Weekend Nature Activities: June 19–21

Happy #PollinatorWeek and Father’s Day. Get outside and bee happy! All activities are FREE unless otherwise noted.

 

Friday, June 19

———Friday mornin’———

Kids Fishing Fridays
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.
Lake Bemidji State Park

Project Learning Tree for Preschool & Kindergarten Educators $$$ *FULL*
9 AM to 3:30 PM For: This workshop is full. To get put on a waiting list, send an email to Laura Duffey laura.duffey@state.mn.us . Early childhood educators, Kindergarten and Grade 1 teachers, Scout leaders, Head Start teachers, naturalists, and environmental educators. $45 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.
Maplewood Nature Center

Nature Roaming
10 AM to 12 PM The Naturalist will be at the Falls Area for a couple of hours to answer questions about some of the natural and historical
characteristics at Minneopa State Park. Visitors will have a chance to learn about what is living in the Minnesota River and Minneopa Creek including mussels, fish, and macroinvertebrates. Are you looking for information on the height of the waterfalls or who built the granite rock buildings in the park? All of these answers and more help understand why Minneopa is such a unique area.
Minneopa State Park

I Can Fish! Kid’s Fishing Fridays
10:30 AM to 12 PM Kids, bring an adult with you and learn the new skill of fishing. Suitable for ages 6-12. NOTES: An adult must accompany children. Bring your own fishing pole or use one provided (limited number). Poles are available on first come first serve basis. Artificial bait provided. Non-Minnesota residents will need a fishing license (within the park, purchase at Itasca Sports Rental).
Itasca State Park (Meet at the Itasca Fishing Pier, below Douglas Lodge)

Headwaters History Hike
11 AM to 11:30 AM Learn about fun facts of the Mississippi Headwaters during this short naturalist-led walk to the Headwaters of the Mississippi River.
Itasca State Park (Meet at the compass rose under the porch of the Mary Gibbs Mississippi Headwaters Center

Falls Loop Hike
11 AM to 12 PM Witness the rich history of Gooseberry Falls State Park as we hike around the falls on a guided hike. Imagine what Gooseberry would have looked like and see what remains of the past.
Gooseberry Falls State Park (Meet at the art column right outside of the visitor center)

Flint Knapping Demo
12 PM to 4 PM Join local artist Al Anderson as he demonstrates flint knapping, or the traditional form of making stone tools, like arrowheads, by hand. Drop in any time to try your hand at knapping, to watch Al in action, and see amazing tools he has made.
Gooseberry Falls State Park (Visit the tent outside of the visitor center.)

Tall Grass Story Time
12 PM to 1 PM Families with children ages 2-6, are welcome each Friday for a short walk to the prairie followed by a story. We will sit on a blanket, read a story, and enjoy a snack (if you choose to bring one). This safe, stroller friendly walk is a great way to explore the park beyond the swimming pond. Children must be accompanied by an adult. Program starts at the Nature Center.
Buffalo River State Park

———Friday afternoon———

Nature Time at the Beach
1 PM to 2 PM Hey Kids! Let’s meet at the beach each weekday from 1–2 pm (Memorial Day–Labor Day) to learn about nature at Whitewater State Park. Each day will be a different activity.
Whitewater State Park

Nature Scavenger Hunt
1 PM to 2 PM Get in touch with nature by going for a scavenger hunt among the trees and prairie plants of Minneopa State Park. The fun part of this program is to searching for natural items like leaves, flowers, plant products (i.e. fruits, berries, nuts or seeds), animal tracks and other signs of the environmental world around us. We will also see what type of smells and sounds that can be identified. Please meet at the waterfalls side of Minneopa State Park.
Minneopa State Park

I Can Fish – Shoreline Fridays
1 PM to 3 PM Join us each week as we learn all about fishing: identifying, casting, equipment and more. Then take your new skills and spend a little time with us fishing along the shore of the river. Equipment, bait, and instruction provided. MN residents do not need a fishing license. Meet at the River Inn Interpretive Center.
Jay Cooke State Park

Wildflowers of the Cascades Trail
1 PM to 3 PM Summer is nearly here and wildflowers are blooming along the trail to the Cascades Waterfalls. Join a naturalist-guided hike to discover these beauties. Learn how to use a field guide to identify flowers by their color or shape. We can look for wild strawberries that should ripen soon too.
Tettegouche State Park (Meet in the Visitor Center by 1pm to hike over to the Cascades trail.)

Nature Hike
1 PM to 2 PM Come catch butterflies and damselflies, check out the berry bushes and look for birds. Meet the naturalist at the St. Croix Lodge for this 1/2-mile hike. The trail includes staircases, grassy areas and loose sand. Wear appropriate footwear and bring bug spray!
St. Croix State Park

Geochaching 101
2 PM to 3:30 PM Discover why this high tech treasure hunt is so popular and learn the basics of finding a cache using a GPS. We will also discuss how to create your own GPS course right in your backyard. Call ahead or sign up at the park office as GPS units are limited. Children should be accompanied by an adult or responsible sibling.
Buffalo River State Park (Meet at the Nature Center.)

 Tree ID Relay —Jr. Naturalist Education
2:30 PM to 3:30 PM
What tree has heart shaped leaves? Which pine tree is our state tree? Kids ages 6 to 12, join the naturalist and discover Itasca’s amazing trees during this fun and fast paced relay game!
Itasca State Park (Meet by the Museum Amphitheater, below Wegmann’s Store; If raining, in the Jacob V. Brower Visitor Center classroom).

Traditional Animal Uses —Five Facts in Five Minutes Education
2:30 PM to 4:30 PM 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 (Near the Mississippi Headwaters; under the porch of the Mary Gibbs Mississippi Headwaters Center if rain.)

I Can Fish! *FULL*
3 PM to 5 PM This program is currently full with a waitlist. Please call 612-725-2724 to be placed on the waitlist or for more info. Join us to try your hand at a classic Minnesota hobby! You’ll learn about common Minnesota fish species, how to bait a hook, how to cast, and much more! Equipment provided, no license required  for Minnesota residents. Registration required.
Fort Snelling State Park

I Can Fish!
3 PM to 5 PM Let’s go fishing! Join us as we learn all about fishing – identifying species, casting and more. We provide the bait, poles and instructors. Then, take your skills and fish with us from the bank of the Rum River. Minnesota residents do not need a fishing license for this activity. Meet at the interpretive center. We will walk a short distance, fish until 4:30, then finish up back at the interpretive center by 5 p.m.
Mille Lacs Kathio State Park

The Secret of Skulls: Investigation Station
3 PM to 4 PM Find the hidden clues that skulls reveal about an animal’s favorite foods, hunting style, and life history. This drop-in station will be ongoing in front of the visitor center from 3 to 4 p.m.
Interstate State Park

Skulls Nature Cart
3 PM to 4 PM Skulls and teeth can tell us a lot about how an animal lives. Drop in to the Visitor Center and get your hands on a variety of animal skulls and learn how to interpret the stories that they tell.
Tettegouche State Park

Feeding Frenzy
4 PM to 4:30 PM Come to the Interpretive Center to watch our wildlife ambassadors eat!
St. Croix State Park

Campfire Cooking
4:30 PM to 5:30 PM Meet at the park office to learn camp cooking techniques from a seasoned professional!
Moose Lake State Park

campfirecooking

——Friday evening———

Fly Tying
6 PM to 8 PM Learn the art of fly tying—truly functional little pieces of art. Choose your favorite colors or ones you think the fish will love. Add feathers or something shiny. All equipment is provided. Sign up also for the Fly Fishing Workshop on Saturday, and you’ll be able to test them out in Annie Battle Lake, Glendalough’s unique Heritage Fishery. Participants must be at least 8 years old. Space is limited, so call the park to register.
Glendalough State Park

How to Live in Balance with Minnesota Beavers
6:30 PM to 7:30 PM Besides humans no other mammal has so much impact on the land besides beavers. Discover how we can live in balance with these flat tailed mammals and how they have adapted to a life in wetlands and forests.
Sibley State Park (Meet in the Cedar Hill Shelter Building. Bring a camp chair if you don’t want to sit on the benches.)

Wildflowers of Afton
7 PM to 8 PM Stroll around the park?s trail to see what beauties are blooming in the park.
Afton State Park

Go ‘n’ Seine
7 PM Come and drag the seine net to see what’s swimming just off the shore of William O’Brien State Park! Minnows, fish, turtles, we’ll talk about whatever comes up at this hands-on activity for all ages. Be prepared to get a little wet, if you’d like! Water shoes/life jackets recommended and kids must be accompanied by an adult.
William O’Brien State Park (Meet at the swimming beach at Lake Alice; In case of inclement weather, please meet at the Visitor Center)

Beavers at Sunset
7 PM to 8 PM Come learn about the important role that beavers play in the natural world. We?ll dress up a participant as a beaver to learn about beaver adaptations and we?ll take a short stroll to look for beaver signs and hopefully observe active beavers at sunset. Meet at the Nature Store amphitheater.
Whitewater State Park

Wise Old Owls
7:30 PM to 8:30 PM Discover the mysteries of the Northwoods Owls through an exciting interactive hour long program with a naturalist. We will explore what makes an owl unique as well as whooo you might hear out in the woods! Meet at the Lady Slipper Lodge.
Gooseberry Falls State Park

Animal Legends —Campfire Stories
7:30 PM to 8 PM Gather around for an evening of animal legends. Hear the legend of Sky Woman and the creation of earth on the turtles back, how fisher brought summer to the people and more.
Itasca State Park (Meet in the picnic grounds at the Museum Amphitheater located below Wegmann’s Store Ruins; If raining, in the Jacob V. Brower Visitor Center classroom)

Bird Behavior
8 PM to 9 PM Like people, birds show some unusual behaviors at different times of the year. You may have noticed some from your feeder favorites, but many others have interesting methods of gathering food, finding a mate and more.
Wild River State Park

Special Places at Jay Cooke State Park
8 PM to 9 PM For 100 years, Jay Cooke State Park has awed and inspired its many visitors. Join us to discover some of the special places that make this park so unique and keep visitors coming back year after year. Perhaps you’ll even discover a new favorite place of your own.
Jay Cooke State Park (Meet at the River Inn Interpretive Center.)

Creatures of the Night —Campfire Program
8 PM At this talk and demonstration we will discuss owls, raccoons, skunks, bats and other nocturnal wildlife. Meet at the council ring in Lakeview Campground. In case of rain the program will be held in the Lakeview Picnic Shelter. (45 minutes)
Father Hennepin State Park

Universe in the Park
8:30 PM Enjoy an evening learning about and viewing the night sky. University of Minnesota graduate students will begin the evening with a powerpoint astronomy program. If skies are clear, participants will move outdoors to view the night sky with telescopes.
Be sure to bring a flashlight and insect repellent.
Lake Maria State Park

 

 

Saturday, June 20

———Saturday morning———

Science Saturday – Lichen of Northern Minnesota
8 AM to 10 AM Ever wonder what that is clinging to the tree or covering the rock? Chances are it is a lichen. Join Meredith Long, Wolf Ridge Naturalist, as we explore the world of Lichens. We will learn what a lichen is, then go for a hike in the park to discover the diversity of lichens in northern Minnesota. Along the way we will learn about the different forms lichens take and what they need to survive. Come curious and we will explore the world of lichens together.
Lake Vermilion – Soudan Underground Mine State Park (Meet at the Soudan Underground Mine visitor center and be prepared to be outside.)

The topics for the rest of this year are as follows (subject to change based on availability of presenters):
July 4th Water quality by pontoon (registration is required as space is limited)
July 18th Great Lakes Worm Watch
August 1st Mushrooms of Minnesota
August 15th Monarch Watch and butterfly survey

Birding at Bear Head
8 AM to 10 AM Meet at the park office for a guided walk to listen and look for the variety of bird species within the park. A limited number of binoculars will be available for free checkout or bring your own. Dress for the weather, insect repellent is recommended. Current Minnesota State Park vehicle permits are required. Questions call park office 218-365-7229.
Bear Head Lake State Park

Beekeeping Beyond the Basics Class $$$
9 am–2 pm JoAnne Sabin, beekeeper and a member of the Minnesota Hobby Beekeepers Association (MHBA) will be back to cover more in depth topics for beekeepers who know the basics. Learn more about bee behavior, hive management, equipment, bee health, and swarms. Bring those pesky questions that come up when you actually have bees. Participants will receive handouts of all topics covered including a list of resources, and will be able to see beekeeping equipment, and catalogs. The class fee is $35 for River Market Co-op owners and $40 for non-owners. Call 651-439-0366 to register.
221 n. main st., Stillwater, MN 55082

Fly Fishing Workshop
9 AM to 3 PM A fly rod whips back and forth, depositing a home-spun lure above the gaping mouth of a large-mouth bass ? the perfect cast, and it could be yours! Learn the basics of fly fishing from DNR Minnaqua experts, practice knot tying and casting, then test your new skills on pristine Annie Battle Lake, a unique Heritage Fishery which abounds with large panfish. All equipment is provided. Bring a hat, sunscreen, water, and a bag lunch. A fishing license is required only if you are not a Minnesota resident. Participants must be at least eight years old. Space is limited so call the park at 218-864-0110 to register.
Glendalough State Park

I Can Rock Climb $$$
9–10:30 a.m. (Also: 11 a.m.–12:30 p.m. or 1:30–3 p.m. or 3:30–5 p.m.) $10 or Free. Must Register HERE. Designed especially for first-time and beginning climbers ages five and older; no experience is necessary. Participants will try rock climbing first-hand with help from skilled guides. Register for one of four sessions:Hands-on instruction by trained professionals from Vertical Endeavors Guided Adventures. No experience necessary. Use of helmet, harness and shoes. A supportive environment. Great for kids! Depending on group sizes, participants will have the opportunity to ascend one or two routes.
Blue Mounds State Park

Invasive Removal, Seed Collection Volunteer Project
10 AM to 2 PM If your into weeding, we have a project for you! Come out for a day of invasive removal and prairie seed collection. See the site’s web page for a map and description. This event will be led by the Lost Valley Prairie Site Steward, Jim Smetana. No advance sign-up, but contact us if you have a large group.
Lost Valley Prairie SNA

Nature Stories and Activities (Saturdays)
10 AM to 11 AM Come out to the park for a nature themed pre-school story time and activity. Each Saturday we will have a new theme, so come every week! We will read a book and then do activities related to that weeks topic. Themes and activities change each week from short nature hikes to crafts. This program is designed for pre-school to early elementary school students.
Lake Carlos State Park

Archery in the Park
10 AM to 2 PM Learn a life-long skill at this hands-on introductory archery program. Certified instructor will guide you in safe handling and shooting of a bow. All equipment is provided and no experience is necessary; personal archery equipment is not permitted. Must be age 8 or older.
Forestville/Mystery Cave State Park (Held at the Mystery Cave picnic grounds.)

Crow Wing Canoe Days & Fur Trade Encampment
10 AM to 3 PM Participants will be able to canoe a ten mile stretch of the Mississippi River between Kiwanis Park in Brainerd and Crow Wing State Park. People will need to provide their own canoes. Canoeists will leave Kiwanis Park at 11am. A shuttle will return canoeists back to Kiwanis Park for their vehicles. The Crow Wing County Muzzleloaders will have a fur trade encampment set up in the group camp at Crow Wing State Park between 10am and 3pm.
Crow Wing State Park

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. LIRPF volunteers will guide you on this tour.
Itasca State Park

Bats! —Education Five Facts in Five Minutes
10 AM to 12 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

Pothole Scavenger Hunt
10 AM to 3 PM Drop-in the visitor center between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. to pick-up a short pothole scavenger hunt. Explore the story of the glacial potholes as you search for clues and claim a prize if you finish.
Interstate State Park

Trout Hatchery Tour
10 AM to 11:30 AM Crystal Springs Trout Hatchery, just a few miles outside of Whitewater State Park, is home to many trout that are being raised to be distributed in Southeast Minnesota, in Lake Superior, and throughout the state. Come on this tour to learn more about the process of raising trout in this unique setting fed by Artesian spring water. Meet at the Visitor Center and bring transportation to get to the hatchery. Registration is required; call 507-932-3007, extension 226 or email sara.holger@state.mn.us .
Whitewater State Park

Story Time
10 AM to 11 AM Come out to the park for a nature themed story time and activity. Each Saturday listed starting at 10am, we will have a new theme, so come enjoy them all! We will read a book and then do an activity to follow. Activities very each week from short nature hikes to crafts. This program is designed for pre-school to early elementary school students. Call the park for more information regarding exact details of this program or directions to the park
Glacial Lakes State Park

Explore Lake Life by Canoe *FULL*
10 AM to 12 PM This program is currently full with a waitlist. Please call 612-725-2724 to be placed on the waitlist or for more information. Minnesota lakes are full of life. Join a naturalist on a canoe trip to see what thrives in Snelling Lake. Adults must accompany children. Life jackets are provided. Please meet at Snelling Lake Beach. Registration required. Call 612-725-2724 to register.
Fort Snelling State Park

Camping at Kathio . . . in 1,500 B.C.
10:30 AM to 11:30 AM Step back in time as we look at artifacts and take a short walk to locations where archaeologists found evidence of a village from the 1600s and a campsite dating to over 3,000 years ago. Meet at the interpretive center.
Mille Lacs Kathio State Park

Bugs and Blooms: Nature Walk
10:30 AM to 12 PM Ever wished you could walk through the woods with an expert? Take this nature walk with Naturalist Becky and she’ll help you identify whatever is in season. We’ll enjoy a leisurely stroll in the park identifying flora and fauna and getting your questions answered as we go. Learn the names and locations of herbaceous and woody plants native to the park.
Zippel Bay State Park

Kids Activity: Tree Detectives
10:30 AM Learn 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 in Lakeview Picnic Area. In case of rain this program will be cancelled. (45 minutes)
Father Hennepin State Park

Falls Loop Hike
11 AM to 12 PM Come witness the rich history of Gooseberry Falls State Park as we hike around the falls on a guided hike. Imagine what Gooseberry would have looked like and see what remains of the past.
Gooseberry Falls State Park, Meet at the art column right outside of the visitor center.

Canoeing 101: A Beginner’s Guide to Canoeing
12:30 PM to 2:30 PM Why does my canoe not go where I want it to? Why does my canoe not go in a straight line? If you have these questions or if you have never canoed before, join our trained canoe instructor to learn the basics of canoeing. The program will cover basic strokes, techniques, and safety practices to make your canoeing experiences enjoyable. Meet at the park visitor center. Call the park office to register, as space is limited. Must be at least 8 years old and youth must be accompanied by an adult. Canoes and equipment are included in your registration. The program takes place outside, so dress appropriately and bring water and snacks.
Lake Vermilion – Soudan Underground Mine State Park

———Saturday afternoon———

Family Fishing $$$
1 PM to 3 PM $5 Course details: A fishing outing for the whole family! Find out what types of fish are in our lakes, how to prepare your equipment, what bait to use, and what to do with the fish once you catch them. All equipment and Minnesota fishing license are provided for the day. Ages 6+ Course dates and times: June 20, 2015, 1p.m. to 3p.m.
Cedar Lake Farm Regional Park, New Prague

Animal Tracking
1 PM to 2 PM Meet the naturalist on the back deck of the Interpretive Center. Learn to read the signs wild animals leave behind and make a plaster track to take home! Great for kids.
St. Croix State Park

Family Geocaching for S’mores
1 PM to 3 PM Course details: Yummy, gooey s’mores! Learn geocaching basics and enjoy your adventure searching for delicious treasure. Children must be accompanied by an adult. Course dates and times: June 20, 2015, 1p.m.-3p.m. Cost: $8/person
Clearly Lake Regional Park, Prior Lake

Intro to Dutch Oven Cooking at Carley State Park
1 PM to 2 PM Join MN Master Naturalist volunteers, Curtis and Susan Buck, at the picnic shelter at Carley State Park to learn some tasty campfire recipes you can make with a Dutch oven. There will be food to sample!
Carley State Park

Archery in the Park
1 PM to 4 PM The sport of shooting arrows has been around for thousands of years. First humans used archery as a way to hunt animals and later as a way to compete against each other. Archery is an activity that people from all walks of life and almost every size and ability can participate and have fun. This program covers the basics of archery (safety, proper care of the equipment and how to use a bow). Participants will be able to practice their new skills on the range by taking a turn shooting arrows at targets. Some come learn a new life long skill. All equipment is provided and no personal or outside equipment will be allowed on the range. Must be 8 years and older to participate. Adults must accompany younger participants. Come learn a little about this sport and get to try it out for yourself. Amount of shooting time varies on number of participants. The program is held outside, so dress appropriately. Please meet at the Beach Area.
Lake Carlos State Park

Making Mountains out of Ant Hills – Ant Mound Hike
1 PM to 2 PM Join us on a hike to explore some of the park’s amazing ant mounds. Learn about the incredible adaptations that allow these little critters to have a big impact on their surroundings.
Jay Cooke State Park (Meet at the River Inn Interpretive Center.)

Orchids and Bees 1 to 3!
1 PM to 3 PM Our northwestern state parks are blessed with the rare beauty of native orchids. Their relationship with bee and flies is an interesting story of cooperation. During early summer some of the most interesting and attractive orchids flower, including Minnesota’s State Flower, the Showy Lady’s-slipper. Visit Lake Bemidji State Park, Saturday June 20, and see if you can catch a glimpse of Dragon’s mouth orchids or Stemless lady’s-slipper along the park’s boardwalk.
Lake Bemidji State Park

Archery In Parks
1 PM to 3 PM Archery has been a popular sport and life skill for thousands of years. Join certified archery instructors for a hands-on shot at archery. Designed for ages 8 and up and beginners are especially welcome! Kids must be age 8 to participate in the activity, also kids 15 and under must be accompanied by an adult. Bows and arrows provided. The program will be on-going at the Picnic Grounds.
William O’Brien State Park

Itasca’s Forest Hike
1:30 PM to 2:30 PM Discover what wildflowers, trees and wildlife make up the Itasca forest. Learn a few traditional uses of the more common plants. Topics may vary each week depending on what’s blooming and spotted along the trail.
Itasca State Park (Meet outside Forest Inn; across from Douglas Lodge

River MonstersEducation Junior SNA Naturalist
2 PM to 4 PM Young scientists, ages 10-14, are welcome to participate in the Junior Scientific and Natural Areas Naturalist program each Saturday. Topics and activities are designed to explore native prairies and introduce families to SNA sites located near Buffalo River State Park. This week we will collect macro invertebrates to assess the health and quality of the Buffalo River. Dress for tall grass, wood ticks and uneven ground and bring plenty of water. Please confirm your interest in attending by calling the park office at (218) 498-2124. In the event of rain, program will take place inside the Nature Center. Consider packing dinner and your swimsuit to enjoy the picnic grounds and swimming beach at Buffalo River after the program. The event is free but there is a $5 daily fee to enter the State Park or you can purchase an annual pass.
Buffalo River State Park (Meet at the Nature Center located in Buffalo River State Park at 2:00 pm.)

Archery in the Park
2 PM to 4 PM Be your own action heroes! Why not go beyond video games?especially when kids love the challenge of archery? Aim for daring family adventure at an Archery in the Parks program. Designed especially for kids age age eight or above, no experience is necessary to participate. Hands-on instruction in shooting a bow and arrow from certified instructors. Use of all equipment. Safe and supportive environment.
Moose Lake State Park, Meet near the horshoe pits in the picnic area.

Kids Activity: Prehistoric Pottery
2 PM to 3 PM Learn how craftspeople of the ancient Kathio villages made and used pottery…and take home a small clay pot you make yourself. The information and activity are designed for kids age 7 and older, but it’s also good for younger children who have help from parents. Meet at the interpretive center.
Mille Lacs Kathio State Park

Geocaching 101
2 PM to 3 PM Have fun learning how to use a GPS unit to geocache and discover hidden treasures in Minnesota State Parks. This program is designed for beginners. We will provide a limited number of GPS units for you to use or you may bring your own to find specially placed caches. Meet at the visitor center.
Afton State Park

Bugs ‘n’ Stuff
2 PM to 3:30 PM Kids of all ages come out and explore nature at your leisure and have fun at Itasca while hanging out at the swimming beach or playground. This program series allows kids to connect with nature through crafts and other hands-on activities. Topics vary with many of the programs focusing on life around the lake. Come and go at your leisure.
Itasca State Park, Meet by the Swim Beach/ Playground (at the south end of the picnic grounds on Lake Itasca

Snakes of the Blufflands
2 PM to 3 PM 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!
Whitewater State Park

Raptors
2 PM to 3 PM Hawks, eagles, owls and more; Get the inside scoop on the unique characteristics these birds possess from Chris Cold, a most-interesting guy to listen to, who will be visiting from the Wisconsin DNR. With him will be a selection of live raptors for you to get an up-close look at!
Wild River State Park

Minnesota’s Birds of Prey
2 PM to 3:30 PM Eagles, Osprey, Hawks, Falcons, and Owls all call Minnesota home. Learn about the adaptations that raptors use to catch their live prey, what species live along the North Shore, and how to tell them apart when all you can see is a silhouette against the sky. Make a raptor silhouette to protect migratory birds from hitting windows
Tettegouche State Park (Located in the Visitor Center meeting room.)

Creatures of the Potholes: Investigation Station
3 PM to 4 PM Come explore the mysterious world of aquatic insects with a naturalist! You’ll be amazed at the creatures that call our lakes, rivers, and even the park’s potholes home. Borrow a net and you can search for these creatures within the smaller of the nearby potholes. Use our digital microscope to get a close-up look. The drop-in program is ongoing near the Visitor Center from 3-4 PM. The majority of activities will be located in an area with even, paved surfaces.
Interstate State Park

Roadkill Café (Eeeewwww): Turkey Vultures
4 PM to 5 PM What soars the skies over the Whitewater River Valley in search of smelly dead animals, vomits on predators when threatened and urinates on itself to cool off? It?s everyone?s favorite bird of course; the Turkey Vulture. Join a naturalist at the Nature Store amphitheater to learn about these amazing birds. We?ll take a short hike to watch live vultures feeding on road-kill we have placed for viewing.
Whitewater State Park

Incredible Insects —Education Junior Naturalists
4 PM to 5 PM Discover the fascinating world of the insect during this children?s program. After learning some incredible facts, we?ll explore the woods for insects with our nets. Meet at the River Inn Interpretive Center.
Jay Cooke State Park

Weaving with Natural Fibers
4:30 PM to 5:30 PM Nature provides many different kinds of fibers that can be used for weaving decorative, useful items. During this program you will learn how to collect, prepare, and weave an item out of natural fibers such as nettles or willow. Materials will be provided;
Forestville/Mystery Cave State Park (meet at the picnic shelter)

———Saturday evening———

Frogs and Toads of Minnesota
6:30 PM to 7:30 PM Hop on over to the visitor center to see and hear the frogs that call Minnesota home. Take short walk to see some frog habitats in the park.
Afton State Park

Evening Campfire Nature Programs (Saturdays)
7 PM to 8 PM Join a naturalist at the amphitheater every Saturday night at 7:00pm from June 10th through August 16th for a nature program by the campfire. These nature themed, family friendly programs are a great way to enrich your day. Programs topics change regularly. Call the park for current topics at 320-852-7200 or check the events calendar for a specific date.
Programs last from 7:00pm – 8:00pm and children must be accompanied by an adult. Programs will be held at the Visitor Center on nights of poor weather conditions.
Lake Carlos State Park

Birding in Minnesota State Parks
7 PM to 8 PM Join expert birder and author of the new ?Birding in Minnesota State Parks? book, Bob Janssen, as he tells you through photos and stories the hot spots to go birding in MN State Parks and especially in the St. Croix River Valley! Bring your birding questions as there will be a question and answer period after the talk. We will also have his new book for sale, if you would like an autographed copy! Join us at the Visitor Center for a special night you do not want to miss!
William O’Brien State Park

Stockwood Fill
7 PM to 8 PM Why is the railroad so high up in the air east of Glyndon? Learn about the incredible engineering feat that was needed to build the railroad in northwestern Minnesota. Presented by Mike Peihl of the Hjemkomst Center. Program starts at the Nature Center.
Buffalo River State Park

Wild Canines of Minnesota
7 PM to 8 PM Did you know that foxes eat berries? or that some can climb trees? Why do wolves and coyotes howl? What is the wolf population in Minnesota?
Learn all about the lifestyles of Minnesota’s coyotes, gray foxes, red foxes, and wolves. See real study skins and skulls from these wild canines.
Tettegouche State Park (Located at the outdoor Amphitheater.)

Retro Reel
7 PM to 8 PM Bring your own popcorn to the St. Croix Lodge and take in an old-fashioned reel-to-reel nature film! All ages.
St. Croix Lodge

Shipwrecks of the North Shore
7:30 PM to 8:30 PM Come learn the story of the trail of shipwrecks left behind by the most destructive storm in Lake Superior’s history. The deadly Maatafa Storm of 1905.
Gooseberry Falls State Park (Meet at the Lady Slipper Lodge.)

Mammal Mysteries, Campfire stories
7:30 PM to 8 PM Itasca’s mammals are fun to see, but are even more interesting when you discover some of the special (and strange) adaptations they have to survive! Bring your marshmallows for roasting after the campfire.
Itasca State Park, Meet in the picnic grounds at the Museum Amphitheater located below Wegmann’s Store Ruins. (If raining, in the Jacob V. Brower Visitor Center classroom)

Legends and Lore of the Whitewater Area
8 PM to 9 PM Come learn about the history of this area through stories of people and creatures that have roamed these valleys. We?ll hear about early pioneers, a local gold rush, a famous backwoodsman, legendary conservation heroes, strange creatures and maybe even some ghosts.
Whitewater State Park

Getting to Know the Black Bear
8 PM to 9 PM Black bears are residents of Wild River State Park and if you are lucky, you may get to see one while you are here. Find out some fascinating facts about these forest foragers with this evening program.
Wild River State Park

Noises of the Night
8 PM to 9 PM Join us to shed light on some of the Jay Cooke State Park animals that live their day at night. Come discover the adaptions that help nocturnal animals navigate the night. Explore the midnight lives of owls, foxes, bats and more! Meet at the River Inn Interpretive Center.
Jay Cooke State Park

Universe In the Park
8:30 PM to 10 PM Join the astronomers from the University of Minnesota as they share their knowledge of astronomy/astrophysics and set up telescopes to view the night sky. Followed by a car caravan (try to share rides with fellow campers) to a viewing location 1 mile east of the park.
Nerstrand-Big Woods State Park

 

Sunday, June 21 —Happy Father’s Day!

———Sunday morning———

Canoe Paddle with Dad
8 AM to 10 AM Grab your dad (and other family members, too) on his special day and join our naturalists for a wonderful canoe paddle at the nearby Scientific and Natural Area — Lost Lake Peatland. Learn about the unique ecosystem of the peatland and see what animals you can spot while canoeing the lake. Bring a snack and drink and be dressed for the weather. The program is free of charge, but reservations are required. Call James at 218-300-7005 to make a reservation. All equipment is provided.
Lost Lake Peatland – SNA

Backwaters Paddling Field Trip
10 AM to 4 PM Course details: Explore the backwaters of the Mississippi River near Weaver Bottoms. We will begin at the Whitewater Valley Visitor Center with an indoor presentation on the history of Weaver Bottoms and then we will caravan to the field trip location approximately 15 miles northeast of the park. Limit to 12 participants. Course dates and times: June 21, 2015, 10a.m. to 4p.m. Cost: FREE
Weaver Bottoms, Mississippi River

I Can Fish: Trout Fishing
10 AM to 12 PM 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 6.
Whitewater State Park

Archery in Parks
10 AM to 12 PM Archery has been a popular sport and life skill for thousands of years. Join certified archery instructors for a hands-on shot at archery. Designed for ages 8 and up and beginners are especially welcome! Kids must be age 8 to participate in the activity, also kids 15 and under must be accompanied by an adult. Bows and arrows provided. The program will be on-going at the Picnic Grounds.
William O’Brien State Park

I Can Fish
10 AM to 12 PM Let’s go fishing! Join us as we learn all about fishing – identifying species, casting, and more. We provide the bait, poles and instructors. Then, take your skills and fish with us on a fishing pier on the shore of Mille Lacs Lake. Minnesota residents do not need a fishing license for this activity. Meet at the public boat access parking lot.
Father Hennepin State Park

Prairie Grass I.D. at Frenchman’s Bluff SNA
10 AM to 1 PM Why bother with grasses? They cover nearly one third of the area of the earth. They are all around us yet few people take the time to learn their names. Designed for beginners, this class will focus on identifying grasses using shape and texture as well as providing stories about their historical and ecological significance. Home to over 20 different species of grasses and sedges, Frenchman’s Bluff overlooks the Red River Valley and is one of the highest points in northwestern Minnesota. Dress for tall grass, woodticks and uneven ground and bring plenty of water. Please confirm your interest in attending by calling the park office at (218) 498-2124.
Buffalo River State Park (Meet at the Nature Center located in Buffalo River State Park at 10:00 am.)

Five Facts in Five Minutes: Feathers / Invasive Species @ 2 PM to 4 PM
10 AM to 12 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

The Bear Necessities
10:30 AM to 11:30 AM A talk about the natural history and behavior of Minnesota’s black bears will be followed by a nature film on bears around the world.
Mille Lacs Kathio State Park (Meet at the interpretive center.)

Father’s Day Firestarters
11 AM to 12 PM Nothing says “I love you, Dad!” like quality time around a campfire. Come to the St. Croix Lodge to make a Father’s Day card and a set of fire starters. Great for kids.
St. Croix State Park

Wild Side Woodpecker Walk
11 AM to 12 PM Ever wonder about woodpeckers? Join a Naturalist and wander through the woods to discover some of the weird and wonderful adaptations that make them successful.
Gooseberry Falls State Park

Father’s Day Picnic Hike to the Cascades
11 AM to 1 PM Join a park naturalist for a guided nature hike to the Cascades, the last waterfalls on the Baptism River. This 3/4 mile trail (1 1/2 miles round trip) follows the Baptism River past enormous old-growth white pines, white cedars,and yellow birch trees. The spring wildflowers are in full bloom, right now! Pack a picnic lunch to enjoy at the waterfalls
Tettegouche State Park (Hikers will meet at the indoor fireplace in the Visitor Center.)

Summer Solstice Celebratory Hike
11:30 AM to 12:30 PM Celebrate the start of summer (by the exact minute!) on the shores of Lake Superior. The solstice is all about light and the arrival of our longest day of the year. Discover old traditions and start new ones on this sun happy hike.
Gooseberry Falls State Park (Meet at Lakeview Lodge.)

Outdoors Skills
12 PM to 2 PM Celebrate Father’s Day at the park and stop out to learn a few outdoors skills while you are at it. Knot tying, compass use and other skills will be available to learn at our drop-in table between Noon and 2 pm.
Wild River State Park

Canoe the Croix
12 PM to 2:30 PM Join the naturalist for a guided 5-mile trip down the St. Croix River. Observe wildlife and learn about the St. Croix National Scenic Riverway. Canoes and kayaks are available from Pardun’s Canoe Rental, located in the nature store building. Reserve canoes in advance (fees apply) and meet outside the store before 2 p.m. Best for adults.
St. Croix State Park

Bird Banding Demonstration
12:30 PM to 2 PM Join Master Bird Bander, Greg Munson, for close-up experiences with birds. Program participants will have the opportunity to handle and release birds after they have been caught in nets, studied, observed and banded with an aluminum tag. Find out how this scientific tool helps wildlife researchers learn more about bird populations and their natural history, including where they go and how long they live.
Whitewater State Park

———Sunday afternoon———

Fishing 101
1 PM to 3 PM Do you want to participate in one of the most popular outdoor recreational activities, but you are not sure how to bait a hook or cast your line? Join our fishing gurus and learn the basics of fishing. Feel free to stop by anytime during the program. All ages welcome. A limited number of fishing poles are available. Meet at the fishing pier. There is no cost for this program. It does take place outdoors, so dress for the weather.
Lake Vermilion – Soudan Underground Mine State Park

Bugs and Blooms: Pollination hike
1 PM to 2 PM Join us on a hike to discover the precious pollinators that make this park’s beautiful blooms possible. Earn a “Call of the Wildflowers” limited edition program card for attending.
Jay Cooke State Park

DNR Days with the Twins
1 PM DNR is teaming up with the Minnesota Twins to offer fans, who have a 2015 Minnesota hunting and/or fishing license, a special offer on tickets to select games and for the first 500 ticket holders a FREE camo Twin’s logo cap. Offer only available online. Learn more and purchase tickets at www.mndnr.gov/twins. Due to extremely high demand, seating is limited and available on a first come, first served basis only. Advance purchase only. Phone orders cannot be accepted. Only orders purchased together will be seated together. Game time subject to change. No refunds or exchanges.
Target Field – Minneapolis

Game dates
May 29 Toronto 7:10 pm Lower Level Ticket – $40, Upper Level Ticket – $20
June 7 Milwaukee 1:10 pm Lower Level Ticket – $47, Upper Level Ticket – $25
June 21 Chicago Cubs 1:10 pm Lower Level Ticket – $55, Upper Level Ticket – $32
August 30 Astros 1:10 pm Lower Level Ticket – $40, Upper Level Ticket – $20
September 19 Angels 6:10 pm Lower Level Ticket – $40, Upper Level Ticket – $20
October 3 Kansas City 6:10 pm Lower Level Ticket – $40, Upper Level Ticket – $20

Barking Up the Right Tree —Education Jr. Naturalist
2 PM to 3 PM Learn about the traditional uses of bark. Make your own bark craft to take home. The trees of Itasca have been used by people for 100’s of years.
Itasca State Park, Meet by the Museum Amphitheater, below Wegmann’s Store (If raining, in the Jacob V. Brower Visitor Center classroom).

Pioneer/Old Time Music and Bluegrass Jam
3 PM to 5 PM
Imagine the songs that echoed off the bluffs in the Whitewater Valley during the days of the pioneers. Park visitors along with bluegrass pickers and old time music players of all skill levels are invited to re-create the music of our ancestors the third Sunday of each month, May – October. Meet at the amphitheater behind the visitor center.
Whitewater State Park

Minnesota’s Birds of Prey
3 PM to 4:30 PM Eagles, Osprey, Hawks, Falcons, and Owls all call Minnesota home. Learn about the adaptations that raptors use to catch their live prey, what species live along the North Shore, and how to tell them apart when all you can see is a silhouette against the sky.Make a raptor silhouette to protect migratory birds from hitting windows.
Tettegouche State Park (Located in the Visitor Center meeting room.)

Make and Take a Rock Station
3 PM to 4 PM Drop-by the visitor center between 3 and 4 p.m. to make a unique rock with the park naturalist. The activity takes about 10 minutes to complete.
Interstate State Park

Poetry Freya Manfred at Home – Words on the Prairie
3:30 PM to 4:30 PM Join Freya Manfred as she returns to her family home to share excerpts from her written work and poetry.
Blue Mounds State Park

Geocaching 101
4 PM to 5 PM Join us on this modern day treasure hunt as we search for caches with a GPS unit. After learning how to use a GPS unit and what geocaching is all about, you’ll explore the park with us for hidden caches. GPS units are available. Meet at the River Inn Interpretive Center.
Jay Cooke State Park

Learn about the CCC
5 PM to 6 PM Join the naturalist in the St. Croix Lodge to learn about the Civilian Conservation Corps and take a short tour of historic architecture in the campground. Best for adults.
St. Croix State Park

———Sunday evening———

Itasca’s Music Under the Pines: Lori Goulet Reich
7 PM to 9 PM Join Lori Goulet Reich, a Lake Itasca Transplant from the suburbs of Minneapolis, as she performs a variety of music best described as acoustic folk and alt-country flavored music. Lori also has played in various bands both classic rock and country, so come enjoy a variety of well-known tunes.
Itasca State Park Meet at Forest Inn (across from Douglas Lodge)

 

 

Coming up . . .

Pre-register by July 9
Event: Saturday, July 11
The good, the bad, and the bugly
10:00 – 11:45 am Learn about bugs that are good for trees and bad for trees. On the trail, learn to identify common trees and search for bugs on them. Program includes information on emerald ash borer, Dutch elm disease and oak wilt. For Adults & Children 7 and older, with Adult. Class is free but please pre-register online and click on the “Register Online/Go” button, or call 651-249-2170.
Maplewood Nature Center (2659 E. 7th st.)