Weekend Nature Activities: May 19–31

5/29 . . .

Flint Knapping Demonstration
noon–4 pm Join flint knapper, Al Anderson, to see a demonstration on the skillful art of making stone tools in traditional form. Even try it for yourself!
Tettegouche State Park

Nature Time at the Beach: Intro to Canoeing
1–2 pm Learn about the nature at Whitewater State Park with hands-on activities, great for kids.
Whitewater State Park (meet at the beach each week day through Labor Day).

Summer Bat Count
7:30–9 pm Learn about bats in Minnesota, the population threat of White Nose Syndrome, then head out to count the resident bat population. Have fun and help the park understand changes to the bats in the region.
Whitewater State Park

A Walk in the Woods
7–8:30 pm Enjoy a leisurely hike down to the confluence of Minneopa Creek and the Minnesota River. On the way down and back we will stop to talk about some of the different plants, trees and wildlife that can be found in the Minneopa Creek Gorge. In addition we will discuss the book A Walk in the Woods by Bill Bryson.
Minneopa State Park ( Meet at Group Campground on the campground side of Minneopa State Park)

The Bison at Blue Mounds
8–9 pm Learn about the amazing survival story of North America’s largest land mammal and the planned expansion of the Minnesota Bison Conservation Herd.
Blue Mounds State Park (Meet at the park amphitheater)

DNR Days with the Twins
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.

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
Target Field – Minneapolis

Fantastic Frogs and Toads
8:30–9:30 pm Discover which species call Minnesota home and learn about their fascinating lifecycle. Find out which frog is the largest, which frog turns into an ice cube, and which frog has special suction cup-like toes. Hop on down to the amphitheater for a closer look and meet some of these special animals in person.
Forestville/Mystery Cave State Park

Campfire Program: Wildlife of Mille Lacs
8–9 pm At this campfire talk we will discuss loons, eagles, bears, owls and other wildlife of Father Hennepin State Park and the greater Mille Lacs area. Meet at the Council Ring in Lakeview Campground. In case of rain the program will be held inside the Lakeview Picnic Shelter.
Father Hennepin State Park

St. Louis River Trivia
8–9 pm Join the park naturalist to learn about the animals, history and water of the St. Louis River with a mix of entertaining trivia questions. Excitement and prizes are included. Meet at the River Inn Interpretive Center.
Jay Cooke State Park

When Plants Attack!
8–9 pm Beware the toxic trio! Poison Ivy, Stinging Nettles and Wild Parsnip are all nuisance plants that cause itching and pain to many. Find out how to recognize them and what to do if you come in contact with them. Meet at the Amphitheater.
Wild River State Park

 

5/30 . . .

Birding Hike
6:45–8:30 am Join our campground hosts for a guided birding hike in our campground and nearby hiking trails. Meet at the campground host site: Site 1 Bird Checklists will be provided, bring your binoculars.
Frontenac State Park

Birding at Bear Head
8 am–10 am 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 (Meet at the park office)

Birding Hike
8:30 am–11 am
Walk Refuge trails to search for birds and other wildlife. We will look for warblers, vireos, and birds that nest on the Refuge. Dress for the weather. Bring water, bug spray, binoculars, and your favorite field guide.  Ages 7 to adult.
Louisville Swamp Unit, 3801 145th St W, Shakopee

Intro to Flower Photography
9:30 am–noon Bloomington Education and Visitor Center, 3815 American Blvd E, Bloomington
For the fourth year in a row, we will be presenting a program on flower photography. We will begin in the classroom with a presentation that will help you get some of those “wow” photos. Some of the topics to be covered are: 5 Types of Flower Photography, Challenges, Tips and Tricks, Some Locations. After the class we will go outside and photograph some of the spring flowers. Bring your camera, water, and dress for the weater (and for the ticks!). Don Tredinnick and Peter Berman, Volunteer Refuge Naturalists

Become an Aquatic Invasive Species (AIS) Volunteer
9 am 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. Please include contact information in your RSVP in case of cancellations.
Hazelton Town Hall

Birds, Books and Binocs
9–10:30 am Birding is an enjoyable and challenging hobby. Join a park naturalist for a birding hike after learning how to use a field guide and binoculars. Equipement provided. A park vehicle permit is required.
Fort Snelling State Park

Become an Aquatic Invasive Species (AIS) Volunteer
9–noon 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.
Central Region Headquarters – Warner Rd

Flatwater Kayaking Essentials $$$
9 am–noon $50 Our hands-on beginner class is set up to teach paddlers about safety, proper paddling form, and paddle strokes. Participants will learn the basics of kayaking from qualified instructors surrounded by the beauty of a nature-based park. All equipment provided. Ages 14+
Hyland Lake Park Reserve, Bloomington, MN

Family Kayaking
9 am–11 am $20 This lesson is designed around having fun, being safe, and learning proper technique. Participants learn water safety, entering and exiting, and paddling strokes. Equipment provided. Ages 8+
Cedar Lake Farm Regional Park, New Prague

Women’s Birds, Books, and Binoculars
9–10:30 Birding is an enjoyable and challenging hobby. Join a park naturalist for a birding hike after learning how to use a field guide and binoculars. Equipment provided. Registration required. Call 612-725-2724 to register. This program is partnership with the Becoming An Outdoors Woman (BOW) program. The Women In the Parks series offers women an opportunity to learn new skills and explore nature in state parks.
Fort Snelling State Park

C.A. Lindbergh State Park Walk
9 am–4 pm C.A. Register after 9 a.m., finish by 4 p.m. The event is sanctioned for 10km (6.2 miles) consisting of two shorter loops. Trails are flat, hard packed dirt, along Pike Creek, through the woods, by the historic Lindbergh house and the Mississippi River. There is a $2 participation fee for walk only. Vehicle permit required. Folkssports are leisure-time activities for people of all ages, alone or in groups, with no competitive requirements but plenty of awards. The event is sponsored by NorthStar Trail Travelers, www.nstt.org. For details call Wally Swanson, 507-362-8760.
Charles A. Lindbergh State Park (Register at the picnic area)

Insect Bites & Prevention
10:00–11:00 am If you’re wondering why mosquito bites itch, horsefly bites hurt, and blackfly bites bleed, here’s a look at the specialized mouthparts of biting insects. Discover how, when, and where insects use their eating utensils and learn how to avoid becoming the next main course.
Bloomington Education and Visitor Center Patio, 3815 American Blvd E, Bloomington

Snakes Alive!
10–11 am Come see live snakes! Naturalist Emily Roberts will bring a variety of Minnesota snakes and discuss their habits, food needs and more. You’ll even get to see a live snake feeding.
Lake Maria State Park

Cottonwood River Paddle
10 am–3 pm Take a paddle on the Cottonwood River from County Highway 11 to for just under twelve miles to Flandrau State Park. On this stretch of the Cottonwood you will be able to experience numerous riffles, a floodplain forest and a diverse wildlife selection. Please register for the paddle by calling 507-384-8890 or sending an email to scott.kudelka@state.mn.us. You will be responsible for transportation to the put-in and take-out. We will meet at the County Highway 11 boat access point. The paddle will be canceled if the water flow conditions aren?t safe enough.
Flandrau State Park

Ferns of Forestville
10–noon The age of ferns has passed, but ferns live on! Join a park naturalist on this hike afield with other friendly folk to find fern fronds on the forest floor. Meet at the picnic shelter
Forestville/Mystery Cave State Park

Science Institute for Educators Field Day: Invasive Species & lake sturgeon
10 am–4 pm This season includes four 2-hour workshops showcasing inquiry-based activities tying into the Next Generation Science Standards Crosscutting Concepts. New for this year: two 6-hour field days engaging with local scientists to practice collecting scientific data and designing field excursions with your students. Each field day showcases two outdoor sites that are ideal for bringing multiple classrooms of students to collect data and experience science activities in an outdoor setting close to schools in the Duluth area. More details HERE and registration HERE
St. Louis River & Estuary

Geocaching 101
10 am–11 am Check out the latest geocaching challenge at state parks as you set out on a high tech treasure hunt with the naturalist. GPS units will be provided. This program is great for first time or beginner geocachers and will cover GPS use. Meet at the park office.
Interstate State Park

Vernal Pools and Herps at Blue Mounds State Park and Touch the Sky Prairie
10 am–1 pm Join botanist Fred Harris and herpetologist Jeff LeClere to learn about some of the rarest plants and one of the rarest snakes known in Minnesota. Vernal pools are short-lived wetlands on top of bedrock that support unusual plants rare seen in other habitats in Minnesota. Bedrock outcrops also host a variety of snakes and lizards, including the Lined snake known in Minnesota only from Blue Mounds State Park. Meet at the Visitor Center parking lot of Blue Mounds State Park at 10:00 am. We will hike around on the ridges above the parking lot for about an hour or so, then head a few miles north and west to Touch the Sky Prairie to see bigger pools.
Blue Mounds State Park

Five Facts in Five Minutes: Pond Study
10 am–noon 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.)

Intro to Geo-caching
10–11:30 am Want to have some fun discovering how to use a GPS (Global Positioning System) unit? In addition, you?ll find out about the great sport of geocaching. (It?s like a treasure hunt using a GPS unit!) If you have a GPS unit, bring it. If not, you can use one of the park?s! We will go as a group to find the park?s new Call of the Wildflowers geocache.
Whitewater State Park

Wildflowers of Kathio
10:30–noon This is 2-part program. We will begin indoors with a 30 minute slide show illustrating many wildflowers that grow in the area. We will then go on a 1-hour trail walk to see what’s in bloom. You are welcome to attend either, or both parts of the program. Meet at the interpretive center.
Mille Lacs Kathio State Park

Live Frogs and Other Amphibians
11am–noon Get an up-close look and feel at Minnesota?s native frogs, toads, and salamanders with local amphibian enthusiast Randy Korb. He?ll share stories of their unique characteristics, fun facts, and guarantee a fun-filled time for all ages with this literally hopping hour of excitement!
Wild River State Park (Visitor Center)

Slithering Snakes
11 am–noon Ever wonder what a Garter Snake eats? How do snakes survive the winter? What species of snakes live in Minnesota? Do snake scales feel slimy? Learn all about native snakes and the benefits of having these slithery reptiles in our ecosystems. Meet a live Western Fox Snake.
Tettegouche State Park (Located near the Visitor Center fireplace)

Women’s Rum River Kayak $$$
12:30–3 pm $25 Join us for a great afternoon of paddling on the scenic Rum River! This is a wonderful way to relax and enjoy a lovely spring day on the water. Learn some new skills or practice what you know! No experience necessary. Program geared for ages 14 and up. Registration: For questions or to register contact Anoka County Parks at www.anokacountyparks.com or at 651-429-8007.
Rum River South Regional Park, Anoka

Family Canoeing
1–3 pm Designed around having fun, being safe, and learning proper technique. Learn water safety, entering and exiting, and paddle strokes. Paddlers must be ages 8+; children ages 5-8 may ride along. Ages 8+
Clearly Lake Regional Park, Prior Lake

Accessible Strolls
1–2 pm Join a naturalist for a guided stroll on paved, accessible trails. Each hike will cover a different topic from wildflowers to waterfalls to mushrooms and macro-organisms. These are great opportunities for individuals with mobility challenges and parents with strollers.
Gooseberry Falls State Park

Nature Games at the Beach
1–2 pm Learn about the plants and animals of Whitewater State Park while scavenging for evidence of the areas creatures. Meet at the beach.
Whitewater State Park

Lady’s-slipper Walk
1–2:30 pm This hike across the St. Louis River will lead to a scenic hillside of yellow lady’s-slipper flowers. Along the way we’ll discover other spring flowers in bloom. Meet at the River Inn Interpretive Center.
Jay Cooke State Park

BOW – Sporting Clays $$$
1–4 pm 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. Course dates and times: May 30, 2015, 1p.m. to 4p.m. Cost: $50 Registration: Register with Sandy Austin at SandyBOW@gmail.com
Minnesota Horse and Hunt Club, Prior Lake

BOW – Trap Shooting
Event FULL Contact for upcoming programs: Sandy Austin at SandyBOW@gmail.com
Minnesota Horse and Hunt Club, Prior Lake

Paddling for beginners
1–4 pm Enjoy the peacefulness and beauty of Lac qui Parle Lake by joining us for a canoe and kayak ride. Local canoer Tom Watson will lead participants on a canoe journey along the shores of Lac qui Parle Lake. Along the way, Tom will demonstrate different paddling techniques and provide hands on training for those who are inexperienced in canoeing or kayaking. Program is open to ages 6 and older. Children must be accompanied by an adult. Pre-registration is required. Please call the park office to register for the program. Program will start at 1pm at the boat landing northwest of the lower campground.
Lac Qui Parle State Park

Nature Table: Oh, Deer!
1–3 pm Visit with a naturalist to explore the natural history and behavior of white-tailed deer. Look for the Naturalist Table in the Beach Area from 1 to 3 p.m. In case of rain this program will be cancelled.
Father Hennepin State Park

Kids Activity: Tree Detectives
2–3 pm Learn how to use the clues to tell who’s who among trees of the forest…and take home a small souvenir you make yourself.
Mille Lacs Kathio State Park (Meet at the interpretive center)

Five Facts in Five Minutes: Loons
2–4 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.)
Itasca State Park

Junior Park Naturalist: Walk like an Animal
2–3 pm Meet by the Museum Amphitheater, below Wegmann’s Store (cancelled if raining). Leap, lumber, hop and bound! Get ready for fun as we learn how to walk like common animals of Itasca. Then, stamp your own animal track book.
Itasca State Park

Kids Activity: Pop Can Casting
3:30–4:30 pm Learn about fish that people like to catch in the Mille Lacs area, and take home a fishing rig that you will make from a pop can. Meet in Lakeview Picnic Area. In case of rain this program will be cancelled.
Father Hennepin State Park

Double Lives of Dragonflies: Investigation Station
3–4 pm Immerse yourself in the fascinating world of dragonflies! Discover the unique lifecycle of these amazing insects during an ongoing activity. You will even have a chance to make your very own dragonfly craft to keep! Drop by to find the naturalist near the visitor center.
Interstate State Park

Weaving with Natural Fibers
3–4:30 pm Have you ever wondered how Native American Indians once used the natural resources of this area to make tools and living necessities? Come learn some of these tools and make a bracelet you can take home!
Whitewater State Park

Strawberry Moon Walk in the Sun
4–5 pm June’s full moon is known as the strawberry moon in local Ojibwe culture. Learn about the delightful strawberry and other berries that grown in the park.
Jay Cooke State Park (Meet at the River Inn Interpretive Center)

Snake, Rattle and Roll!
7–8 pm Explore the amazing snakes that call Minnesota home with special scaled guests from Snake Discovery. Our guest presenter will entertain you with examples of what it takes to survive as a snake and give you the chance to meet a few up close (if you choose). Meet at the visitor center.
Afton State Park

White-tail Deer
7–8 pm Over the past century the population of white-tail deer in North America has exploded from around 300,000 to 30 million. This native animal has done extremely well because of how humans have reshaped the natural environment including the extermination of predators like the wolf. Here in Minnesota the white-tail deer is part of a rich hunting tradition and also considered a nuisance by gardeners and those who have been unfortunate to hit one with their vehicle. Learn about the many different aspects of deer ecology along with the differences between other ungulates like elk and moose.
Flandrau State Park (Meet at the playground at the Day Use Area near the swimming pond)

Frogs and Toads
8–9 pm Fourteen different species of frogs and toads live in Minnesota. Find out which ones are found in Winona County and learn more about these amazing amphibians. After a presentation, we?ll look at live frogs and toads up close and take a short stroll to practice identifying the frogs and toads we can hear calling!
Whitewater State Park

Birdsong Walk
7–9 am Join us as we share tips on identifying birdsongs and birds. Hike along with us as you discover who’s making the chirps, twitters and trills you’ve been hearing. Great for beginning birders. Binoculars available. Meet at the River Inn Visitor Center.
Jay Cooke State Park

A Day at the Lumberjack Camp
7:30–8:30 pm Join the park naturalist to find out what life was like as a lumberjack in the 1800?s. From cutting to loading and even heading the logs down river, there was never a boring moment. Discover the daily routine and you may even get a job as a road monkey, bank beaver or river pig!
Wild River State Park

Life of a Voyager!
8–9 pm Paddle back to the days of the North American Fur Trade and explore the lives of the hardy French-Canadian Voyageurs. Audience participation is definitely included as you’ll watch an “average Joe” transform into a robust fur trader right before your eyes! Meet at the River Inn Interpretive Center.
Jay Cooke State Park

Mighty Moths
8:30–9 pm Much overlooked, moths are abundant, diverse, and ecologically important. There are over 160,000 known species worldwide with hundreds being discovered every day. Ranging from mosquito to bird sized, moths are magnificent creatures. Come join a naturalist and discover the mighty world of moths, learn how they have incredible behaviors for survival and why it is that they are so important. Meet at the ampitheater.
Forestville/Mystery Cave State Park

Who’s Calling? Owls Campfire
7:30–8 pm Sit around the campfire as we hear the legend of how the owl came to be. We will reveal the truth behind the myths of our common owls.
Itasca State Park (Meet in the picnic grounds at the Museum Amphitheater located below Wegmann’s Cabin; rain Location: Jacob V. Brower Visitor Center Classroom)

 

5/31 . . .

I Can Fish: Trout Fishing
10 am–noon 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

Overlook Hike
10 am– noon The Overlook Trail meanders over the river and through the woods to a viewing platform that provides a bird?s eye view of the park below. Meet at the picnic shelter for this 2.5 mile round trip hike to learn how the park?s geology and vegetation provide a number of unique habitats in a relatively small area. The hike includes a moderately steep hill.
Forestville/Mystery Cave State Park

Seasons of the Whitetail Program
10:30 am–11:30 am A talk about the natural history and behavior of white-tailed deer will be followed by the family-oriented nature film Seasons of the Whitetail.
Mille Lacs Kathio State Park (Meet at the interpretive center)

Animal Tracks & Signs Hike to the Cascades Waterfall
1–3 pm Join a park naturalist for a guided nature hike to the Cascades, the last waterfall 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. We will search for wildlife clues along the way.
Tettegouche State Park (meet at the visitor center fireplace)

Junior Park Naturalist: Totally Turtles!
2–3 pm Come and explore the life of a turtle, take a short walk to the turtle pond, and create your own turtle craft!
Itasca State Park (Meet by the Museum Amphitheater, below Wegmann’s Store; if raining meet at the Jacob V. Brower Visitor Center Classroom)

*Did you know that all turtles are protected under state of Minnesota law? Learn more about turtles HERE

Have You Seen our Mussels? Investigation Station
3–4 pm What makes mussels so magnificent? Who is hiding in that shell and what do they do all day? Stop by to get a peek at the shells of these siphoning creatures and learn why some are a protected species unique to the St. Croix River. Find us near the visitor center.

Have You Seen our Mussels? Investigation Station
3–4 pm What makes mussels so magnificent? Who is hiding in that shell and what do they do all day? Stop by to get a peek at the shells of these siphoning creatures and learn why some are a protected species unique to the St. Croix River. Find us near the visitor center.
Interstate State Park

Call of the Wild Film: Crane Song
Join in on 60-90 minutes of films featuring our favorite 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

Itasca’s Music Under the Pines: Hog Rooster
7–8:30 pm
Itasca State Park (Meet outside Forest Inn (inside Forest Inn if raining)