Weekend Nature Activities: Dec. 10–13

Week . . .

Dec 7
Proposed Muskie Management in Big Marine Lake —Public Meeting
7 PM to 9 PM DNR is seeking public input to help determine if Big Marine Lake should be stocked with low-densities of muskellunge in 2016. The meeting will include an informational presentation, and opportunities to submit written comments. More info.
Scandia Community and Senior Center (14727 209th St. N., Scandia, MN)

Dec 8
Proposed Muskie Management in Otter Tail County —Public Meeting
7 PM to 9 PM
DNR is seeking public input to help determine if one of three lakes — Franklin, Lizzie, or Loon — should be stocked with low-densities of muskellunge in 2016. The meeting will include an informational presentation, and opportunities to submit written comments. More info.
Lake Region Electric Cooperative (1401 S. Broadway, Pelican Rapids, MN)

Dec 9
Winter Phenology Hike
9–11 AM  Stop by for an informal hike, most Wednesdays at 8:00a.m., starting at the Coon Rapids Dam Visitor Center. We will walk, talk, share information, greet visitors, tend nest boxes, pick up the park and enjoy the park for an hour or more. Call 651-429-8007 by noon on Tuesday to verify the walk is on and let the naturalist know you are planning on attending.
Coon Rapids Dam Regional Park

Dec 9
Proposed Muskie Management —Public Meeting
7 PM to 9 PM DNR is seeking public input to help determine if four lakes spread geographically throughout Minnesota should be stocked with low-densities of muskellunge in 2016. The meeting will include an informational presentation, and opportunities to submit written comments. More info.
Bunker Hills Activity Center (Oak Room, 550 Bunker Lake Blvd. NW, Andover, MN)

 

Weekend . . .

——————SATURDAY——————

Dec 12
Holiday Bird Count $$$
8–11 AM $5 We will begin by checking the Wargo Nature Center feeders. Although this will not be an official Christmas Bird Count it will provide an example of how such counts are conducted. It will also provide an opportunity to add winter visitors to our 2015 Year of the Bird count. Pre-registration is required by noon on 12/11. Meet at the Wargo Nature Center before visiting other areas of the park.
Wargo Nature Center (7701 Main St., Lino Lakes, MN 55038)

Dec 12
The Big Chill
9 AM to 10:30 AM, and a women’s program 10–11:30 How do animals prepare for, survive, and thrive in winter? It is not all that different than you and I. Join us for some hands-on games and outdoor exploration. A park vehicle permit is required.
Fort Snelling State Park

Dec 12
Bird Walk Series
9–11 AM $5 Join experienced birders as they guide you through several of Anoka County’s beautiful parks. Enjoy seeing and/or hearing more than twenty-five species of birds on each walk. A checklist of Minnesota birds and a map of each park will be provided. All levels of birding ability are welcome. Pre-registration is required.
East Coon Rapids Dam Regional Park (9750 Egret Boulevard, Coon Rapids, MN 55433)

Dec 12
Wreath-making 101 $$$
10 am and Noon, and 1–3 PM. $8.50 (materials). If you’ve never made your own evergreen wreath, here’s an opportunity to learn how–and take yours home! Balsam, pine, and cedar boughs, wreath forms, wire, and even a red ribbon will be supplied, along with a demonstration and easy instructions. Bring your own decorations if you’d like to customize your wreath even more. Register, call: 218-308-2300.
Lake Bemidji State Park

Dec 12
Animal Tracks on Paper
10 AM to 11:30 AM Naturalists study animal tracks to “read” the story of the animals past activities. Learn to read these stories and identify the “authors,” then create your own story on paper big enough to use as wrapping paper for gifts. Registration required, call (651) 436-5391.
Afton State Park (also 10–11 AM at William O’Brien State Park, call 651-433-0500)

Dec 12
Santa in the Floodplain Forest $$$
$5 ages 0-15, Ages 16+ free Visit with Santa, sit in his river canoe, and create a special craft. Discover caribou and reindeer secrets and look for enchanted forest creatures. Search for elf houses and hidden messages outside. Refreshments included. Cameras welcome! Children 17 years and younger must be accompanied by a registered adult. Reservations required.
Carl Kroening Interpretive Center

Dec 12
Make a Holiday Nature Ornament
10 AM to 12 PM Hey kids, join us at the visitor center and use your creativity to make nature-themed ornaments and gifts to share with friends and family this holiday season. We’ll have the wood stove burning and there will be stories and cocoa and cookies too! This is a free program but registration is required. Space is limited. Sign up prior to December 9 by email at sara.holger@state.mn.us or by phone at 507-932-3007 ext 226.
Whitewater State Park

Dec 12
Saturday with a Scientist: Wolves in Minnesota $$$
Did you know that Minnesota has the largest wolf population in the lower 48 states? From pup development to hunting and feeding, find out how wolves (and their prey) use physical and social adaptations to survive. Also, discover current research, become a nature investigator, and make your own replica of the museum’s famous wolf diorama.

11:30 am – Storytelling: Dakota Perspectives on Wolves, Harlan LaFontaine (Sunkmanitu Hotanyka, which means “wolf with a loud voice”)

12:00 pm – Wolves on the Hunt, Dr. David Mech, renowned wolf expert and founder of the International Wolf Center in Ely, MN (copies of Wolves on the Hunt will be available for purchase/signing at the event)

1:00 pm – Researching Yellowstone Wolves: The Work Behind the Numbers, Hans Martin

“Saturday with a Scientist” Authentic science and inquiry learning designed for all ages, providing a unique opportunity to explore and participate in hands-on activities inspired and led by University of Minnesota researchers and special guest experts. Free with admission (Members, UMN faculty, staff, students: free; Seniors 62+: $7; Adults: $8; Youth 3-17: $5; Children under 3: Free)
Bell Museum

Dec 12
Curry Cook-off! $$$
6:30 PM $10–20 Enter the curry cook-off with your best curry recipe or sign up to sing a solo or ensemble number for the showcase. There will be people willing to accompany you on piano. This is a fundraiser for the Playhouse. A short membership meeting will take place at 6 p.m. and the curry cook-off will begin at 6:30 p.m. The Broadway hits will start at 7:30 p.m. Cost is $10 for the cook-off to enter and to eat and $10 for the showcase for a total of $20 of good food and great entertainment! Call for more info. 218-387-1284.
Arrowhead Center for the Arts (51 W. 5th St., Grand Marais, MN 55604)

 

——————SUNDAY——————

Dec 13
Lucia Dagen 2015 (Actual Lucia Day!) $$$
9–11 AM  $12/ adults $5.00/children under 12
6–9 AM Gammelgården continues this beloved Swedish Jul Tradition! Candlelight Swedish prayer service in the Gammel Krykan (6:00 am and 8:30 am). Jul Fest Breakfast & Svenskarnas Dag Choir Lucia Program (7:00 am and 9:00 am). Tickets available at the door.
Gammelgarden Museum, 20880 Olinda Trail | Scandia, Minnesota

Dec 13
Advanced Wreath-Making: Decorating Your Wreath $$$
1 PM to 3 PM $5 materials fee. Our wreath-making expert Becky will teach all the secrets of decorating a gorgeous holiday wreath–beginning with how to tie that really perfect bow! She’ll introduce different ideas ranging from using natural materials, like pine cones or acorns, to adding those personal touches that make it unique. Each participant must bring a finished but undecorated wreath to the program. We will supply a variety of decorating materials to try out, but you may want to bring your own as well. Old or new ornaments, small toys, or other small, meaningful objects are a great place to start. Register, call: 218-308-2300.
Lake Bemidji State Park

Dec 13
Snowshoeing for Beginners
1 PM to 3 PM Learn the history of snowshoes, the different styles available, then if we have enough snow strap some on your feet and walk down the trail. Reservation required if you need to reserve a pair of snowshoes. 651-231-6968 for info.
Gateway State Trail (Meet at the Hwy 96 lot)

Dec 13
Fur, Feathers, and Fins: Exploring Winter Insulation
1 PM to 2:30 PM Learn about some of nature’s best insulated animals at Fort Snelling State Park. We’ll start inside with a presentation before heading out to explore the park.
Fort Snelling State Park

 

Upcoming . . .

Dec 15
Elk Management Plan Revisions —Public Meeting
6:30 PM to 8:30 PM Public input meeting on elk management plan revisions. Learn more.
Lancaster Community Center (95 2nd St. W., Lancaster, MN)

Dec 15
Little Babe in the Big Woods
9 AM to 10 AM Each first and third Wednesday of the month, get out of the house and meet other parents and babies for this bi-weekly nature themed get together. This week discover nature play in fall leaves and experiment with fall color fun! Open to babies ages new born to three years old. Info. and pre-register, call 320-354-2055. Dates include:

November 4 & 18
December 2 & 16
January 6 & 20

Sibley State Park (Meet in the Interpretive Center)

Dec 16
Winter Bird Walk
10 AM to 11:30 AM Winter is a great time to learn to identify birds since there are fewer of them that stay during the winter months. Binoculars and field guides are available to those that need them. A great excuse to get a winter walk in your day!
Brown’s Creek State Trail (Meet at Coldwater Stop, Neal Ave parking lot)

Dec 16
Elk Management Plan Revisions
—Public Meeting
6:30 PM to 8:30 PM Public input meeting on elk management plan revisions. Meeting will take place from 6:30-8:30pm on Wednesday, Dec. 16, 2015 at the Grygla Community Center, 127 S. Main Ave., Grygla, MN. Learn more.
Grygla Community Center, Grygla, MN

Dec 18
Wild Rice Cook-Off!
1 pm. 20 contestants will bake or cook a dish or dessert with White Earth’s wild rice flour. All contestants will receive 5 lbs of wild rice flour to work with. To compete, email carlene.hisgun@whiteearth-nsn.gov or call 218-983-3285 x5907 by Dec 9th.
White Earth RTC Cafeteria

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Dec 19
Snowshoe Hike
1 PM to 2 PM Going for a snowshoe hike is a wonderful way to enjoy winter and a landscape covered in snow. Hike across the snow-covered terrain as a way to embrace this season’s natural environment. Learn the history of snowshoeing, get tips on different types of snowshoes, and explore fun places at Minneopa State Park. Hike down to the confluence of Minneopa Creek and the Minnesota River. Be prepared for some steep and uneven terrain. This sport is one of the simplest and safest ways to get outdoors during the winter. Snowshoes can be rented at Minneopa State Park by calling 507-389-5464 or stop in the office.
Minneopa State Park (meet at the Group Campground, Campground side of Minneopa State Park)

Dec 19
Snowshoeing for Beginners
1 PM to 3 PM Learn the history of snowshoes, the different styles available, then if we have enough snow strap some on your feet and walk down the trail. Reservation required if you need to reserve a pair of snowshoes. Meet at the Hwy 96 lot on the Gateway State Trail. 651-231-6968 for more information.
Brown’s Creek State Trail

Dec 19
Snowshoeing for Beginners
1 PM to 2:30 PM Snowshoeing is a fun way to beat those winter blues! Learn the history of snowshoes, and then try on a pair during a guided snowshoe walk. Bring your own snowshoes or use a pair from the park. Program will start inside the Visitor Center, registration is required. Call 612-7258-2724 to register.
Fort Snelling State Park

Dec 19
Annual Winter Bird Survey —Volunteer Activity
10 AM to 12 PM This annual count provides a record of the birds that winter in the park. On this year’s birding route you can travel through hardwood and pine forests either on foot or on skis, depending on snow conditions. Open to all birding abilities. Bring your binoculars and field guides. Meet at the Visitor Center.
Lake Bemidji State Park