Nature Activities: Aug 29–Sept 4

MN Nature in St Paul, MN, shares free outdoor activities and volunteer opportunities around the state of Minnesota every week of the year. Learn, explore, conserve, and pass on the love of the outdoors. We’re embarking on the ideal times of the year in Minnesota, when cooler nights allow for campfires and warm sunny days bring crop, herbs, and the prairie to full abundance. On top of it all, the #MNStateFair #GreatMinnesotaGetTogether has begun! Let’s start with that.

FRIDAY, AUG 26

GOVERNOR’S FIRE PREVENTION DAY
Catch fire safety and life-saving activities throughout the fairgrounds! Early Bird Specials until 1 p.m. at Mighty Midway & Kidway.
Special activities provided by the Governor’s Council on Fire Prevention and Control
State Fair

State Fair 2016, 08/25/2016 to 09/05/2016

DNR Wildlife Forever Wing


9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Fairgoers can learn about Minnesota species and wildlife habitat. Special sound and lighting effects help create an experience of moving from day to night and through the four seasons, as visitors walk through the display.
DNR State Fair building

Eco Experience
Open 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily; This one-of-a-kind educational exhibit is presented by the Minnesota State Fair and the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency. The information and activities are supported by dozens of local organizations. If you are looking for the products and organizations you saw at Eco Experience, visit EcoExperience.org.
Progress Center on the north side of Randall Avenue

TIMBERWORKS LUMBERJACK SHOW
Daily at noon, 3, 5:30, and 7 p.m. World-class forest sports athletes compete in a decathlon of timber events designed to challenge even the heartiest lumberjacks. Flannel-clad woodsmen and women will compete in single buck sawing, obstacle pole, logrolling, hot saw, speed climbing and more. From the precision and control required for the axe throw, to the power and technique needed for the springboard chop, audience members will see a wide variety of exciting, fast-paced events.
The North Woods on the east side of Cooper Street between Lee and Randall avenues, east of Little Farm Hands.

Midwest Stihl
Offering Woodcarving demonstrations.
East side of Underwood St. between Murphy Ave. & Lee Ave.

Northeastern Minnesotans for Wilderness
Offering: information regarding the campaign to save and protect the Boundary Waters from pollution caused by sulfide ore copper mining.
Dairy Building, east wall

Butterfly House Gift Shop
Northwest corner of Dan Patch Ave. & Underwood St.

DNR State Fair Building


9 a.m. to 9 p.m. This year marks the 82nd anniversary of the DNR’s historic State Fair building. The log structure is the centerpiece of the DNR’s exhibit and also serves as a landmark, a meeting place and a must-visit educational and entertainment destination, where generations of fairgoers have created life-long memories. 

Displays cover a wide range of natural resource topics including fish, watersheds, aquatic invasive species, rocks and minerals, state lands, forests, trails and parks.


Fairgrounds – St. Paul, MN

DNR Fish Pond Talks
Every quarter to the hour, starting at 9:45 and ending at 3:45 p.m. 
Learn all about the different fish that call Minnesota home during the DNR’s fish pond talks. The live fish exhibit is one of the State Fair’s most popular attractions.

This year’s exhibit features about 35 species of fish.

The outdoor fish pond holds about 50,000 gallons of water. The pond is kidney-shaped, approximately 100 feet by 50 feet.


Fairgrounds – St. Paul, MN, DNR Fish Pond

Ask a DNR Expert Information Booth


9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Talk to a conservation officer, wildlife manager, fisheries specialist, hydrologist, forester, park naturalist or other DNR staff about outdoor-related questions. Free brochures.
Fairgrounds – St. Paul, MN, DNR State Fair Building – North Side

State Park Camper Cabin
Open daily from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. State park camper cabins are designed to provide a “camping out” experience within the comfort of four walls. They can be reserved, year-round at many Minnesota state parks and state recreation areas.

Fairgoers can step inside the 24-foot by 12-foot cabin to check it out. The cabin has two sets of bunks allowing accessibility for a wheelchair. A camper cabin includes a picnic table and a fire ring with grill. 


Fairgrounds – St. Paul, MN, DNR Park

Smokey Bear
11 a.m. and 1 p.m. daily Costumed character: Shake his hand and have your photo taken with Smokey Bear as he reminds everyone that “Only YOU can prevent wildfires!”

DNR State Fair Exhibit

Emerald Ash Borer
Noon and 2 p.m. daily Costumed character: Have your picture taken with a giant Emerald Ash Borer and learn more about this invasive species that’s killing our ash trees.


DNR State Fair Exhibit

DNR fire tower
9 a.m. – 7 p.m. daily, dependent on weather Climb the 84 steps to the top of DNR Fire Tower. Get a bird’s eye view of the fairgrounds and learn what it’s like to watch for wildfires from a tower.


DNR State Fair Exhibit

Ecuador Manta
Band – Music from the Andes, They have created their music style over the years by using the traditional rhythms from Ecuador, Peru, Bolivia and Colombia and combining them with more contemporary Latin and Caribbean rhythms.

5-9 p.m. daily, except Aug. 28, Aug. 31, Sept. 2.
DNR Forest Stage (North side of DNR State Fair Building)

Lands and Minerals display
9 a.m. – 9 p.m. daily.
 Interactive display featuring the “Blast Shack” which takes historical look at mining in Minnesota and features actual footage of iron ore blasted from an active mine that includes sound. Old-fashioned plunger provides kids with opportunity to get a feel of what it’s like to set off a blast. 

Fairgoers can learn how taconite pellets are made. 

”What is Under Your House,” display allows people to check out geology/type of rocks under their house. A hands-on display of Minnesota-found fossils, co-sponsored by the Science Museum of Minnesota.


Inside DNR State Fair Building

Wildflowers and Pollinators
9 a.m. – 9 p.m. daily A wide range of free educational exhibits, presentations and entertainment, including several new activities and displays, will be part of the DNR’s exhibit at the Minnesota State Fair.

DNR building open.
South of DNR State Fair Fish Pond

—Enjoy your time at the fair! See daily schedules at http://www.mnstatefair.org/

08/29/2016

Little Explorers: N is for Nature Tails
10 AM to 11 AM Through stories, activities and a craft our smallest visitors discover a new letter of nature’s alphabet each week. This special program is designed to capture the interest of children ages 3-6 and their adults. This week, have a blast exploring how animals use their tails. Join us for our last Little Explorers program of the season. Children must be accompanied by an adult.

Location:
Interstate State Park

Pothole Exploration Tour
12 PM to 1 PM Discover how lakes of lava and gushing glacial waters formed the park’s unique potholes as you journey over, under and through world-renowned rock features on this naturalist-guided tour. This 45-minute walk includes some uneven terrain and stairs. Meet at the visitor center.
Interstate State Park

Beltrami Island State Forest Workgroup Meeting
1:30 PM to 3:30 PM Invitees: Selected officials from Roseau, Beltrami and Lake of the Woods Counties, the Red Lake Band of the Ojibwe and the US Fish and Wildlife Service. More info.
Warroad Area Forestry Office, 804 Cherne Dr. NW, Warroad, MN

08/30/2016

Itasca’s Mysteries in History: The Itasca Biological Station
10 AM to 11 AM In 1907 the University of Minnesota (U of M) held its first field classes in Itasca State Park. Join us at the Itasca Biological Station and Laboratories for a tour of this historic location. Discover the old and the new! Tour the new Itasca Campus Center before we head out to locate the site of the State Park House, where Mary Gibbs lived in 1903. See one of the few 1930s National Youth Administration or NYA constructed buildings in the state as we follow the route of the 1920s era Jefferson Highway as it passed through the field station. 

Itasca State Park: Meet at the new Itasca Campus Center located on the Itasca Biological Station campus (along Main Park Drive, watch for signs).

Fort Ridgely Citizen Advisory Committee Meeting
5 PM to 8 PM More info contact Rachel Hopper at 651-259-5638 or by email at rachel.hopper@state.mn.us.
Fort Ridgely State Park

08/31/2016

Itasca’s Mysteries in History: Life of a Wilderness Forest Ranger at Nicollet Cabin
10:30 AM to 12:30 PM Meet at the Mary Gibbs Mississippi Headwaters Center parking lot (see notes section below)

Constructed as a patrol cabin in the early 1900’s, Nicollet Cabin served as a ranger outpost during the early logging days. Later, used for fire detail in the 1930’s, this cabin has been restored to its original charm in the 1990s. Join the naturalist on this combination car/hiking tour as we learn about the men who used this historic cabin tucked deep in the woods under towering pine. 

Notes: Bring your car as we meet in the parking lot of the Mary Gibbs Mississippi Headwaters Center. Nicollet Cabin is located off of Wilderness Drive. The hike to the cabin is approximately 3 miles round trip. Bring insect repellant, sunscreen, water and a hat.

This program is part of the 125th anniversary celebration of Itasca State Park and Minnesota State Parks and Trails.

Itasca State Park

Nature Time at the Beach
1 PM to 2 PM Hey kids! Join a naturalist at the beach for a hands-on nature activity. Meet at the Beach.
Whitewater State Park

Wednesday Trail Walk
1 PM to 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!
Gateway State Trail

Lake Superior Yoga
8 AM to 9 AM Let your partner get the kids fed at your campsite and come on down to Lake Superior for a relaxing yoga session. Yoga sessions will meet on the plaza behind the Visitor Center or in the Tettegouche Meeting Room if the weather is not nice. Bring a yoga pad or sleeping mat if you have one, otherwise loaners are available.

$10 per person fee.
Tettegouche State Park

09/01/2016

BLT Band
10 AM to 9 PM (10 a.m., noon, 2 p.m., 4 p.m., 6 p.m., 8-9 p.m.) BLT Band is a five-piece band originating from Central Minnesota. The band features male and female vocalists, which adds a multitude of variety to our song list.BLT performs a variety of music from 50s & 60s, classic country, classic rock, 80s rock, to current country. We provide a professional, high-energy show for audiences of all ages.
DNR Volunteer Outdoor Stage



Circle Time Under the Pines: T is for Trees
10:30 AM to 11:30 AM Meet by the Museum Amphitheater (Look for a large blanket underneath a big pine tree), below Wegmann’s Store, (If raining, meet inside Lakeside Museum). Children 2-5 years old, come explore and have fun at Itasca as we learn about trees through stories, songs, crafts, and outdoor discovery. NOTES: Adults must accompany children. Consider bringing a picnic lunch and enjoying your noon meal at the park after the program. 

This program is part of the 125th anniversary celebration of Itasca State Park and Minnesota State Parks and Trails.
Itasca State Park

Nature Time at the Beach
1 PM to 2 PM Hey kids! Join a naturalist at the beach for a hands-on nature activity. Meet at the Beach.
Whitewater State Park

Raptor displays and flying demonstrations
11 AM to 5 PM Feel the excitement as live raptors fly over your head on their way to capturing lunch in mid-air. Join us for an educational program that promotes a common sense attitude towards the interaction of mankind and our environment. 

Through this program, we also hope to encourage a change in attitudes concerning birds of prey such as hawks, owls, falcons, vultures and eagles. 

Presented by Last Chance Forever – The Birds of Prey Conservancy, San Antonio, Texas

Shows at 11 a.m., 2 p.m., 4 p.m.
DNR Garden Stage (west side of main DNR State Fair Building)

Wildlife Ambassador Meet & Greet
11 AM to 11:30 AM
St. Croix State Park

Parks & Trails at the Fair
1 PM to 4 PM Join Minnesota State Parks and Trails at the fair! We will be there having fun and sharing information at the DNR building throughout the fair, but stop by our “we’re all ears” public engagement tent on key dates to talk to us about your ideas for the future of our state’s great park and trail system!

Corner of Judson Ave & Nelson St at the Minnesota State Fairgrounds

Five Facts in Five Minutes: Loons
1:30 PM to 3:30 PM Near the Mississippi Headwaters (under the porch of the Mary Gibbs Mississippi Headwaters Center if rain.) 

Only have a minute to learn about Itasca State Park? Check out a unique feature at the naturalist station as you visit the Headwaters of the Mississippi River.

Itasca State Park

09/02/2016

Old Timer’s Cabin, Open Tour
2 PM to 3:30 PM Held at the Old Timer’s Cabin, located along the boardwalk below Douglas Lodge 

Only 4 (massive) logs tall, learn more about this Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) constructed building. The Naturalist staff will have the cabin open for you to tour at your leisure.

Itasca State Park

Historic CCC Buildings Walk
1:30 PM to 2 PM Meet outside Forest Inn (across from Douglas Lodge) 

Learn about the ‘boys’ that built Forest Inn, Old Timer’s Cabin and more. Come for the walk as we talk about the 1930s Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) on this walking tour of buildings around the Douglas Lodge area, ending at the CCC Old Timer’s Cabin. 

Itasca State Park

DNR Commissioner’s 4-H and FFA Youth Awards
11 AM to 12 PM The DNR Commissioner’s Youth Award is given annually to a FFA student and to a 4-H club or member who has demonstrated initiative, leadership, creativity and achievement in the conservation and wise use of natural and agricultural resources.
DNR Volunteer Outdoor Stage

Nature Time at the Beach
1 PM to 2 PM
Whitewater State Park

Ghost Town Cemetery Field Trip
6 PM to 7:30 PM The town of Beaver was abandoned in 1938 after repeated flooding. This ghost town cemetery holds many stories of pioneers, civil war veterans, Minnesota conservation hero Richard Dorer and others who have lived in the Whitewater Valley. Join us for a cemetery visit and learn some fascinating history about the area. 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

Jr. Naturalist: Animals of the Forest Walk
2 PM to 2:30 PM Meet outside the front doors of the Jacob V. Brower Visitor Center

Join the naturalist on a fun-filled walk and learn all about different animals that live in the forest. Notes: bring along bug spray. Adults must accompany children.

Itasca State Park

Pothole Exploration Tour
12 PM to 1 PM Discover how lakes of lava and gushing glacial waters formed the park’s unique potholes as you journey over, under and through world-renowned rock features on this naturalist-guided tour. This 45-minute walk includes some uneven terrain and stairs. Meet at the visitor center.
Interstate State Park

The Raptor Center
1 PM to 4 PM The Raptor Center Education Department educates people all around the Midwest about the raptors they see in their own back yards. See live raptors up close and learn more about these fascinating birds! The Raptor Center?s education birds include eagles, falcons, hawks, and owls.

1 p.m., 3 p.m.
DNR Volunteer Outdoor Stage

From Breakfast to Dinner Campfire Cooking
7 PM to 8:30 PM Come and take home new recipes from Idaho Sunrise Breakfast to Fancy Dutch Oven Mushrooms. Everyone will be able to sample these fire cooked treats!

Bring a favorite recipe to share! Meet at the Cedar Hill Shelter Building. Bring a pie-iron if you have one (available for sale in the Nature Store.
Sibley State Park

Geocaching 101
1 PM to 3 PM Discover the tips of the trade on how the Global Positioning System works and how to use a GPS. Try it right away searching for our Call of the Wildflowers Sibley State Park card. 

Come to this event and earn the Call of the Wildflowers 2016 Special Edition Card! Start your collection today! Meet at the Nature Store at Lake Andrew.
Sibley State Park

Fitness Frolic Fridays
8 AM to 9 AM Beat the heat and get out for a faster paced hike around the park with a naturalist. Together we will determine our path, whether it is hiking the roads and visiting the campsites or hitting a trail, and our pace, from brisk to casual. 

Meet the naturalist outside the Interpretive Center. Workout clothes and good shoes recommended.
Sibley State Park

The Importance of Pollinators!
8:30 PM to 9:30 PM Pollinators are crucial to human life and sadly they are in trouble! Join a naturalist this evening to learn about the different pollinators and the plants they pollinate. Learn how you can help protect our pollinators that are responsible for many of the foods we eat every day. Meet at the amphitheater.
Forestville Mystery Cave State Park

Flying Shadows: Stories of the Raven
7 PM to 8 PM Considered one of the most intelligent birds on the planet, the raven is sometimes viewed as a bad omen. 

Are you smarter than a raven?
Gooseberry Falls State Park, Meet at the Lady Slipper Amphitheater.

Basswood Rope Making
1 PM to 2 PM Learn some of the many uses of the basswood tree and make some rope you can keep! Meet at the Visitor Center!
William O’Brien State Park

09/03/2016

Animal Senses, Campfire
7:30 PM to 8 PM Meet at the Amphitheater in the picnic grounds by the Lakeside Museum,(lakeside from Wegmann’s Store/cabin) if rain- inside the Jacob V. Brower Visitor Center.)

How many things can you identify by smell? How good is your hearing compared to a bats? Enjoy a warm fire as you sit back and learn about animal senses. Remember the bring s’more fixings for after the campfire talk! 

Itasca State Park

Geocaching 101
2 PM to 3:30 PM Meet outside Forest Inn

Join in our GPS sticker challenge and learn how to use a GPS device to go geocaching! You will learn how to use a GPS unit and then head out in the park to find some specially placed caches. A limited number of GPS units will be available for use. Come and go at your leisure.

Itasca State Park

GPS & Geocaching for Beginners
2 PM Have fun learning about GPS and get an introduction to the great sport of Geocaching. Meet at the Interpretive Center. (45 minutes)
Mille Lacs Kathio State Park

The Bear Necessities
10:30 AM A talk about the natural history and behavior of Minnesota’s Black Bears will be followed by a nature film. Meet at the Interpretive Center. (40 minutes)
Mille Lacs Kathio State Park

Are You in the Dark About the Dark?
Date:

9 PM to 10 PM
Location:
Lake Shetek State Park
Description:
Sometimes the dark can seem somewhat scary but come along on this short night hike and you’ll discover ways to explore a whole new world that you might never have known about before. Meet at the Beach House. The hike will last approximately 1 hour.
Directions:
Two miles north of Currie on County Road 38.
More Information:
Call (507) 763-3256.

Geocaching 101 — A High Tech Treasure Hunt
10 AM to 11 AM
Lake Shetek State Park

BOW – Family Fishing – All Ages
9 AM to 11 AM oin us for a fishing outing for your whole family! Find out what types of fish are found in our local lakes, how to prepare your equipment, what bait to use, and how to deal with the fish once you catch them. All equipment is provided. Day fishing license will be provided for the duration of the program. 

Course dates and times: September 3, 2016, 9:00-11:00a.m. 

Cost: $6/person

Registration: Register at www.ThreeRiversParks.org
Cedar Lake Farm Regional Park, New Prague

BOW – Family Canoeing – Ages 8+ $$$
1 PM to 3 PM Designed around having fun, being safe and learning proper paddling techniques. Participants will learn water safety, entering and exiting, and paddle strokes. Ages 5-8 may ride along accompanied by an adult. 

C

Cost: $15/person

Registration: Register at www.ThreeRiversParks.org
Cedar Lake Farm Regional Park, New Prague

Digital Nature Photography
4 PM to 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 the 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

Wild Edibles
7 PM to 8 PM People eat wild edibles for a number of reasons including as a legitimate way of economizing their food costs, as an excellent source of vitamins and minerals, and in rare situations they can be essential for survival. We will talk about some of the more recognizable plants growing in the area like the common dandelion which can be used in salads or even as a coffee-like beverage. Please meet at the Group Campground on the campground side.
Minneopa State Park

Turtle Rescue Field Trip
9 AM to 12 PM Twenty miles from Whitewater State Park the eggs of rare Blanding’s turtles are now hatching. These one and one quarter inch diameter babies have to cross a busy road as they travel over a mile from their sand prairie nests to the safety of their parents’ wetland. On this field trip, you can help this threatened species survive by helping a few of them cross the road. We’ll begin at the Whitewater Valley Visitor Center and then caravan in our vehicles to the sand prairie. Reservations are required. Sign up by email at sara.holger@state.mn.us or by phone at 507-932-3007 ext. 226.
Whitewater State Park

Fossil Field Trip
3 PM to 5 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! What can they tell us about this area’s past? Fossil cards, to display your collection, will be distributed. Bring transportation, as the site is nine miles from the park.
Whitewater State Park

Campfire Astronomy
7 PM to 9 PM Looking to enrich your camping experience? Come and learn about the amazing show going on nightly throughout the summer. The planets and constellations of the summer sky can tell us wonderful stories that will enhance any camping trip. Learn what celestial wonders can be discovered with the naked eye. Bring transportation as we will be relocating to another area of the park after a short indoor presentation at the visitor center.
Whitewater State Park

Ectothermathon Cold Blooded Weekend – Frog Pond
1 PM to 2 PM Celebrate cold-blooded creatures at St. Croix State Park’s 5th annual Ectothermathon!

Prepare to get wet! Follow the signs to the wildlife pond near park headquarters. Discover many types of cold-blooded creatures that live in the pond including frogs and dragonflies.
St. Croix State Park

Parks for Monarchs: Monarchs versus Moths! What?s the Difference?
10 AM to 11 AM Hey kids, join the naturalist today to learn about the beautiful Monarch butterfly and how they are similar and different from moths! Learn how to help and attract them to your own neighborhood and make a beautiful butterfly to take home with you! This also counts toward a Jr. Park Naturalist Patch! Learn how you can earn yours today! Meet at the Visitor Center!
William O’Brien State Park

Parks for Monarchs: Monarch Tagging
4 PM to 5:30 PM Monarch butterflies are one of the most recognizable insects in Minnesota, however people are seeing less and less of them. Join us for a fun and informative program where you will take part in catching, tagging, and releasing monarchs for research. Find out why they are disappearing and what you can do to help. Meet at the picnic shelter.

This Parks for Monarchs program is part of the 125th anniversary celebration of Minnesota State Parks and Trails.
Forestville/Mystery Cave State Park

Beginning Fly-Fishing
1 PM to 2:30 PM If you’ve ever wanted to try fly-fishing or learn more about the art of it, this is your chance! We’ll start inside with some fly-tying and basic skills instructions and then move outside to give it a try! A limited number of fly-fishing rods will be available. Children age 15 and under must be accompanied by an adult. Meet at the Visitor Center.
Big Bog State Park

Dragon Quest: A Hunt for Dragonflies and Damselflies
3 PM to 4 PM Join us as we enter the magical world of dragons and damsels – flies, that is! Our journey will begin at the Visitor Center where we will learn about these amazing creatures. Then follow us to a nearby location for the fun part – the hunt! A limited number of nets will be available.
Big Bog State Park

Ectothermathon Cold Blooded Weekend – Snake Discovery
5 PM to 6 PM Celebrate cold-blooded creatures at St. Croix State Park’s 5th annual Ectothermathon!

Tongue flicking, sunbathing and shedding skin are just some of the amazing things reptiles do. Meet at the council ring for an interactive live animal program about local reptiles.
St. Croix State Park

Remarkable Reptiles
7 PM to 8 PM Jim Gerholdt will use live turtles, lizards and snakes to illustrate this family-oriented program about reptiles of Minnesota and beyond. Meet at the Council Ring next to the Interpretive Center. In case of rain the program will be held inside the Interpretive Center.
Mille Lacs Kathio State Park

Interpretive Nature Walk
10 AM to 11:30 AM Join naturalist Bruce Ause on a 1-mile interpretive nature hike. 

Time: Saturdays starting May 28 through October 20 at 10 am Check signs at the park office or campground sanitation building for cancellations. 

Where: Meet at the Amphitheater in the campground.

Fun for all ages! The topics vary based on what is naturally occurring each week.

Trying for the 125 Miles by Bike, Boot or Boat Challenge? This event can help you add a little distance.
Frontenac State Park

Kids Fishing Fridays (Saturday)
8:30 AM to 11:30 AM Kids 8-15 yrs of age are invited on this guided fishing trip to develop fishing skills and explore our lake environment. For safety reasons, the program is limited to nine young anglers. These fishing trips are offered alternate Fridays from mid June to September. Sign up by calling the park office beginning the Monday of that week.
Lake Bemidji State Park

Astronomy and Stargazing
9 PM to 10 PM See stars, planets, galaxies and nebulae up close with your own eyes!

Join the Glacial Lakes Astronomers and Stargazers Society (GLASS) at Glacial Lakes State Park on the first Saturday of the month from May through October at dusk. You will get the chance to look through a variety of telescopes and binoculars as GLASS members answer your questions about your night sky.

Please contact the park for any further questions regarding these programs at (320) 239-2860. Meet at the Horse Camp at dusk, weather permitting. If it is not raining, but cloudy, GLASS will still be there to do a program on our night sky. No equipment is necessary, but if you have binoculars or a telescope you are highly encouraged to bring them! 

In case of inclement weather, contact the park or visit the GLASS website. http://www.glass.glaciallakesmn.com/

A MN state Park vehicle permit is required to attend this event, and can be purchased at the park for $5/day or $25 for an annual permit.
Glacial Lakes State Park

Pothole Exploration Tour
12 PM to 1 PM Discover how lakes of lava and gushing glacial waters formed the park’s unique potholes as you journey over, under and through world-renowned rock features on this naturalist-guided tour. This 45-minute walk includes some uneven terrain and stairs. Meet at the visitor center.
Interstate State Park

The Blue Mounds Bison Story
8:30 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

Remarkable River Mammals Investigation Station
2 PM to 3 PM What animal has built-in ear plugs? How long can an otter hold its breath? Stop by the naturalist?s table near the Visitor Center to learn the answers and discover some of the amazing animals that live right here in the St. Croix and how they have adapted to life on the river! Activity takes about 5-10 minutes.
Interstate State Park

Nature Hike on Pike
10 AM to 12 PM Join a naturalist on a cool morning walk around beautiful Pike Island. We will walk to the confluence of the mighty Mississippi and Minnesota Rivers. This is a great opportunity to watch wildlife while getting some exercise. Please meet at the Thomas C. Savage Visitor Center.
Fort Snelling State Park

Stargazing Party
8:30 PM to 9 PM Meet in the parking lot across from the Savanna Portage Trail head for this family-fun program. Bring a blanket or chair if you’d like.
Savanna Portage State Park

Axiom
10 AM to 9 PM Band – A high energy diversified group blending genres including dance, pop, alternative, modern country and good old rock and roll.

10 a.m., noon, 2 p.m., 4 p.m., 6 p.m., 8-9 p.m.
DNR Volunteer Outdoor Stage

Leave no trace games and activities
11 AM to 4 PM The Subaru/Leave No Trace traveling trainers travel coast to coast offering free programs on Leave No Trace, teaching people how to minimize their impact when spending time in the outdoors. 

Join us on the main stage for Leave No Trace games and activities good for the whole family.

11 a.m., 1 p.m., 3 p.m.
DNR Volunteer Outdoor Stage

Get Hooked on Fishing!
Did you see that fish jump? Cast out your line and see what you can reel in! Join a naturalist down near the campground boat launch to explore the basics of fishing and then try it out for yourself! All equipment provided. Kids should be joined by an adult. More Information: Contact Jenni Webster at (651) 465-5711 or by email at jenni.webster@state.mn.us.
Interstate State Park

Pedal Into the Past
10 AM to 12 PM The scenic park you enjoy today was once homesteads, farms and homes of some of the first families of the area. Pedal into the past to see where these homesteads were, what they looked like and what life was like in the hills and woods of Sibley State Park.

Meet at the Interpretive Center. Helmets required.
Sibley State Park

Voyaguer Canoe Rides
1 PM to 2 PM
Sibley State Park

Voyaguer Canoe Rides
2 PM to 3 PM When it comes to water we are all in the same boat! Join us for a guided paddle by Prairie Woods Environmental Learning Center in their 34-foot canoe. A replica of the Montreal canoe used by the fur traders. They transported tons of furs; we will transport a lesson about water. We will row, row, row to make the boat go as we learn about quality water issue that we are facing today and in the future.

Pre-registration is encouraged. Call or email today to reserve your spot. 

Rides will meet at the Lake Andrew Boat Access. Times are as follows:
1:00-2:00 pm 
2:00-3:00 pm 
3:00-4:00 pm 

Sibley State Park

Voyaguer Canoe Rides
Date:
09/03/2016
Time:
3 PM to 4 PM
Location:
Sibley State Park

Intro to GPS and Geo-caching
2 PM to 3 PM Want to have some fun discovering how to use a GPS (Global Positioning System) unit? In addition, you’ll find out about the great sport of geocaching. (It’s like a treasure hunt using a GPS unit!) If you have a GPS unit, bring it. If not, you can use one of the park’s! We will go as a group to find the park’s new Call of the Wildflowers geocache.
Whitewater State Park

Directions:
3 miles south of Elba on State Hwy. 74.
More Information:
Call 507-932-3007.

Lake Itasca Region Pioneer Farmers Tour
10 AM to 12 PM 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).*Tour begins promptly at 10 a.m.

Get a feel for the early 1900s community of Lake Itasca at the Lake Itasca Region Pioneer Farmers Showgrounds (LIRPF). See the Itasca Historic Sawmill. Explore various buildings from a country school, dove-tail one-room log house and a logging museum. 

Itasca State Park

Directions:
Park entrance is 21 miles north of Park Rapids on U.S. Hwy 71. From Bemidji, the park is 30 miles south on U.S. Hwy 71.
More Information:
Contact Itasca State Park at 218-699-7251 or by email at itasca.statepark@state.mn.us.

Signs of Bigfoot
7 PM to 8 PM Animals leave behind clues that can tell us a great deal about the animal. Come and explore the park in a unique and interactive way that allows you to gather information about the hidden creatures of Gooseberry Falls. Try your luck in an inquiry based hunt for the elusive Bigfoot and see what you can learn about this legendary creature. 

Meet at the amphitheater next to Lady Slipper Lodge.
Gooseberry Falls State Park

Survival Bracelets!
1 PM to 2 PM Learn the basic 3’s of survival and then make a survival bracelet you can keep. Younger kids will need adult help. Meet at the Visitor Center!
William O’Brien State Park

America’s Best Idea!
7 PM to 8 PM The St. Croix River and its largest tributary, the Namekagon River, combined are an often unheralded part of the National Park System. Join National Park Service Ranger Dale Cox to learn about the history of the National Park Service, which celebrates its 100 anniversary in 2016, and the story of the St. Croix National Scenic Riverway! Meet at the Visitor Center!
William O’Brien State Park

09/04/2016

Campfire Program: Mille Lacs Wildlife
7 PM
Father Hennepin State Park
At this campfire talk we will discuss loons, eagles, deer, bears, owls and other wildlife of Father Hennepin State Park and the greater Mille Lacs area. Meet at the Council Ring in Lakeview Campground. In case of rain the program will be held inside the Lakeview Picnic Shelter. (45 minutes)

Kids’ Activity: Tree Detectives
2 PM
Mille Lacs Kathio State Park
Learn how to use the right “clues” to tell “who’s who” among trees of the forest… and take home a small “souvenir” you make yourself. 
Meet at the Interpretive Center. (45 minutes)


Kathio Wildlife
10:30 AM
Mille Lacs Kathio State Park
At this talk we will discuss eagles, woodpeckers, deer, skunks, porcupines, owls and other wildlife that live, forage and hunt the woods and waters of Kathio. Meet at the Interpretive Center. (45 minutes)

What is an Invasive Species?
2 PM to 4 PM
Big Stone Lake State Park
What is an invasive species? How do they hurt the environment? What are some invasive species in the State Park? What is the State Park doing about the invasive species? What can I do? These questions and more will be answered at this interesting talk and hike. Meet at the Meadowbrook State Park office to learn about what an invasive species is and what to do about it!!

Itasca’s Music Under the Pines: Jim and Molly Bauer
7 PM to 9 PM
Itasca State Park
Meet at Forest Inn (across from Douglas Lodge)

Join Jim and Molly at historic Forest Inn as they perform familiar folk and folk rock songs. This Minnesota-based duo, with Jim playing acoustic guitar will share stories and songs and of course you can’t miss the “Jim and Molly Bauer concert” collector T-shirts! 


Geocaching 101
2 PM to 3 PM
Fort Ridgely State Park
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). Meet at the Creek Picnic Area next to the primitive campground.

What lives in the river: Macroinvertebrates
4 PM to 5 PM
Fort Ridgely State Park
What in the world is a macroinvertebrate? Macroinvertebrates are aquatic bugs that we can see with our eye, have no backbone, and live in our rivers, lakes and wetlands. Discover how these aquatic bugs are special and where to find them. We will collect macroinvertebrates from the Fort Ridgely Creek and identify each of them using a simple identification key. Meet at the Creek Picnic Area next to the primitive campground.

River Otter Ecology
7 PM to 8 PM
Fort Ridgely State Park
This social mammal is known for its child-like personality and often appears to spend time playing. After a significant decline due to hunting, trapping and loss of habitat, the otter population is beginning to make a comeback in the Minnesota River Basin. We will learn about some of the special characteristics of a River Otter and what this animal tells us about the quality of our rivers, lakes and wetlands. One lucky person will get the chance to dress like an otter! Meet at the Creek Picnic Area next to the primitive campground.

I Can Fish – Trout Fishing
10:30 AM to 12 PM
Whitewater State Park
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 4.

Make Your Own Walking Stick
Date:
09/04/2016
Time:
1:30 PM to 3 PM
Location:
Whitewater State Park
Description:
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!

Snakes of the Blufflands
3 PM to 4 PM
Whitewater State Park
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. A slide show about area snakes and a live snake program will be given. See a live fox snake. Bring a camera for a picture of your loved one touching a live snake!

Summer Bat Count
6:30 PM to 8:30 PM
Whitewater State Park
Recently the world that Minnesota’s bats live in has dramatically changed. A new threat is on the horizon unlike anything we’ve seen before. During this program you will get a chance to learn a little bit about Minnesota’s bat population and the dreaded White Nose Syndrome that threatens their world. After an introduction at our visitor center, we will go out and count the resident bat population. This amazing experience will not only be fun for everyone, but will also help us understand changes to our local bats in the years to come.

Annual All Camp Pancake Breakfast
8 AM to 10 AM
Lake Bemidji State Park
All Camp Pancake Breakfast
The Friends of Lake Bemidji State Park are sponsoring the Annual Fall All Camp Pancake Breakfast at the Historic Dining Hall. A free will donation for the all you can eat pancakes raises funds in support local park projects. Serving begins at 8 a.m. and continues to 10 a.m. Menu includes juice, coffee, milk, pancakes and pork sausage links. 


Art Opening – Outdoor Painters of Minnesota
7 PM to 8:30 PM
Tettegouche State Park
The Outdoor Painters of Minnesota will spend several days painting North Shore scenery for a group show that will hang in the Tettegouche State Park Visitor Center for the month of September.

The mission of Outdoor Painters of Minnesota is to encourage and promote painting directly from nature.

The Show Opening will allow a chance to hear from the artists about their very fresh paintings.
Ectothermathon Cold Blooded Weekend – Butterflies
Date:
09/04/2016
Time:
11 AM to 12 PM
Location:
St. Croix State Park
Description:
Celebrate cold-blooded creatures at St. Croix State Park’s 5th annual Ectothermathon!

Meet at the St. Croix Lodge to learn about monarchs and other local butterflies in this interactive program, great for kids! We will make a butterfly craft and take a butterfly walk.

Pothole Exploration Tour
12 PM to 1 PM
Interstate State Park
Discover how lakes of lava and gushing glacial waters formed the park’s unique potholes as you journey over, under and through world-renowned rock features on this naturalist-guided tour. This 45-minute walk includes some uneven terrain and stairs. Meet at the visitor center.

Community Concert: Kari Grace
2 PM to 3 PM
Lake Bemidji State Park
This week’s Community Concert features Kari Grace. She is a vocal soloist whose performance will cover songs from several decades–from the soft rock of Carol King, Dorothy Moore and even Tina Turner to the more current Jewel, Colbie Caillat, and even Christina Perri. “I sing what moves me! If I am inspired by the song and deliver it with passion then you will love it too.” Enjoy a breeze off the lake while you listen to Kari’s bluesy sound, full of energy and fun.

All Community Concerts are sponsored by the North Country Snowmobile Club of Bemidji.

Fur, Fins, and Feathers
1 PM to 2 PM
Fort Snelling State Park
Join us for an overview of the critters that call Fort Snelling State Park home. We?ll explore the many different habitats and trails that they use and hopefully catch sight a few furry, finned, or feathered friends!


Electric shockdrowning (ESD) and vessel safety check
11 AM to 4 PM
DNR Volunteer Outdoor Stage
“Presentation on Electric Shock Drowning (“ESD”) also known as “the silent killer”. ESD can happen when electricity that’s installed around boats and docks leaks into the water. Become aware of this potential hazard and the lethal consequences of entering the water near where electricity is being used.

Presentation on preparing your boat/vessel for a vessel safety check. All boats/vessels should be checked annually by a certified vessel safety examiner for safety and emergency preparedness. Become aware of the items that will be checked to make sure your boat/vessel passes. Vessel safety check decals should be displayed on your boat/vessel after actual physical inspection is passed.

Life jacket fittings available. Make sure your life jacket fits properly to aid you in an emergency.

11 a.m., 1 p.m., 3 p.m.


Geocaching with Your Smartphone
Date:
09/04/2016
Time:
2 PM to 3 PM
Location:
Interstate State Park
Description:
Geocaching is a great way to get out and explore nature, but what if you do not have a handheld GPS device? Not to worry, it is the age of technology. Grab your data-enabled smartphone and join a naturalist to learn how turn your phone into a high-tech treasure map! Meet outside the visitor center.
The Great Selfie Challenge
10 AM to 4 PM
Sibley State Park
Come to the Interpretive Center to get your Selfie Check list. Capture all selfies on your camera or phone to come back and claim a prize!!

Little Songs on the Prairie
8:30 PM to 9:30 PM
Forestville Mystery Cave State Park
No cell phones, no video games?What did Minnesota?s European settlers do for fun?!? Join us at the amphitheater for an evening?s entertainment ? games, stories, and especially music ? to get a taste of what life and leisure were like around Forestville over 100 years ago. In the words of pioneer and author Laura Ingalls Wilder, ?If you want the spirit of those old times, you should [hear] these old songs.

Storytelling with the Stars
7 PM to 8 PM
Interstate State Park
Once upon a time, long long ago, groups of people would look up into the night sky and imagine shapes and pictures that were made up of stars. They would tell stories about how those images, or constellations, appeared in order to remind others of the lessons they learned. Join a naturalist at the campground boat landing amphitheater to hear some of those stories and discover how to find some of the constellations in our night sky. Meet in the picnic shelter if raining. – See more at: http://www.mnnature.org/mn-nature-activities-aug-8-14/#sthash.L4ne7svE.dpuf

Veterans Conservation Corps Hike
7 PM to 8 PM
Sibley State Park
Join a naturalist as we step back through time into the early days of Sibley state park. Together we will learn about the veterans that built Sibley into the park you see today. Meet at the lakeview campground water tower. We will be hiking on some uneven paths and terrain. Bugspray suggested.


Do Parasites Rule the World?
10 AM to 12 PM
Fort Snelling State Park
Just how much of an influence do parasites have on our everyday lives? Come talk with a naturalist and face your fears! Learn about some creepy crawlers and the fascinating world of parasites while observing some local examples. The program will include a short hike to explore the host habitats. Meet at Thomas C. Savage Visitor Center.