Weekend Nature Activities: Oct. 22–25

It’s the end of October already . . . WHAT?! Hurry, hurry! Oil yur skis, wax yur snowboards, and lace up da snowshoes THEN Get outside before the snow!!! All events listed free unless otherwise noted. Enjoy!

———————Thursday Oct 22————————
Certified DNR Safety Instructor Training —Volunteer Opportunity
6 PM Volunteer ATV Safety and Snowmobile Safety CD Instructor Training Class for Cottage Grove / Washington County. This training class is to become a certified volunteer Snowmobile Safety Training Instructor. **Prerequisites are only required for New Applicants or Inactive Instructors Re-Certifying. New applicants or re-certifying instructors must complete five required documents before registering for an instructor training class. Click on the ATV and/or Snowmobile tab at DNR Certified Volunteer Safety Instructor process for specific instructions and to download the required documents. Pre-registration is required to attend the training class. Participants must be at least 18 years old and must be willing to complete a background check. There is no fee to attend. Please bring a pen and the completed prerequisite paperwork to the training session. When registering please provide the following information by phone or e-mail to the contact person:
-Number attending
-Date of the training
-Name of contact person
-Contact’s phone number or e-mail address
Contact Regional Training Officer Kevin Neitzke by phone at 651-463-3168 or e-mail at kevin.neitzke@state.mn.us More Information: Contact Kevin Neitzke at 651-463-3168 or by email at kevin.neitzke@state.mn.us.
12800 Ravine Parkway South, Cottage Grove, MN 55019; Class held at: Cottage Grove City Hall

———————Friday Oct 23———————

Prairie Seed Collection —Volunteer Opportunity (ongoing)
Walk outdoors through the hills and valleys of Wild River State Park this fall collecting seeds from forbs and grasses as part of the park’s Prairie Care Program. Help restore prairie areas within the park by collecting and planting native plant seeds. When you volunteer in the Prairie Care Program, you will:
• Learn how to identify prairie plants and collect their seeds (training and collection equipment will be provided by the park)
• Be shown the locations of the plant species needed
• Provide your own transportation to and from the park as well as within for collection duties
• Walk on sloped or uneven ground as may be necessary to reach the plants
• Work at your own pace (no minimum time is required and indivduals and groups are welcome)
For more information contact Mike Dunker, Interpretive Naturalist, Wild River State Park, 39797 Park Trail, Center City, MN at 651-583-2125 ext. 227 or email him at Michael.dunker@state.mn.us

Prairie seed collection crew with Friends of the Mississippi River. (See their event for Buckthorn Blast coming up Oct 31)

Prairie seed collection crew with Friends of the Mississippi River. (See their event for Buckthorn Blast coming up Oct 31)

Shoreline Garbage Clean-up on Lake Pepin —Volunteer Opportunity (ongoing)
Walk along the shoreline of Lake Pepin to pick up trash in Frontenac State Park. Bags, gloves, pickers, and reflective safety vests will be provided. From 1 – 10 people are needed at least one day September – October. We’d like to have one clean-up day per month, if possible. Clean-up will happen at Sand Point, a bay and peninsula along Lake Pepin within Frontenac State Park. This area has a tendency to collect floating debris and trash from the Mississippi River and requires regular cleaning. Sand Point is a major migratory bird flyway and refuge, so keeping it clean is vital to the birds’ health. For more information contact Nadine Meyer, Assistant Park Manager, Frontenac State Park, 29223 County 28 Blvd, Frontenac, MN 55026 at 651-345-3401 or email Nadine.meyer@state.mn.us
Frontenac State Park

Certified Volunteer Hunter Education/Firearms Safety Instructor Training Class —Volunteer Opportunity
6 PM For Rochester / Olmsted County This training class is to become a certified volunteer instructor to teach the Field Day for the On-line Firearms Safety Course as well as teach the Classroom Firearms Safety Course. Current firearms safety instructors are not required to complete the prerequisites, but MUST review the Free Study Guide for the online course at HunterCourse.com **Prerequisites are only required for New Applicants or Inactive Instructors Re-Certifying. New applicants or re-certifying instructors must complete five required documents before registering for an instructor training class. Click on the Firearms tab at DNR Certified Volunteer Safety Instructor process for specific instructions and to download the required documents. Pre-registration is required to attend a training session. Participants must be at least 18 years old and pass a background check. There is no fee to attend. Please bring a pen and the completed prerequisite paperwork to the training session. When registering please provide the following information by phone or e-mail to the contact person: RTO Dan McBroom at daniel.mcbroom@state.mn.us or 507-251-0041.
-Number attending
-Date of the training
-Name of contact person
-Contact’s phone number or e-mail address
More Information: Contact Dan McBroom at 507-251-0041 or by email at daniel.mcbroom@state.mn.us.
Gamehaven Scout Reservation, 5015 Simpson Rd SE, Rochester, MN 55904
th

Volunteer Snowmobile Safety CD Instructor Training Class —Volunteer Opportunity
6:30 PM For Bloomington / Hennepin County This training class is to become a certified volunteer instructor for Snowmobile Safety CD course option. Prerequisites are only required for New Applicants or Inactive Instructors Re-Certifying. New applicants or re-certifying instructors must complete five required documents before registering for an instructor training class. Click on the Snowmobile tab at DNR Certified Volunteer Safety Instructor process for specific instructions and to download the required documents. Participants must be at least 18 years old and pass a background check. There is no fee to attend. Please bring a pen and the completed prerequisite paperwork to the training session. When registering please provide the following information to the contact person:
-Date of the training
-Name of person attending
-Contact’s phone number or e-mail address
Please register directly to Recreational Vehicle Coordinator Bruce Lawrence by e-mail at bruce.lawrence@state.mn.us or by phone at 763-267-8534.
Park Plaza Hotel, 4460 West 78th Street Circle, Bloomington, MN 55438

Story Telling and Night Hike
7 PM to 9:30 PM Join us for a night of great stories presented by a local story teller and afterwards for a led night hike on one of the parks many trails. S’mores and warm apple cider will be provided by the Friends of Camden. Meet in the North Picnic Shelter, with program starting at 7:15 PM. There is no charge for the program, but a valid MN State Park Vehicle Permit is required for entrance to the park.
Camden State Park

 

———————Saturday Oct 24———————

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. Craig Mandel, Volunteer Refuge Naturalist
Bass Ponds Trailhead

Birding for Beginners
10 AM to 11 AM Birding is an enjoyable and challenging hobby. Join the naturalist for a birding hike and learn about the basic techniques of bird identification. Binoculars are provided. Registration is required. Please call 612-725-2724 to register.
Fort Snelling State Park

Seed Collection —Volunteer Opportunity
10 AM to 2 PM Come out for a fun day of prairie seed collection. The seed will be used on the site for restorations. Some seed will be sown right after collecting. 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. Send email to: sna.dnr@state.mn.us
Lost Valley Prairie SNA

NATURE FAMILY FUN $$$ Wooly Bears for kids and Creating Wildlife Habitat for adults
(For children birth to 5 years, before kindergarten)
10:00 to 11:30am Fee is $5 per child per session.
Make nature discoveries, get resources to explore & protect your world together, and meet new friends! This class is offered at the Maplewood Nature Center in collaboration with Early Childhood and Family Education staff. Parents stay with their child(ren) during the entire class. To register: 651-748-7280
Maplewood Nature Center

Invasive Buckthorn Removal —Volunteer Opportunity
10 AM to 2 PM Please join us a continuing project to removal invasive buckthorn and improve habitat for the rare dwarf trout lily. See the Clinton Falls Dwarf Trout Lily SNA web page for a map and description of the site. Please bring water, lunch, eye protection, work gloves, and Wear long sleeves. Please note there are no facilities at this site. Contact Jerold Ibberson to register for this event: 507-381-9490 or by email at jerold222@yahoo.com
Clinton Falls Dwarf Trout Lily SNA

A buckthorn bust crew with Magnolia Landscape Co out of Cologne, MN

A buckthorn bust crew with Magnolia Landscape Co out of Cologne, MN

Native Prairie Planting Day
10:30 AM to 12:30 PM Help promote habitat for pollinators by restoring 2.5 acres of Sibley State Park back into prairie! A Pheasants Forever grant is providing seed, snacks and refreshments and a free water bottle to the first 50 youth to RSVP! Contact Kelsey Olson at (320) 354-2002. Schedule:
10:30-11:00 Welcome, Introductions and Meet the Pollinators
11:00-12:00 Planting
12:00-12:30 Snack Break & Thank You
12:30-1:30 Optional Naturalist Activities: Games and Hike
Sibley State Park

Halloween Howl
5 PM to 7 PM Come enjoy this popular event! Beginning at 5 pm Northwoods Audubon will present: “Owls – The Silent Hunters”. You’ll have the chance to see live owls and learn how they hunt at night.
Children’s activities will begin at 6 pm. This includes a Halloween-themed craft. Participants are welcome to wear Halloween costumes. *Registration is required for the children’s events beginning 6 pm.only. Call Lake Maria at 763-878-2325 to register. **Program is free of charge, however a free will donation will be asked to help cover program and supply costs.
Lake Maria State Park

Candlelight Cemetery Walk
6 PM to 8 PM Join us for an evening walk in a ghost town cemetery. Visitors will hear stories of pioneers, civil war veterans, Minnesota conservation hero Richard Dorer and others who have lived in the Whitewater Valley. Bring your own transportation as the cemetery is located 5 miles north of the park. We?ll begin at the Visitor Center.
Whitewater State Park

Ghosts and Graves Tour
$$$
6 and 8:30 PM The Ghosts & Graves Tours Enter the dark caves also, then you want the Caves & Graves Tours on Fridays & Sundays. Give us a call for reservations if you dare! $6+ 651-292-1220
Wabasha Street Caves, St Paul MN

 

———————Sunday Oct 25———————
Buckthorn Pull —Volunteer Opportunity
10:30 AM There is much to do to restore heavily infested areas of buckthorn, and we need many hands to make a real impact. Please join us for morning of work to remove this invasive shrub. Bring appropriate tools if you have them. This event will be led by the Friends of Wolsfeld Woods. See the Wolsfeld Woods SNA web page for a map and description of the site. Contact Friends of Wolsfeld Woods at wolsfeldwoods@gmail.com.
Wolsfeld Woods SNA (Meet at 1700 Deer Hill Road, Long Lake, MN for this event)

Geocaching 101
1 PM to 2:30 PM Discover the fascinating challenge of geocaching and how you can use it to explore Minnesota State Parks’ hidden treasures. You will receive hands – on training that will help you participate in the Geocaching adventures. A limited number of GPS units will be available. Registration required. Please call 612-725-2724 to register.
Fort Snelling State Park

 

———————Upcoming . . .
10/27/2015 Buckthorn Removal —Volunteer Opportunity
1 PM to 4 PM Please join St. Croix Savanna SNA friends to remove invasive buckthorn. Tools and know-how will be provided. This event will be led by site stewards Sheila Maybanks and Rob McManus. See the St. Croix Savanna SNA web page for a map and description of the site. Directions: From Bayport, 0.7 mile west on Co Hwy 14, then 0.8 mile south on Co Hwy 21, then 0.25 mile east on Inspiration Pkwy, then 0.25 mile southeast on Prairie Way, then about 0.15 mile east and south to dead end. Park at gate.
St. Croix Savanna SNA

10/30/2015 Ghost Walk
7 PM to 9 PM Learn about the fascinating people who have influenced the history of the Whitewater Valley. Guided groups will hear from ghosts of the valley during a night hike through one of the park’s picnic grounds. Meet at the Nature Store parking lot. Bring your own flashlight.
Whitewater State Park

10/30/2015 Pumpkin Parade
6 PM to 8:30 PM Bats, Skulls, Zombie Ants and a Pumpkin Parade! What more could you ask for?! Travel the paved Pondview Trail by light of jack o’ lanterns and luminaries, then head inside the trail center to warm up by a cozy fire. Trail starts at the Interpretive Center where you can explore the exhibits and try your hand at Halloween games in the Trail Center. Want YOUR pumpkin to star in the parade? Drop it off at the Interpretive Center Theater anytime Monday, October 26 to Friday, October 30th between 8 am and 4 pm. Pumpkins available for pick up after the event. Info. Call (320) 354-2055.
Sibley State Park

10/31/2015 Woodland Restoration —Volunteer Opportunity
9 AM to 1 PM Our second event in the Seven Mile Creek watershed. Volunteers are needed to work on ravine at the edge of a farm field, hauling and stacking buckthorn and other woody invasives that have degraded the understory of this forested area and lead to erosion and high rates of runoff.
St. Peter Farm Site 39315 460th Street – St. Peter

10/31/2015 Buckthorn Blast —Volunteer Opportunity
9–11 AM Join Friends of the Miss. River in the woodlands bordering the Vermillion River, a cold prairie stream in the heart of Dakota County and a major tributary of the Mississippi River. More info.
Vermillion River Aquatic Management Area  (near Rosemount)

10/31/2015 to 11/01/2015 Animal Tracking Workshop
9 AM to 2 PM Registration required: Call 612-725-2724 to register.Join the Minnesota Tracking Club for an introduction to the fundamentals to the ancient art of tracking. Over the course of the weekend you’ll build a foundation for beginning your own exploration of animal tracks. Tracking may be the most ancient of all sciences. Tracking is the study and interpretation of the tracks (footprints) and other signs left behind by animals as they go about their lives. Tracking begins with identifying the animal that left the tracks and signs behind and grows into understanding the intimate details of that animal’s life. Our distant ancestors learned to read the signs of passing animals. For them, it was a matter of survival. For most of us, tracking is a way to connect more deeply with the natural world around us. Both days begin at 9 am and conclude by 2 pm and there will be a break for lunch (not provided). Dress to be comfortable inside (presentations and lecture) and outside on (and off) the trail. Bring a notebook and writing utensil. More Information: Call (612) 279-3550 or Visitor Center (612) 725-2724.
Fort Snelling State Park

11/07/2015 Sunset Photo Hike
3:30 pm-5:30 pm An annual favorite, as we capture the setting sun over the refuge. The location is perfect as we capture the sun as it sets over the grasses which will be showing their full fall color. We will head down the trail and get into position. Sunset is at 4:55PM, so we will have plenty of time to prepare and get set-up. Don will go over some tips on capturing the sunset once we are in position. Don Tredinnick and Peter Berman, Volunteer Refuge Naturalists
Bloomington Education and Visitor Center

—————Seasons———————
10/24/15 – 05/15/16 Furbearer Trapping – Beaver – north zone

10/24/15 – 02/29/16 Furbearer Trapping – Mink and Muskrat – north zone

10/24/15 – 01/03/16 Furbearer Trapping – Otter – north zone

10/24/15 – 03/15/16 Raccoon, Red Fox, Gray Fox, Badger, Opossum (South) Hunting & Trapping

10/31/15 – 11/01/15 Deer Hunt – Camp Ripley Archery Hunt – 2nd season

10/31/15 – 05/15/16 Furbearer Trapping – Beaver – south zone

10/31/15 – 02/29/16 Furbearer Trapping – Mink and Muskrat-south zone

10/31/15 – 01/03/16 Furbearer Trapping – Otter – south zone