Weekend Nature Activities: Nov. 13–15

Yes the weather is getting cooler and you may see some frost but don’t let that stop you from experiencing the wonders of the great outdoors this weekend. The Tundra Swans are in town! (Yup, you know it: Events free and open to the public AND for all ages, unless otherwise noted.)

—————FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 13—————

Apple Cider

Get ready for some yummy apple cider! Besides using Tamarack’s apple cider press to make the cider, we will make apple art, hear apple stories and explore fall seeds. Bring two apples; one for the cider and one to make applesauce! CALL FIRST: 651-407-5350
Tamarack Nature Center

—————SATURDAY, Nov. 14—————

Tundra Swan Migration $$$
9 AM to 3 PM Cost: $25/person This bus tour is open to the general public. Our host is Mary Stefanski, district manager of the Upper Mississippi River National Wildlife Refuge. Witness the spectacular Tundra Swan migration that takes place on the refuge. Bus tour, instruction and lunch included.Registration: To register call 507-494-6238, the deadline is November 7, 2015.
Upper Mississippi National Wildlife Refuge, Winona

Join other nature enthusiasts to welcome flocks of tundra swans visiting the U.S. A unique site witnessed only during their migration and in winter.

Join other nature enthusiasts to welcome flocks of tundra swans visiting the U.S. A unique site witnessed only during their migration and in winter.

All-Weekend Snowshoe-lacing Workshop $$$
9 AM to 3 PM, Saturday November 14 and 15, 2015. Get ready to explore winter by learning to lace your own pair of traditional wood frame Ojibwe-style snowshoes. Learn which knots to use and how to weave the decking onto the frame. This workshop recommended for ages 10 and up will consist of two consecutive day sessions. Must register: Call (651) 436-5391 or send email to Linda.Radimecky@state.mn.us
Afton State Park

Cut & Stack Scotch Pine —Volunteer Opportunity
9 AM to 12 PM The task this day will be to cut and stack scotch pine that has encroached on the reconstructed prairie. Depending on snow depth snowshoes or skis may be desirable for the half mile trek to the work area. Information about the site can be found on site’s web page. This event will be led by Site Steward, Tom Rice. No advance sign-up, but contact us if you have a large group. 651-259-5800
Helen Allison Savanna SNA

Tundra Swan Field Trip
10 AM to 12 PM After a short presentation, we’ll caravan through the Whitewater Wildlife Management Area to Weaver Bottoms on the Mississippi River to observe tundra swans on their migration to Chesapeake Bay. Binoculars, spotting scopes and handouts will be available. Bring your own transportation.
Whitewater State Park

Volunteer Clean-up Day —Volunteer Opportunity
1 PM to 3 PM Join us for an afternoon to help Lake Maria prepare for the winter season. There will be a variety of fall chores like raking, brushing, painting and more. Come prepared to work outdoors. Free snacks for volunteers! Register by calling Lake Maria at 763-878-2325.
Lake Maria State Park

Orienteering
Permanent courses set up around the state. Check out locations here.

 

 —————Sunday, November 15—————

Bird Watching Trek
8:00 am to 10:30 am Join in on a bird walk during fall migration. The Refuge is a great place to find migratory waterfowl, raptors, warblers, and sparrows. We will search for these species and more while the birds are resting and feeding before continuing their southerly migration. Birders of all skill levels are welcome. Bring binoculars, a field guide, and dress for the weather.
Bass Ponds Trailhead

—————Monday, November 16—————

Bird Watching Trek
8:00 am-10:30 am Join in on a bird walk during fall migration. The Refuge is a great place to find migratory waterfowl, raptors, warblers, and sparrows. We will search for these species and more while the birds are resting and feeding before continuing their southerly migration. Birders of all skill levels are welcome. Bring binoculars, a field guide, and dress for the weather.
Rapids Lake Education and Visitor Center

 
Upcoming . . .
11/21/2015 Seed Collection & Invasive Removal —Volunteer Opportunity
10 AM to 2 PM The task this day will be prairie seed collection and invasive weed/brush removal. 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

11/21/2015 to 11/22/2015, 2-Day Snowshoe Lacing Workshop $$$
9 AM to 4 PM Age 10+ $75 registration fee (incl. snowshoe kit, materials and instruction,along with coffee, tea, water, and snacks. Rubber bindings are available to purchase at the park for $5/pair. Lunch will not be provided for the weekend workshop, so attendees should bring a sack lunch). Lace your own pair of snowshoes during this two day workshop. You will be provided with the equipment and instruction needed to lace your own traditional Ojibwe-style snowshoes. Learn this skill from an experienced instructor through this hands-on and rewarding workshop. Register by calling Lake Carlos State Park at (320) 852-7200. Deadline to register for this workshop is November 2, 2015 by 4pm. Workshop has a minimum of 8 participants and a maximum of 12 participants.
Lake Carlos State Park

12/05/15 Frozen Frolic Fat Bike Race $$$
11 AM to 2 PM Age 14+ Test your speed and skill in a time trial format racing a 10.5-mile loop through trees and snow. After, warm up at the trailhead for awards and door prizes. Divisions include men?s, women?s, and U-17. Races alternate between Elm Creek and Murphy-Hanrehan Park Reserves. Weekly competitors add their top three finishes for a chance at being The Frozen Frolic Champion. Studded tires approved. Helmets required. Registration begins at 10 AM; race start is 11 AM. Sponsored by Maple Grove Cycling and Freewheel Bike.  $12 preregistration ; $15 day-of; $60 for all six races at both parks (call 763.559.6700)Year-round mountain bike races are held at Elm Creek Park Reserve and Murphy-Hanrehan Park Reserve. Enjoy awards, door prizes and good times at every race. SIGN UP.

Shown here: Elm Creek Park Reserve

Shown here:
Elm Creek Park Reserve