Weekend Nature Activities: May 14–17

Ah the flowers of May in Minnesota renew the spirit. Enjoy your times in the outdoors this weekend!


Urban Garden Youth Employment—Summer Sign-ups *Education and Experience Opportunity
Youth age 12–18 have the opportunity to apply for garden based summer work experiences. These experiences are designed to build basic job, entrepreneur, communication, and leadership skills through garden based work at urban garden sites. There are two components to the youth garden work experience: CityFresh Entrepreneurs, and Community Youth Leaders. The National Content Standards for Entrepreneurship Education are used to guide program planning and development in all Urban Garden Youth Employment programs.
See details HERE
Minnesota Landscape Arboretum

Vinyassa Flow Yoga in the Gardens
6 p.m. $12 gate admission, payable at time of registration. Print a copy of your class registration receipt to show at the gate.All classes are free for Arboretum and Life Time Fitness members, and are free with gate admission for non-members. Gate admission is always FREE for Arboretum members and will be waived for Life Time Fitness members for each yoga session. Present your current Arboretum or Life Time Fitness membership card at the gate. Bring your own mat, water bottle and towel–none will be provided. No registration is required. If you have any questions, please call  612-301-7600.

Other Yoga in the Gardens dates for summer 2015:

Sunday, May 31, Noon
Thursday, June 11, 6 p.m.
Sunday, June 21, Noon
Thursday, July 9, 6 p.m.
Sunday, July 19, Noon
Thursday, August 6, 6 p.m.
Sunday, August 23, Noon
Thursday, September 3, 6 p.m.
Sunday, September 13, Noon
Thursday, October 1, 6 p.m.
Sunday, October 11, Noon

Minnesota Landscape Arboretum, Chanshassen


BWCA *Volunteer Opportunity EVENT FULL
18+ Paddling 15 Miles to Basecamp (Day Hiking Up to 4 Miles Per Day) Volunteers will help maintain portions of the Kekekabic Trail (the “Kek”) within the Superior National Forest’s Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness in northeastern Minnesota. This trail has been greatly impacted by the 1999 blowdown and resulting wildfires which have led to very overgrown trail conditions. We will be canoeing into the basecamp with several portages along the way. The work will entail using a variety of hand tools to clear downfalls and brush to re-open a trail corridor along a portion of the Kek’s hard to access interior.
If you like this type of activity, consider signing up early for the next opportunity August 9–15, and other opportunities across the state and country HERE.

Mentored Archery Turkey Hunt $$$
May 15–17, 2015 Cost: $80 Learn the basics of turkey archery hunting and calling on this mentored hunt, including two nights lodging, instruction. You need your own equipment and Minnesota archery turkey license.  Limit to 15 participants. Registration: For questions or to register contact Linda Bylander at linda.bylander@state.mn.us or by calling 218-833-8628.
Cedar Creek, East Bethel

Spring Wildflower Walk
10 am Spring ephemerals bloom in that brief interval between the soil’s warming and tree canopy leafing. Mdet at nearby Trinity Lutheran Church parking lot, 2060 Sixth Avenue North.
Wolsfeld Woods SNA, Long Lake, MN

Family Archery $$$
4–6 pm  Ages 8+ $7 Learn the basics of shooting safely and accurately with skilled instructors. Shoot at stationary targets and compete with your family in fun shooting games. All equipment provided. Registration: For questions or to register call Three Rivers Park District at 763-559-6700 or www.ThreeRiversParks.org
Cedar Lake Farm Regional Park, New Prague



Mentored Adult Firearm Turkey Hunt
05/16–05/17 Cost: FREE. The DNR and National Wild Turkey Federation are teaming up to offer a mentored turkey hunt for adults who are new to the sport of turkey hunting. This is a two morning hunt with a mandatory clinic. Turkey license and firearm safety certification is required for this hunt. Register by February 23 at www.mndnr.gov/discover

Bird Banding
7 am–noon The public is welcome to watch and ask questions at the annual bird banding event from 7:00 a.m. to 12 noon. Spring migration should be in full force and this will give people an up-close of some of the birds that make Minneopa their home. Merrill Frydendall of the Friends of Minneopa State Park will be leading the bird banding event. Dr. Frydendall is a retired biology professor from Minnesota State University, Mankato and has been maintaining and documenting 50 blue bird houses at the park for over 30 years. Meet at the Group Campground Area.
Minneopa State Park

Bird Walk
7–8 am We will leave the parking lot at the Trail/Hwy 96 crossing at 7a.m. and return to the starting point at 8 a.m. The objective will be to identify as many species as we can by sight and sound during the hour. Bring binoculars if you have them. Drizzle or light rain is OK, but walks will be cancelled if it’s very windy or significant precipitation is likely. If a walk is cancelled, I?ll send you an e-mail message to that effect by 6 a.m.
Gateway State Trail

Birding Hike
7–8:30 am Join our campground hosts for a guided birding hike in our campground and nearby hiking trails. Bird Checklists will be provided, bring your binoculars.
Frontenac State Park (Meet at the campground host site: Site 1)

Tree Climbing Champsionship
8 am–4 pm
More than 45 men and women will be competing in the 2015 Tree Climbing Championship at Veterans Memorial Park in Shakopee on Saturday for a chance to represent Minnesota in the international completion in Texas in 2016.The public is invited to watch as some of the best tree-care professionals from across the state will take part in the annual event. They will compete in five events: belayed speed climb, aerial rescue, secured footlock, throw line and work climb. There will be a zip line for children and youths to try what it feels like to be off the ground. May 16th–17th MSA info and photos HERE
Memorial Park, Shakopee

Birding at Bear Head
8–10 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

Hike Through Greenwater Lake
9 am Join members and friends of the Laurentian Lakes Chapter of the North Country Scenic Trail on a hike through Greenwater Lake Scientific and Natural Area and adjacent public lands. The hike will be 7.2 miles long and there will be stops to enjoy nature along the way. Hikers are welcome to join us as we walk this route that is part of the North Country National Scenic Trail spanning seven states. We suggest that you wear long sleeves and pants, sturdy shoes, and insect repellant. As always bring along water and a snack. Dogs are not allowed in the Greenwater Lake SNA. Hikers will be shuttled to starting point and will hike back to parking area on Becker County Highway 26.
Greenwater Lake SNA

Scout Expo
9 am–9 pm (all day) Join area Scouts for a day of fun activities and demos. Event will be held in Sherlock Campground and the public is invited to attend.
Red River State Recreation Area

Camping Skills
9–11 am Ages 8+ $8 Need a camping refresher? Learn the basics on setting up a tent, building a fire, and cooking a simple meal with a camp stove.
Cedar Lake Farm Regional Park, New Prague

Geocaching 101
10:30–noon Join Andy McCracken, expert geocacher, and discover the fascinating challenge of geocaching and how you can use it to explore Minnesota State Parks’ hidden treasures. You will learn how to use a GPS unit, and then head out in the park to find some specially placed caches. Then try your hand at the new Wildflower geocaching program in MN State Parks! A limited number of GPS units will be available for this modern-day treasure hunt. So please call the park office to sign up.
William O’Brien State Park (Meet at the Visitor Center)

Beginner Fly Fishing for Trout
10–4 pm For many people fly-fishing for trout is the ultimate outdoor experience. It requires an intimate knowledge of trout and their stream environment. Participants will tour the nearby Crystal Springs Trout Hatchery to learn about the habitat and habits of SE Minnesota trout. Back at the park, basic equipment and techniques, including fly tying, will be explored and participants will practice fly fishing at the end of the day. MN Fishing License and Trout Stamp is required. A park vehicle permit is also required.
Whitewater State Park

Trout Hatchery Tour
10:30–noon 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. Register: 507-932-3007, x226 or email sara.holger@state.mn.us .
Whitewater State Park

Yardscaping with Fruit *Education Opportunity Sign-Up Day
This event is for May 23, 10:30–noon but you must sign up by today HERE (by May 16) and prepay $5 (click on the RegisterOnline-Go button), or call 651-249-2170. Edible Landscaping is made up of several tiers of plant types for maximizing the production of food on your urban landscape.  This class will focus on some of the different cultivars and species of the tree and shrub layer which bear delicious and edible fruit for eating, baking, juicing and drying. Instructor Rebecca Koetter is a consultant working with various edible trees and shrubs throughout the Metro area, she is a member of the St. Paul Tree Advisory Panel (TAP).  She has experience designing, selecting, implementing, harvesting and processing of nearly every edible fruit from a woody plant growing in Minnesota.
Maplewood Nature Center, 2659 E. 7th St.

Ask the Roving Naturalist
10:30–3:30 pm Weekends beginning April 25-26 through May 16-17 roving naturalists are stationed along Hidden Falls Trail to assist with wildflower identification, pollinator observations and other signs of spring. MN Dwarf Trout Lily likely to bloom early May. Call or check web site for details.
Nerstrand-Big Woods State Park

Archery in the Park
12:30–3 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. Adult must accompany younger participants. Open shoot, come during the class and you will get to shoot. Amount of shooting time varies on number of participants. The program is held outside, so dress appropriately.
Glendalough State Park (Meet at the Molly Stark Picnic Shelter.)

Wildflowers of Kathio
1–2:30 pm This is a two-part program. We will begin indoors with a slide presentation showing many flowers that can bee seen at Mille Lacs Kathio. We will then go on a 1/2-mile trail walk to see what’s in bloom. The slide talk will be 30 minutes long and the hike will take about an hour. You are welcome to attend either or both parts of the program. Meet at the interpretive center.
Mille Lacs Kathio State Park

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Gateway Trail Bike Ride
1–3 pm Join the Naturalist on a ride along this old railroad corridor and discover some great places and meet other bikers. This ride will be approximately 12 miles. Bring your own bike and helmet.
Gateway State Trail, 55th Street lot: N 45 03.679, W 92 57.819

Women’s Geocaching for Fun
1–2 pm What other reason do ya need? Sometimes “Fun” is as good as any! Want to try out the latest high tech treasure hunt at state parks? Hoping to use your GPS unit to mark the perfect fishing, hunting, or foraging hotspot? Join the naturalist for an afternoon of fun skill-building activities that will leave you feeling comfortable and confident about GPS use. GPS units provided, this class is recommended for adults. Meet at the park office.
Interstate State Park

Spring Wildflower Hike
1–2 pm This is a wonderful time of the year to go for a hike through the woods to see what types of wildflowers are beginning to bloom. We should be able to see a wide variety starting to pop up including Bloodroot, Columbine, Dutchman?s breeches and Jack-in-the-Pulpit. In addition, we will check out the prairie to see if we can find some of the earlier plants like Prairie Smoke and Golden Alexander. Please meet at the Picnic Shelter on the Waterfalls Area.
Minneopa State Park

Geocaching Basics
1–2:30 pm Want to try out the latest high tech treasure hunt at state parks? Hoping to use your GPS unit to mark the perfect fishing, hunting, or foraging hotspot? Join the naturalist for an afternoon of fun skill-building activities that will leave you feeling comfortable and confident about GPS use. GPS units provided, this class is recommended for adults. A park vehicle permit is required.
Interstate State Park

Plant for the Future *Volunteer Opportunity
1–3 pm For the past 100 years, the park has been caring for its resources through management, cultivation and planting. Here’s your chance to help us prepare the park for the next 100 years by planting native plants near our new Swinging Bridge. Be prepared to get a bit dirty. Bring a hand shovel if you have one. Other equipment will be provided. Meet at the River Inn Interpretive Center.
Jay Cooke State Park

Family Fishing $$$
1–3 pm Ages 6+ $5 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.
Cedar Lake Farm Regional Park, New Prague

Women’s Wildflower ID Hike
2–3 pm Curious about the plants you have been seeing in the woods lately? Let the naturalist lead you on a one-mile hike through the park’s most diverse wildflower area. We will point out plant names, historical uses, and strange facts along the way. Hike includes numerous stairs and uneven terrain. Wear sturdy shoes and bring a camera if desired. Meet at the park office.
Interstate State Park

Mushroom Hunting
3–4:30 pm The gathering and eating of edible mushrooms (a fleshy, spore-bearing fruiting body of a fungus) is a popular activity and one that can be fraught with danger. You can get sick from eating mushrooms due to allergic reactions or food poisoning from old or improperly stored ones and mushrooms that are poisonous. Join local mushroom hunter Ben Prehn and learn some of the places to find mushrooms at Minneopa. We will talk about some of the more popular edible mushrooms including morels, Chicken of the Woods and Gold Chanterelles along with tips for preparing them.
Minneopa State Park (Meet at the waterfalls side of Minneopa State Park)

After Supper “Signs of Spring” Stroll
6:30–7:30 pm You are invited for a leisurely evening stroll full of newly arrived birds and blooms. The naturalist-led walk will be approx one mile round-trip and take about an hour to complete, including stops to look and listen. If you wish, bring a picnic dinner and enjoy your meal with beautiful river views from the picnic area before the program begins at 6:30. The walk will include some uneven and rocky terrain.
Interstate State Park (Meet at the Park Office to begin.)

Wildflowers of Afton
7–8 pm What’s blooming at the park? Join the park naturalist on a mile wildflower walk around the park to see. You will also find out what will be blooming next and have already bloomed. Don’t forget your sunglasses and hat. Meet at the visitor center.
Afton State Park

Astronomy & Stargazing
Dusk 05/16–09/26 Join the Glacial Lakes Astronomers and Stargazers Society (GLASS) at Glacial Lakes State Park every Saturday from May 16 through September 26 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. In case of inclement weather, contact the park or visit the GLASS website. http://www.glass.glaciallakesmn.com/ See stars, planets, galaxies and nebulae. No equipment is necessary, but if you have binoculars or a telescope you are highly encouraged to bring them!
Glacial Lakes State Park (Meet at the Horse Camp at dusk, weather permitting.)



Trap Shooting Course $$$
9 am–noon $20 Join us to learn the game of trap shooting. This class is for learning the concept and skills of trap shooting. Please bring your own firearm and ammunition. We will try to accommodate those without a firearm. Limited to 10 participants. Registration: Register with Angela Londgren at angela.londgren@state.mn.us
Wings North, Pine City

Women’s Archery Course $$$
10–noon $7/class Ages 14+*20% discount for groups of four or more. Learn the basics of shooting safely and accurately with skilled instructors. Use a Matthews Genesis compound bow to shoot at stationary targets and try shooting from an elevated platform. All equipment is provided.
Elm Creek Park Reserve, Maple Grove

Spring Highlights Hike
10–10:30 Bring a mug of coffee or tea and join the naturalist for a short tour of her favorite signs of spring at the south entrance of the park. We’ll set out during the quieter morning hours and take advantage of the beautiful lighting found at that time of day. Be sure to bring your camera! You will spot flowers, birds, and perhaps a small, seasonal waterfall (if flowing). Choose to walk back with the naturalist or get the inside scoop on areas to explore on your own. We will walk at a leisurely pace and go less than a mile, but will encounter some stairs and rocky, uneven areas.
Interstate State Park (Meet at the park office.)

Pothole Exploration Tour
noon–1 pm Discover how lakes of lava and gushing glacial waters formed the park’s world-renowned potholes on this 45-minute guided walk. The Naturalist will share unique stories of the St. Croix Valley as you wind your way through glacial potholes and stunning overlooks. This tour includes some uneven terrain and stairs.
Interstate State Park (Meet at the Visitor Center.)

Bird Banding Demo
12:30–2 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

Sporting Clays $$$
1–4 pm $50 Join us for learning the concept and skills of shooting sporting clays, in the wooded course. Please bring your own firearm and ammunition. We will try to accommodate those without a firearm. Limited to 10 participants.
Wings North, Pine City

Family Archery Course $$$
1–3 pm Ages 8+ $7/class Learn the basics of shooting safely and accurately with skilled instructors. Shoot at stationary targets and compete with your family in fun shooting games. All equipment provided.
Elm Creek Park Reserve, Maple Grove

Wildflower ID Hike
2–3:30 pm Curious about the plants you’ve been seeing in the woods lately? Let the naturalist lead you on a one-mile hike through the park’s most diverse wildflower area. We will point out plant names, historical uses, and strange facts along the way. Hike includes numerous stairs and uneven terrain. Wear sturdy shoes and bring a camera if desired. A park vehicle permit is required
Interstate State Park

Old-time Music & Bluegrass Jam in the Park
3–5 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.
Whitewater State Park (Meet at the amphitheater behind the visitor center.)

Call of the Wild Film Fest: Predators and Prey
3:00 pm Join in on 60- to 90-minute films featuring wildlife and their unique behaviors, habitat needs, and special adaptations. Experience the drama of survival in the wild and discover how community partners work together to protect habitat for wildlife. Recommended for all ages.
Bloomington Education and Visitor Center (3815 American Blvd E, Bloomington)


Upcoming . . .

May 19 and May 21 Intro to Fly-fishing for Women $$$
5:30–8:30 pm  $30 This beginner’s two nights course will give you basic knowledge on how to fly fish. Instruction will include equipment, knots, and fly casting techniques. We will fish on the second night. Limit to 12 participants. Register here: www.anokacountyparks.com
Wargo Nature Center, Centerville Lake

May 20 Aquatic Invasive Species Volunteer Training *Volunteer Opportunity
Citizens who are interested in informing the public about aquatic invasive species and how to slow their spread can receive AIS volunteer or ambassador training from the Watercraft Inspection Program staff. This training includes information on how to educate members of the public on AIS and how to prevent the spread. Once you have chosen a session please contact the Regional Supervisor listed to RSVP. Sessions must have a minimum of 20 attendees. Please include contact information in your RSVP in case of cancellations.
Ideal Corners Community Center (35458 Butternut Point Road; Pequot Lakes MN 56472)

May 20 Native Plant Garden Tour  (Adults)
6:30PM–8:00pm, free. Pre-register online,  www.maplewoodnaturecenter.com and click on the RegisterOnline-Go button, or call 651-249-2170,  by May 18.
Take this guided tour of native gardens for sun, rain and shade. Find out which native plants will grow in your yard to provide beauty as well as food tor butterflies and other pollinators.
Maplewood Nature Center, 2659 E. 7th St S

May 21 What Is Minnesota and the U.S. Doing to Address the Pollinator Issue? $$$
12:30–4:30 pm $32 General Admission ($20 Arboretum Member/$25 Master Gardener or Master Naturalist) Learn about the ongoing efforts regarding biodiversity of butterflies and bees, retrofitting habitat with bee-friendly plants, and research on factors that affect bee colony health. Enhance your understanding of Minnesota’s new labeling law on neonicitinoid use, and what it could mean to you personally or professionally. Also examine federal, state, and local policies that intend to conserve pollinators. Uncover what these efforts mean to you, and how they could affect your opinions, practices, and actions in response to pollinator conservation.
Minnesota Landscape Arboretum, Snyder Auditorium

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