that you can access from the Old Cedar Avenue Bridge. After that we will head to the Black Dog Unit and drive and walk small portions of the Black Dog Trail and the Overlook, which stretches over 3 miles along the Minnesota River. Registration is required as space is limited [(952) 858-0715, deborah_koenigs@fws.gov.
Bloomington Education and Visitor Center

Learn iNaturalist & Hike
1 PM to 3 PM This workshop will show you how to use iNaturalist, an application that allows users to engage with the natural world in new ways?identifying plants, sharing observations, and contributing to scientific research. REGISTRATION IS REQUIRED: Please register at www.minnesotamasternaturalist.org/courses/ by November 17th. There is a 20 person limit.
Jay Cooke State Park

War Against Buckthorn
9:30 AM to 12:30 PM Bravely hit the prairie with tools in hand to beat the buckthorn and fight for the freedom of native prairie flowers and grasses. This is a great opportunity for Master Naturalists to meet their hours or for you to meet new people in your community. Sign up by emailing or calling by Friday at 12pm.
Sibley State Park

Discovering the Civilian Conservation Corps: Exploring the North Country Trail and Itasca along the Dr. Roberts Trail
1 PM to 3 PM Many of the hiking trails (including portions of the North Country Trail within Itasca State Park), are the result of the boys of the CCC (Civilian Conservation Corps) of the 1930s. During the depths of the Great Depression, young men joined the conservation movement when they enrolled in the CCC. Learn about the boys, their work projects and even tour the Old Timer’s Cabin, one of the buildings they constructed, as we hike along the Dr. Robert’s Trail. Part of this hike can be challenging as we hike along the rolling hills along the east arm of Lake Itasca, past Lyendecker Lake and through stands of towering red pine, oak and aspen. (Refer to the Itasca State Park map on the Minnesota DNR website: http://files.dnr.state.mn.us/maps/state_parks/spk00181_summer.pdf ). Notes: Dress for being outdoors, including sturdy boots that can get wet/muddy, water, energy snack, sunscreen, hat, sunglasses, insect repellent- including tick gaiters and hiking/trekking poles. Meet outside Forest Inn, located across from Douglas Lodge within Itasca State Park. Route may change based on weather and trail conditions. This is the eleventh of 12 hikes to be held as we celebrate 125 years of Minnesota State Parks and Trails and 100 years of the National Park Service. This event is sponsored by both Itasca State Park and the Itasca Moraine and Laurentian Lakes Chapters of the National North Country Trail.
Itasca State Park: Meet outside Forest Inn (across from Douglas Lodge in Itasca State Park

Nature Walk in the Park
1 PM to 2 PM Fort Snelling State Park is situated right in the middle of the metro area with busy highways, railroads, high use river systems, and an International Airport. It is one of the most visited state parks in Minnesota by hikers, bikers, skiers, and motorists. In spite of high human recreation, wildlife thrives with ease. Join the naturalist on this cool November walk and learn about the plants and animals that co-exist with us. Program will start at the Thomas C. Savage Visitor Center.
Fort Snelling State Park

11/19/16 – 11/20/16
Snowshoe Lacing Workshop
9 AM to 3 PM Lace your own pair of snowshoes during this two day workshop. You will be provided with the equipment and instruction needed to lace your own traditional Ojibwe-style snowshoes. Learn this skill from an experienced instructor through this hands-on and rewarding workshop. This workshop is recommended for ages 10 and up will consist of two consecutive day sessions on November 19 and November 20 from 9am to 4pm.
Lake Carlos State Park

11/19/16 – 11/20/16 $$$
Snowshoe Lacing Workshop
9 AM to 3 PM Cost is approx. $80. Snowshoes, how to lace the decking onto the frame, and what you will need to do to use the shoes this winter. Class size is limited and registration is required as kits need to be pre-ordered.
Afton State Park

Upcoming . . .
Nove 30
Indeed We Can – Brewing a Better Forest – Music and Trees
5 – 7 PM Music, trivia, beer — trees! What better combination of topics could there be for a fun evening out? How about Hammer-Schlagen, minnow races, photos with elmer the elm tree, an opportunity to ask an arborist questions, More information: http://www.brewingabetterforest.com/events.html Proceeds for the night go to support Brewing a Better Forest
Indeed Brewery

Sign Up Now! Classes Fill Up Fast

Saturday, February 4
Trees: Pruning Essentials (150-­02-­04-­17­-02)
9:30 a.m. -­ noon Proper and timely pruning is essential to the health of your trees and shrubs; winter is the best time to prune to ensure their long-­term health and productivity. With Kathy’s expert guidance, you will learn theory and practical application for pruning and training your woody plants. Instruction will cover both deciduous and coniferous cultivars. Other topics covered will be based on class interest and could include maximizing longevity, minimizing maintenance, easy fruit harvesting, and applying pesticides correctly. Weather permitting, you will spend time out in the Arboretum collections for demonstration and on-­site instruction. Come dressed to spend time outdoors. Limit 22, Visitor Center Kathy Zuzek, Extension educator, research scientist at the University of Minnesota Horticultural Research Center
Minnesota Landscape Arboretum