Week Nature Activities: April 1–9

Fun events and volunteer opportunities to ring in April! All free (unless otherwise*** noted). Enjoy #MNNature throughout the state of Minnesota!

04/01/17

Bison Ambassador Training
1–4 A Bison Ambassador Training will be held on April 1st at Minneopa State Park. This volunteer program gives citizens an opportunity to help engage visitors on how to be safe around the bison and answer any related questions to North America?s largest mammal. If you are interested in volunteering for this program and can?t attend the open house please contact Minneopa Area Naturalist Scott Kudelka at 507-384-8890 or scott.kudelka@state.mn.us
Minneopa State Park

Buckthorn Removal
9–Noon Help Minneopa State Park fight invasive species by attending a buckthorn removal event. We need your assistance in this ongoing battle to maintain a healthy native ecosystem. Buckthorn is a shrub that first arrived in Minnesota during the mid-1800s with Euro-American settlers. It was brought over from Europe as a popular hedge shrub but proved to be very invasive in our native communities. Please pre-register for this event by sending an email to scott.kudelka@state.mn.us or calling 507-384-8890. Entrance to the state park will be free for volunteering to remove buckthorn.
Minneopa State Park

Women in the Parks: Spring Hike
9–10:30 AM Winter can last a long time in Minnesota, but ladies grad a friend and come to Fort Snelling State Park to beat your cabin fever. We?ll explore the trails and look for signs that spring is around the corner! Dress for the weather and meet at the Thomas Savage Visitor Center (two miles from park entrance. Plan for an additional 10 minute drive through the park).
Fort Snelling State Park

04/03/17

Bird Watching Trek
8–10:30 AM Join us for a bird watching trek at the Old Cedar Avenue Trailhead of the Long Meadow Lake Unit and learn about the birds that visit the refuge during their spring migration. During spring migration observe a mix of waterfowl, raptors, warblers, and other songbirds resting and feeding before they continue their northerly migration. Birders of all skill levels are welcome. Bring along your binoculars, your favorite field guide, and dress appropriately for the weather. You can reach Craig at (952) 240-7647 if you have any questions or need help finding the trailhead!
Old Cedar Avenue Trailhead

04/06/17

Calling all Frogs!
7–8 PM Frogs are sometimes referred to as the canaries of the wetlands since they can be sensitive to pollution. Walk along the Gateway State Trail listening to for the chorus of frog songs to identify.
Gateway State Trail -Hwy 96 crossing

04/07/17

Art Opening – Ryan Tischer
7–8:30 PM Our April art show at Tettegouche will show the photography of Ryan Tischer. His use and interpretation of light is noteworthy.
Gateway State Trail -Hwy 96 crossing
Tettegouche State Park

Fly Fishing for Beginners: Four Part Class ***
7–9 PM A course fee of $20.00 is required at the time of registration. To many people fly-fishing for trout is the ultimate outdoor experience. It requires an intimate knowledge of trout and their stream environment. This four-session class, 4/7, 4/14, 4/28 and 5/5 is designed for those seriously interested in learning how to fly fish. Reservations are required. Call (507) 932-3007, extension 226 or email sara.holger@state.mn.us prior to 4/1 to register. Participants need fly fishing equipment by the third session. Some equipment is available on loan. A fishing license and trout stamp is required.
Whitewater State Park

04/08/17

Story Hike: One Duck Stuck
Ranger-led Hike: 1:00 p.m. – 2:00 p.m. / Self-guided Hikes: 9:00 a.m. – 3:30 p.m. April is a great month to get back outside! Join a ranger for an easy hike for little legs and read pages of One Duck Stuck by Phyllis Root as you go! There will be a different story to read each week, giving you reasons to come time and time again. This trail is not stroller friendly, so please come prepared. While there is an afternoon ranger-led hike, the laminated story pages will be located throughout the loop and available for you to explore at your own pace from 9 a.m. – 3:30 p.m.!
Bloomington Education and Visitor Center (Hillside Trail)

The Beaver Basics
2–3:30 The beaver is quite the interesting critter. Not only is it North America?s largest rodent, but it well known for its industrious woodworking skills. Join the naturalist for a brief introduction before heading out on the trails to visit a couple of beaver dams and view some nearby lodges. Meet at the Visitor Center.
Wild River State Park

Flood! Water, Water Everywhere!
1–2 PM Minnesota rivers rise and fall, usually on a seasonal cycle, but every now and then they rise higher than we want and disastrous flooding results. Where does all this water came from and why are some floods so disastrous? How have humans reacted to flooding in the past and is there really any method to control floods? Gather two of everything in your household, load the family ark and float over to the Thomas Savage Visitor Center at Fort Snelling State Park for a deluge of information on rivers, flood plains, and floods.
Fort Snelling State Park

Women’s Fly Fishing Clinic, Afton State Park – FULL
9a.m-3 p.m. Women?s Fly Fishing Clinic, Afton State Park
Join us to learn what you need to know to fly fish. In the morning we will learn about fish and what they eat while learning to tie flies, in the afternoon we will talk about rods and equipment, safety and casting. If conditions permit we will fish on the St Croix River. Register at 651-231-6968.
Afton State Park

Maple Syrup Demonstration
10–3 Tap into a sweet springtime tradition by taking part in a maple-syrup program at Maplewood State Park on Saturday, April 9, 2016. All ages are invited to take part in the program scheduled for 10:00AM to 3:00PM.
Come out to the park and see how maple syrup is made. At this on-going demonstration you will learn about the process from tapping the trees, and collecting the sap to the boiling of the sap into pure maple syrup. Even try a taste of pure sweet maple syrup. New this year: Horse drawn wagon rides.
Maplewood State Park

Bison Tour***
10:30–1 PM $8 Minneopa State Park will be offering Guided Bison Tours three times: 10:30, 11:40 and 12:50. Visitors will have an opportunity to ride through the bison range with the Minneopa Area Naturalist Scott Kudelka and hear more about North America?s largest mammal. We will talk about how the herd is doing at Minneopa and some of its unique characteristics. Pre-registration is required for this event. Reservations can be made online, mndnr.gov/reservations, or through the reservation call center: 866-857-2757. There is a fee of $8.00 for adults, $5.00 for 5 to 12 year olds and children under 5 are free. Reservations can be made starting on March 9th. The tour will start at the Group Campground on the campground side of Minneopa State Park. All vehicles need a daily ($5.00) or annual ($25.00) permit.
Minneopa State Park

04/09/17

Sprout About!
1–2 PM Spring had sprung which stimulates many plants and animals to awaken from their long winter sleeps. The ground softens from the sun?s warmth and everything is eager to start new life or continue where they left off last autumn. Wake up from your sleep and head down to Fort Snelling State Park with the naturalist to investigate these miracles of nature.
Fort Snelling State Park

Bison Tour
Minneopa State Park will be offering Guided Bison Tours three times: 10:30, 11:40 and 12:50. Visitors will have an opportunity to ride through the bison range with the Minneopa Area Naturalist Scott Kudelka and hear more about North America?s largest mammal. We will talk about how the herd is doing at Minneopa and some of its unique characteristics. Pre-registration is required for this event. Reservations can be made online, mndnr.gov/reservations, or through the reservation call center: 866-857-2757. There is a fee of $8.00 for adults, $5.00 for 5 to 12 year olds and children under 5 are free. Reservations can be made starting on March 9th. The tour will start at the Group Campground on the campground side of Minneopa State Park. All vehicles need a daily ($5.00) or annual ($25.00) permit.
Minneopa State Park

04/10/17

Bird Watching Trek
8:00 – 10:30 a.m. Join us for a bird watching trek at the Old Cedar Avenue Trailhead of the Long Meadow Lake Unit and learn about the birds that visit the refuge during their spring migration. During spring migration observe a mix of waterfowl, raptors, warblers, and other songbirds resting and feeding before they continue their northerly migration. Birders of all skill levels are welcome. Bring along your binoculars, your favorite field guide, and dress appropriately for the weather.
Minnesota Valley US Fish & Wildlife: Old Cedar Avenue Trailhead

04/11/17

Bird Watching Trek
8:00 – 10:30 a.m. Join us for a bird watching trek at the Rapids Lake Unit and learn about the birds that visit the refuge during their spring migration. During spring migration observe a mix of waterfowl, raptors, warblers, and other songbirds resting and feeding before they continue their northerly migration. Birders of all skill levels are welcome. Bring along your binoculars, your favorite field guide, and dress appropriately for the weather.
Minnesota Valley US Fish & Wildlife: Rapids Lake Unit

04/11/17

Sky Dance*
7:30 p.m. – 9:00 p.m. Late March and April are special times of ritual for American Woodcock. Meet us at Clif Fen Trailhead Kiosk by the soccer fields and come along on a journey to observe their unforgettable aerial displays as twilight takes hold of the refuge. There is nothing like it! Space is very limited and reservations are required. Cameras are not allowed during this program and red flashlights will be provided. Please wear sturdy footwear and dark, quiet clothing to avoid disturbing the birds. To register call Judy Geck at 952-858-0731 or email minnesotavalleyrefuge@gmail.com.
Clif Fen Trailhead of the Black Dog Preserve Unit

Also!

Tuesday through Saturdays in April — Poetry Corner
9–4 PM Celebrate National Poetry Month with us! Every week, we will have a different type of poetry prompt and nature-related poetry books to browse. Stop by the refuge and try your hand at composing a haiku, acrostic, limerick or shape poem on our magnetic whiteboard.
Minnesota Valley US Fish & Wildlife Bloomington Education and Visitor Center (Hearth Room)

Upcoming . . .

Running For Justice Bike-A-Thon
2 day Bike-A-Thon, Duluth to Elk River. Our Bike-A-Thon is unique in that we are raising awareness of sex trafficking and raising funds to give as we see it is needed. Call: (612) 567-1266
8525 W Skyline Pkwy, Duluth, MN 55810