Weekend Nature Activities: May 16–18

It’s migration time! Don’t forget to review the bird checklist for the park you visit this weekend: HERE.

Friday, May 16

May 16, Evening Exploration Walk
8–9 p.m.
Explore your nighttime senses—”listen like an owl, smell like a wolf” and . . . “taste lightening bug candy”?! Interstae Park has gone wild (nice pun, aye).
Location: Interstate Park

May 16, Bird Banding
5–8:30 p.m.
Watch and ask questions at this annual event. Lead by Dr. Frydendall, a retired biology professor from MN State U, Mankato. She has been maintaining and documenting 50 blue bird houses at the park for 30 years.
Location: Minneopa State Park (near Lake Crystal)
Also: visit the nearby historic cemetery

May 16, Detroit Lakes Festival of Birds
5:30 a.m.
Location: Hamden Slough NWR

May 16, Intro to GPS Geocaching
6–7:30 p.m.
Bring your own GPS or use the parks to learn the basics of how to use global positioning systems, then learn about the treasure-hunting game that employs GPS known as “geocaching.”
Location: Whitewater State Park
See more events like this on May 17

Saturday, May 17

May 17, Spring Wildflower Walk
1–2:30 p.m.
Spring is here and the wildflowers are celebrating! Hike to discover the many gentle yet hardy flowers of the park.
Location: Jay Cooke State Park (near Carlton)

May 17, Spring Wildflower Walk
10–11:30 a.m.
Leisurely walk to discover the blooming beauties of the region.
Location: Wild River State Park (meet at visitor center)

May 17, Archery in the Park
12:30–3:30 p.m.
8+ years old (under 15 must be with adult). Learn the basics and practice.
Location: Glendalough State Park

May 17, Owl Prowl
7–8:30 p.m.
Learn how to identify these elusive creatures.
Location Whitewater State Park

May 17, Emerald Ash Borer
11 a.m.–noon
EAB field tour and how to spot trees infested, then learn what you can do about it. If ya gots binocs, bring ’em.
Location: Fort Snelling State Park

May 17, Balanced Rock Demo
1 p.m.
Host: Peter Juhl photography exhibit at Restaurant Gallery before it closes on May 17.
Location University of Minnesota Landscape Arboretum (visitor center balcony)

May 17, Who Made Those Tracks?
10 a.m.–noon
Join park staff to learn about the local mammals and their tracks. Make your own track molds to bring home.
Location: Red River State Rec Area (meet at Sherlock Campground)

May 17, The Basics of Bluebirding
4 p.m.
Host: Bluebird Recovery Program
Location: Great River Bluffs State Park (near Winona)

May 17, Bird Banding
7 a.m.–noon
Same as event on May 16 at Minneopa. Spring migration should be in full flight.
Location: Minneopa State Park (near Lake Crystal)

May 17, Spring Wildflower Hike
2 p.m.
Wonderful time to check out our native beauts—bloodroot, columbine, Dutchman’s breeches and Jack-in-the-pulpit, prairie smoke, golden Alexander.
Location: Minneopa State Park (meet at the picnic shelter/falls)

May 17, Arbor Month Celebration and Volunteer PlantingMay 17, 2014 State Arbor Month Celebration and Tree Climbing Championship
9:00 a.m.–noon
State’s tree climbing championship from 8 a.m.-5 p.m., nature play opportunities, education, musical performance by Kidtime with Rachel, and much more.
Location: Oak Hill Park (St. Louis Park)

8:30am (Volunteer 10 am–2 pm), refreshments + music
Location: Phalen Recreation Center
Help plant 50 trees in the landscape surrounding the recreation center. 9am planting instructions from staff. REGISTER TO VOLUNTEER HERE.

May 17, Blooming Saint Paul Day
9-11 a.m.
Locations: Various Saint Paul Parks & Neighborhoods
Prep public gardens for the coming growing season. 40+ sites throughout Saint Paul. Current garden volunteers and those interested in gardening for one day are encouraged to REGISTER HERE.

May 17, Orienteering
12–1:30 p.m.
Location: Chester Woods County Park (Eyota, MN)

May 17, Digital Nature Photography for Kids
4 p.m.
8+ years, digital cameras provided and kids will be able to print one photo to take with them. Or bring your own camera.
Location: Minneopa State Park (meet near the falls)

May 17, Measure the Potholes
11 a.m.–noon
Use the sounding technique of early explorers to guess pothole depths. Prizes for the closest guess. Great walk for parents and children.
Location: Interstate State Park

May 17, Bird Watching for the Whole Family
8:30–9:30 a.m.
Spring is the perfect time to explore bird watching. Naturalist will provide gear.
Location: Interstate State Park (Meet at picnic shelter)

May 17, Intro to GPS Geocaching
10:30 a.m.–noon
Join expert geocacher Andy McCracken to discover this hobby. Bring your own GPS or use the parks to learn the basics of how to use global positioning systems, then learn about the treasure-hunting game that employs GPS known as “geocaching.” Then head out to the park to find some caches.
Location: William O-Brien State Park

May 17, Intro to GPS Geocaching
2–3 p.m.
Bring your own GPS or use the parks to learn the basics of how to use global positioning systems, then learn about the treasure-hunting game that employs GPS known as “geocaching.”
Location: Interstate State Park

May 17, Birding at Bear Head Lake
8–10 a.m.
Binocs provided or bring your own. Hike to discover the variety of bird species within the park.
Location: Bear Head Lake State Park (meet at the trail center)

May 17, Fossil Field Trip
3 p.m.
Discover plants and animals that lived here millions of years ago. Create your own collection, the park will provide fossil cards. Meet at park (site is 9 miles from park).
Location: Whitewater State Park

May 17, Trout Hatchery Tour
10 a.m.
Visit Crystal Springs Trout Hatchery, where several trout are being raised to later be released into Lake Superior, southeast Minnesota, and elsewhere throughout the state.
Location: Whitewater State Park (meet at visitor center)

May 17, South Creek Tree Planting
9:30 a.m.–noon (registration required, go HERE)
Help plant trees along Lakeville’s South Creek, a tributary to the Vermillion River. Host: Friends of the Mississippi River.
Location: South Creek (Lakeville)


Sunday, May 18

May 18, Apple Blossom Tour: Family Fun Bike Ride
7 a.m.
Location: La Crescent (Community Arena)

May 18, Hidden Alphabet Photo Scavenger Hunt
2–3 p.m.
Search the park for naturally formed letters, capture them with a camera (bring your own or park-provided). Does that branch look like the letter L?
Location: Interstate State Park

May 18, Pioneer Reflections + Bluegrass Jam
1–5 p.m.
Hike the 1.5-mile stage coach trail out to the historic Marnach House from 1–3 p.m., then enjoy some bluegrass @ 3 p.m. (amphitheater/behind visitor center)
Location: Whitewater State Park (meet at visitor center for hike)

May 18, Women’s Hike ’round Pike
9–11 a.m.
Easy-going two-hour hike (3.5 miles) around Pike Island with naturalist, stopping to reflect on history of region.
Locatin: Fort Snelling State Park (meet at interpretation center)

May 18, Glacial Pothole Exploration
noon–1 p.m.
Discover how lakes of lava and gushing glacial waters formed the parks world-renowned potholes on this 45-minute hike.
Location: Interstate State Park

May 18, Minnehaha Creek Canoe Trip
10 a.m.–2 p.m. (12+ years old; $30; register 763-559-6700)
Tour this urban creek from Grays Bay Dam to Hopkins Crossroads, enjoy a picnic at the Burwell House. Paddling experience required.
Location: Minnetonka Community Center


For Bike Events, check out this week’s rides at PedalMN.com


Upcoming Week . . .

May 19, Bird-watching at Louisville Swamp
7–9:30 a.m.
Catch site of migratory birds. Bring your binocs.
Location: Minn. Valley Nat’l Wildlife Refuge (meet in Louisville Swamp parking lot, Shakopee)

May 20, Pledge to Pull (Invasive Garlic Mustard) at Crosby
6-8 pm, Promise to remove garlic mustard for a total of eight hours in the following weeks.
Location: Crosby Farm Regional Park
Host: Friends of the Mississippi River: Help protect spring ephemerals and other important species by removing garlic mustard, an extremely invasive plant. More info and registration, CLICK HERE.

May 21, Fly-fishing Basics
6–8 p.m. (12+ years old, $10; reservation required 763-559-6700)
Location: Silverwood Park


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