MN Nature Week Activities: April 29–May 4

Happy spring! All events free unless otherwise noted. And as always, sign up now! And look ahead to future events because everything, even volunteer opportunities, fill up fast! What can we say, we love our outdoors in Minnesota. #MNnature #MNLove

Timberdoodle Dance
7:30 – 9 PM Timberdoodle is the nickname given to a ground nesting, long beaked little bird called the American Woodcock. The mating flight and dance of this little bird is pretty amazing. 651-231-6968
Afton State Park

04/30/16 Park Clean up Day —Volunteer Opportunity
10 AM – 2 PM Volunteers are needed to clean up the park for the camping season. Please, bring shovels, rakes, and gloves to pick up sticks, garbage, and do light maintenance work to get the park ready for camping. A noon meal will be provided. Please register by April 25 by contacting the park office at 320-839-3663.
Big Stone Lake State Park

04/30/16 Laurentian Divide Vista Hike: Exploring the North Country Trail and the Mississippi/Red River watershed
12:30 – 4 PM Join us as we welcome the budding of spring during this afternoon hike along the North Country Trail. This strenuous hike is well worth the effort as we hike to a spectacular overlook on the Laurentian Divide (elevation 1,730 feet). Looking north-east, you will be viewing the Mississippi watershed basin at its beginnings around Itasca State Park. To the west is the Red River (of the North) watershed. Portions of this 4 mile route will be a strenuous. (refer to Map 10, page 94 of the “Guide to the North Country National Scenic Trail in Minnesota”).
Itasca State Park (Meet at the North Country Trail Head at the South Entrance Itasca State Park (along Highway 71) at 12:30 p.m. to car pool OR meet at the Clearwater County Road 39 Trailhead at 1 p.m)

04/30/16 Spring Cleaning Family Project Day —Family Volunteer Day
10 AM – 2 PM Pack a picnic and bring the family out to the park for a day of volunteering! There are a number of projects you can help with, from planting trees to weeding and mulching and litter pick up. All ages are welcome! To sign up, email sara.holger@state.mn.us or call 507-932-3007 ext 226.
Whitewater State Park

04/30/16 Digital Bridge to Nature Teacher Workshop
9 AM – Noon Learn how to incorporate outdoor photography experiences into your classroom or after school program. Participants will gain free access to digital cameras and field guides for your students to use! Participating teachers will earn 3.0 CEUs and have free access to digital cameras and field guides for your students. This workshop is free but all vehicles entering the park must have a valid Minnesota state park vehicle permit. Permits are available at the park office for $5/daily or $25/annual. To register, email at sara.holger@state.mn.us or call 507-932-3007 ext 226.
Whitewater State Park

04/30/16 Bluebirding Event
9 AM – Noon A Bluebird field event is scheduled for April 30, 2016 at Camden State Park at 9:00 AM. Two speakers will discuss Bluebird habitat and behavior. A short hike will follow their presentations. Paul Rasmussen, the Lyon County coordinator for the Bluebird Recovery Program, and Roger Schroeder, MN Ornithologists’ Union Youth Mentor Program volunteer, will lead the program. Binoculars and checklists (field kits) are available for event use. Call the park to reserve a field kit.
Camden State Park

04/30/16 Ask the Roving Naturalist
10 AM – 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

04/30/16 Nordic Walking
1 – 2:30 PM Join us for a walk through the woods. Nordic Walking uses 90% of your muscles and burns more calories! It also distributes your weight more so your knees aren’t doing all of the work. Demonstration Poles will be provided for your use. (Trekking/Hiking poles are not the same.) This class is geared to those that walk 45-60 minutes, including small hills, with confidence. Kay Okey, certified Nordic Walking Instructor, and MN Master Naturalist, will point out facts about the Big Woods ecosystem including some of the plants and animals that make it their home on the walk. Wear comfortable shoes with good tread, bring water, and if desired a small camera. Call early to register as there are a limited number of poles! Meet at the Visitor Center
William O’Brien State Park

04/30/16 Geocaching 101 (Class Full)
1 – 3 PM Call for waiting list. Discover the fun of geocaching and how you can use a GPS (Global Positioning System) unit to find hidden treasures at Minnesota state parks. You will receive hands‐on training that will help you participate in the statewide Geocaching program. Space is limited and registration is required. Program will start at the Visitor Center.
Call 612-725-2724 to register.
Fort Snelling State Park

04/30/16 PLT Early Childhood (WORKSHOP FULL)
9:30 AM – Noon Call to be put on waiting list. For early childhood educators, kindergarten and grade 1 teachers, scout leaders, Head Start teachers, naturalists, and environmental educators. Environmental education for very young children is a natural fit: As children naturally discover, explore, and experience their environment, guided activities will help them gain valuable skills: observing, listening, identifying, classifying, making sensory comparisons, and communicating. The day will include: in-depth instruction on learning styles of very young children, nature-based preschool activities and methods, and more. Participants will also devote some time to sharing ideas to improve outdoor learning sites for young children. Cost: FREE! Includes books and music CD, 3 CEUs
Minn. Valley National Wildlife Refuge, Bloomington, Minnesota

04/30/16 Photography Workshop: Capturing Moving Water
6:30 –8:30 PM You’ve seen those amazing photos of waterfalls in which the water looks very silky and wondered, “How did they do that?” Join professional photographer Kelly Morin for a two hour workshop that will give you the personalized instruction and hands-on experience to do just that. This workshop will deliver the understanding and allow you to practice the skills to capturing moving water. Begins with indoor instruction on setting your camera then heading outdoors to hike to the Middle, Upper and along the 5th Falls Trail to capture the waterfalls and rapids of Gooseberry River. This workshop is free, space is limited and registration is required. During the workshop we will be traveling over rough terrain and stairs. To register and receive a list of required equipment please contact Gooseberry Falls State Park Naturalist at 218-595-7108 or Carolyn.rock@state.mn.us
Gooseberry Falls State Park

04/30/16 Become an Aquatic Invasive Species (AIS) —Volunteer Opporunity
9 AM – Noon This training is held at the Brainerd DNR office (1601 Minnesota Drive; Brainerd MN 56401) – Lower Level Conference Room. 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.
Brainerd DNR office;1601 Minnesota Drive; Brainerd MN 56401

05/01/16 Ask the Roving Naturalist
10 AM – 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

05/01/16 Women in the Parks: Nature Hike- Life on the River
1 – 2:30 PM Two major rivers meet in Fort Snelling State Park. Join a park naturalist for a walking discussion on the natural and cultural history at the confluence of the Mississippi and Minnesota Rivers. Dress for the weather and meet at the Visitor Center. No registration required.
Fort Snelling State Park

05/01/16 Nature Hike: Life on the River
1 – 2:30 PM Two major rivers meet in Fort Snelling State Park. Join a park naturalist for a walking discussion on the natural and cultural history at the confluence of the Mississippi and Minnesota Rivers. Dress for the weather and meet at the visitor center.
Fort Snelling State Park

5/01/16 Ask the Roving Naturalist
10 AM – 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

05/01/16 Women in the Parks: Nature Hike- Life on the River
1 – 2:30 PM Two major rivers meet in Fort Snelling State Park. Join a park naturalist for a walking discussion on the natural and cultural history at the confluence of the Mississippi and Minnesota Rivers. Dress for the weather and meet at the Visitor Center. No registration required.
Fort Snelling State Park

05/01/16 Nature Hike: Life on the River
1 – 2:30 PM Two major rivers meet in Fort Snelling State Park. Join a park naturalist for a walking discussion on the natural and cultural history at the confluence of the Mississippi and Minnesota Rivers. Dress for the weather and meet at the visitor center.
Fort Snelling State Park

05/02/16 – 05/07/16 Master Naturalist Course – Big Woods, Big Rivers
8:30 AM – 4 PM daily. More info. and how to sign-up.
Robert Ney Memorial Park Reserve, Maple Lake, MN

05/04/16 Morel Mushrooms
1 – 3 PM Morels, Minnesota’s state mushroom, should be popping up along with our gorgeous spring wildflowers! On this easy walk, we’ll look for both. Given a good harvest, we’ll saut? and sample the mushrooms we find. Find out how to minimize the negative impacts of mushroom hunting. To sign up, email sara.holger@state.mn.us or call (507) 932 3007 extension 226. A wildflower checklist is available at the visitor center.
Whitewater State Park

05/04/16 Wednesday Trail Walks
1 – 2:30 PM Get outside and discover whatever natural happenings we can see along the trail. Add to your miles for the 125 mile challenge! Odd days on Gateway State Trail, even days on Brown’s Creek State Trail with some exceptions. For more information call 651-231-6968 or email Linda.Radimecky@state.mn.us
Brown’s Creek State Trail

05/04/16 Informational Meeting on Rabideau Lake management
6 PM – 7 PM The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources will hold a public information meeting on Wednesday, May 4, 6 to 7 p.m., at the Rabideau Civilian Conservation Corps Camp (CCC Camp) Education Building, to discuss the management plan for Rabideau Lake. For more information contact Dave Rave, Bemidji area wildlife supervisor, at 218-308-2336, dave.rave@state.mn.us.
Rabideau CCC Camp, 6 miles south of Blackduck on County Rd 39 (Scenic Byway) in Beltrami County

Seasons

05/04/16 – 05/10/16 SpringTurkey “D” season
04/30/16 – 02/26/17 Sucker Spearing – 2016 season
04/30/16 – 02/26/17 Bowfishing – 2016 season
04/30/16 – 02/19/17 Bullhead, Redhorse, other rough fish Spearing – 2016 season