Oct 18 & 19 Watershed Game on Bicycles

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Greetings!

I want to make you aware of an innovative opportunity to engage with the landscape and, perhaps coincidentally, gain some water quality learnings! We need players and volunteers for a place-based watershed game on bicycles scheduled for October 18 and 19. Please forward to your networks!

Ruination: City of Dust is a multiplayer game using the landscape of Lake Nokomis and Minnehaha Creek as a game board. Contemporary environmental science informs a post-apocalyptic mystery, which you're challenged to bike, paddle, listen, learn and imagine to solve, in order to unlock a hidden reward at the end.

From the producers of the Northern Spark Festival - NorthernLights.mn, in collaboration with the Minnehaha Creek Watershed District, WriterGuy Ken Eklund, and the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board, with generous support from the Bush Foundation's Community Innovation Grant Program.

To set the stage:

It is the year 2314. The once-flourishing Minneapolis metropolis has collapsed; only dusty ruins remain. Teams of Explorers brave the harsh conditions to dig through the sand and rubble, searching for answers. Which Deadly Problem ruined the city? This is the mystery you must solve.

Register to play SATURDAY or SUNDAY!

Cost is $5 per person OR $15 per team (up to 6 players per team) - Geared for people college-age and up (but appropriate for youth 10+ with adults).

www.ruination.mn/register

Bring a bicycle, helmet, cell phone & your thirst for adventure!

Feel free to contact me with any questions or to volunteer.

Best,

Mollie

Mollie Thompson, Education Assistant
15320 Minnetonka Blvd, Minnetonka, MN 55345
Direct: (952) 641.4507 | www.minnehahacreek.org

Oct. 12 Migrate, Hibernate, or Deal With It

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Migrate, Hibernate, or Deal With It
Sunday, October 12, 1-2:30 pm
Eastman Nature Center, Elm Creek Park Reserve, Dayton
Join noted photographer and author "Sparky" Stensaas in a self-illustrated presentation. Birds, mammals, amphibians, and even insects not only cope but thrive in our winter forests. Learn how they do it through stunning images and HD video of rarely-seen critters. Ages: 6+. $5. For more information, call 763-694-7700.

Sparky Stensaas is a photographer, naturalist, author, publisher living in the North Woods of Minnesota. He is
co-owner of Kollath-Stensaas Publishing.

Tree Identification Volunteers needed in Prior Lake

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On Thu, Sep 25, 2014 at 3:29 PM, wrote:
Good afternoon! My name is Amber and I am a Minnesota GreenCorps member serving the community and city of Prior Lake, MN. I was curious if it was possible to find out if there were any master naturalists in Scoot county that I could potentially contact for some volunteer tree identification work. I am trying to get a program similar to that in Shakopee and many other cities that connects volunteers to their communities environment through a tree identification survey. I was hoping that Master Naturalists, being that they are experts, would be able to help us with this survey and possibly with leading teams of eager identifiers!

Thank you for your time and have a wonderful day!

--
Amber Brooks-Mohler
Minnesota GreenCorps
Serving the Community and City of Prior Lake
952.210.5148
priorlakegreencorps@cityofpriorlake.com

Hey all,

This years Halloween Haunt at PWELC is on Friday, Oct 31st from 6:00-9:00.
Yes, that is actually Halloween Night. Which has led to a bit of a dilemma. Seems that all of the Honor Society kids and FFA students that usually help out have other commitments.
So-I am looking for help.....
Lots of different roles to help with:
Carving pumpkins.
Decorating cookies.
Making popcorn.
Playing games. (stick the wart on the witch's nose)
Dressing up like an animal and telling the kids what your doing to get ready for the winter. (costumes and scripts provided)
Belaying on the climbing wall.

Let me know if you can help.
or
If you know somebody else that might be available (husbands, wives, friends, family members) that might want to help

Kory Klebe
Environmental Education and Shooting Sports Coordinator
Prairie Woods Environmental Learning Center
12718 10th St. NE
Spicer, MN 56288
320-354-5894
kory_k@co.kandiyohi.mn.us

Fall SNA Nature Notes

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What's the Buzz about Native Bees?

By Crystal Boyd, Minnesota Biological Survey Bee Researcher

In spring 2014, I visited nine SNAs in southwestern Minnesota. It was memorable to see a bobolink singing at Lundblad Prairie SNA and a monarch butterfly soaring at Cottonwood River Prairie SNA. The real treat for me, however, were the native bees that I was there to survey.

I collected bees using small cups of soapy water, as shown in the photo to the right. These specimens will support a DNR grant (see video about the project) to update the state species list of bees. The most recent list was published in 1919 as part of The Hymenoptera of Minnesota, so a more complete version is long overdue. The specimens collected will be preserved at the University of Minnesota Insect Collection, where seven volunteers are helping to catalogue the data.

Native bees are different from honey bees in several ways. First, there are about 350 species of native bees in Minnesota. This contrasts with honey bees, which are just one species--Apis mellifera--and were imported from Europe in the 1600s.

Native bees also have different life strategies than honey bees. Over 90% of native bees are solitary, and only 10% are social. Leaf cutter bees, for example, live alone while bumble bees can nest in hives of a few hundred individuals. This contrasts with honey bees, which are highly social and live in colonies of 50,000 individuals or more.

Approximately 70% of our native bee species nest underground. Usually a solitary female digs a main tunnel connected to several chambers. She provisions the chambers with pollen and lays an egg inside each one. At sites like Compass Prairie SNA and Des Moines River SNA, one of the most common species I found was the Bicolored Agapostemon (Agapostemon virescens). This is a native ground-nesting bee that shimmers bright green in the sunlight.

The other 30% of bee species are cavity-nesters. They use pithy shrubs or hollow grasses to shelter their young. Some bees nest in tunnels that beetles excavate in dead trees. But not all cavity-nesters build their own home: cuckoo bees lay their eggs in the nests of other bees, much like cuckoo birds parasitize the nests of other birds. I found the most cuckoo bees (Nomada sp.) at Prairie Bush Clover SNA. This could indicate that the site's bee population is healthy enough to sustain parasites.

The specimens from these SNAs are great data points for the state species list of bees, and I hope to survey more SNAs in the future. This research is only possible with the help of SNA staff and volunteers--so I'd like to give a huge "Thank you!" for all your great work and help you provide to this survey!

Funding for this project was provided by the Minnesota Environment and Natural Resources Trust Fund as recommended by the Legislative-Citizen Commission on Minnesota Resources (LCCMR).


Students Survey Rare Thistle

By Jeff Moss, Nicole Ellingson, Isaac Holman, Christina Weeks, Lindsey Forward, and Jack Norland

"There's thistle in them thar hills", or more accurately, there is Hill's Thistle in the hills of Blanket Flower Prairie SNA. The presence of this Minnesota species of special concern on this SNA has given the North Dakota State University Natural Resources Management (NRM) Club, stewards for the site, an opportunity to conduct an annual survey of the thistle. Led by Jack Norland, the group's advisor, nine individuals participated in the 2014 survey.

Hill's thistle is a short stocky thistle with a large flowering head. The stems range from 8 inches to 2 feet in height and usually have only one flowering head. The flower ranges from 2-3 inches in height and are reddish to deep purple in color. The leaves are lobed with wavy edges and can vary in length up to 10 inches with a woolen, whitish appearance. Blanket Flower Prairie SNA is the western most edge of its known range.

After a successful 2013 survey the group was anxious to survey some of the areas not previously covered. A brief discussion on identification was conducted at a known Hill's thistle site, then with GPS and clipboard in hand, the survey crew split into two groups and decided to head into different sections of the SNA. While one of the groups had more of a nature walk, the other group was able to locate and identify 7 different patches of thistle totaling 100 individual rosettes as well as evidence of growth near a prescribed burn site. (NRM Club members are pointing to blooming Hill's thistle on the 2014 survey in the photo above.) The 2013 survey produced 15 different patches with 174 individual rosettes and both years showed evidence of summer blooms, this year however, the group was treated to a rare late blooming plant.

All surveys were promoted as an SNA event open to anyone and are a great opportunity for individuals to come together to enjoy a beautiful natural asset while conducting citizen science. The data gathered will be utilized in further understanding the growth and spread of Hill's thistle as well as formulating future management plans for Blanket Flower Prairie SNA and other prairie landscapes. The experience of a day in one of Minnesota's stunning prairie landscapes is an occasion that shouldn't be missed.


SNA Events

Fall is a great time to remove woody invasive species! Help out on one or more volunteer projects to combat aggressive invasives on SNAs. A full list is available on the SNA Events Calendar.


10/11/14

Grey Cloud Dunes SNA
Volunteer Project: Invasive and Trash Removal

10/26/14

Wolsfeld Woods SNA
Volunteer Project: Buckthorn Pull

11/01/14

Seminary Fen SNA
Volunteer Project: Buckthorn Removal, Clean-up and Seed Collection


Site Highlight: Gneiss Outcrops SNA
By Brad Bolduan, SNA Program Management Specialist

Over the past half century many areas along the Minnesota River have seen a large-scale invasion of woody vegetation with an especially strong one-two punch of encroaching red cedar and non-native buckthorn. This was, to a degree, the case at Gneiss Outcrops SNA, although not as pervasive as at many locations. The SNA is located southeast of Granite Falls. In the fall 2012 the SNA program solicited bids to cut, treat, and pile the invasive woody vegetation from the majority (150 acres) of this 234 acre SNA. The contracted work was completed in the first half of 2013 leaving the site much more open as seen in the adjacent photo.

Species such as oak, willow, and basswood were left standing. Ongoing management to control remaining woody vegetation and other "weeds" will be required for a few more years. There are still brush piles that will need to be burned over time.

Numerous small trees are still found growing in wetland fringes. Fire and cutting will be used to control these trees. The remaining parts of the SNA are seeing similar treatments. Formerly open areas are being cleared, while buckthorn is being removed in the areas nearest the Minnesota River.

The general appearance of the SNA has changed considerably. Outcrops that were hidden for years are now visible. It is hoped that the native prairie and outcrop species will respond favorably over the long-term. Come take look yourself and see how management is restoring the character of this site.

Funding for this project was provided by the Minnesota Environment and Natural Resources Trust Fund as recommended by the Legislative-Citizen Commission on Minnesota Resources (LCCMR).


Notes from Site Stewards

Site stewards monitor SNAs across Minnesota. Their observations provide invaluable information to the SNA Program. Here are some interesting notes from reports:

Often site stewards help with more than observations, including actively working with SNA staff to manage a site. For example at Whitney Island SNA site steward Virgil Luehrs was shown where a patch of invasive Japanese barberry was growing and he has been working this summer to eradicate it from the Island.
Surveying for rare species is another task site stewards can take on. On July 17th site steward Ed Heinen conducted a survey for breeding Louisiana waterthrush at Kettle River SNA.
Management isn't the only area where site stewards excel. On June 21st photographer Dale Bohlke offered a prairie photography workshop at Cottonwood River Prairie SNA, where he is steward. He offered a second workshop on August 16th at Joseph A. Tauer Prairie SNA.
Thanks stewards for all the work you do for SNAs!


Nature Notes is the Minnesota Scientific and Natural Areas quarterly e-newsletter. It seeks to increase interest, understanding and support of natural areas while promoting involvement in the protection of these special places. Contact us at sna.dnr@state.mn.us.

Funding for this project was provided by the Minnesota Environment and Natural Resources Trust Fund as recommended by the Legislative-Citizen Commission on Minnesota Resources (LCCMR).

Sept 29 Mini-Bioblitz St. John's Outdoor University

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5:00-8:00 p.m.
McKeown Center
St. John's University

For more information and to register, click here.

BirdSleuth Action Map

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You are recieving this email because I thought you might be interested in the positive conservation actions Breck School third graders made before I left for my sabbatical.

Last year, my third grade and seventh graders worked together to built bird houses for Breck School's campus. When I began working at the the Lab of Ornithology, I became aware of something called BirdSleuth Action Map. It is a site on which teachers (and others) can post information about the work children are doing to help nature. It is meant as a place to share what kids are doing so their work may inspire others to take action in their areas to be better stewards of nature.

Our submission was just posted and I am emailing you in hopes that you will like it. (And then, perhaps, invite 3 more people to like it also!) You can find the homepage for BirdSleuth Action Map at:

http://www.birdsleuth.org/action-map/

Our submissionis called Bird Houses for Breck School.

If you can, please view it and then click the like button (green heart) to let me know you were there. You can also comment on our submission, I believe. If I get enough likes, I just might win some binoculars for my classroom!

Action Map is an excellent place for teachers and kids to share and/or get ideas about ways to to take positive conservation actions. I think it is a great site. I hope you enjoy it and looking over our submission.

Thanks in advance for taking the time to view (and, I hope, like) it.

Thanks so much,

Barbara Jacobs-Smith

Oct. 24 Halloween Extravaganza

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Halloween Extravaganza
Friday, Oct. 24
5:30 - 10 p.m.
Scary Trail opens at 7 p.m.
For All Ages
Location: Farm Entrance
1701 Charlton St.,
West St. Paul

Dodge's Halloween Extravaganza has a smorgasbord of activities to fulfill your Halloween craving. Hike on the friendly trick or treat trail or the scary trail through the frightening forest. Gratify your creative edge by getting your face painted and dancing to the DJ. Grab a snack at the concessions and enjoy shows that have an educational twist. Costume contest? YES.
Public: Adults $9 / Children $9
Members: Adults $6 / Children $6 FREE for children age 2 and under

Make Stillwater a Pollinator Friendly City

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Hello Pollinator Champions!
Good News.......

We presented our proposal to make Stillwater a Pollinator Friendly City last night.
The Stillwater Council likes the idea so we will be moving forward to make our City Pollinator Friendly.

(Choose Sep 16 Video) Watch the City Council presentation here online.

September 16, 2014: Standing room only for an articulate, informative and cohesive presentation made to the Stillwater City Council by Dr. Vera Krischik, Director Center for Sustainable Urban Ecosystems & Professor of Entomology, Agricultural & Natural Resource Sciences, plus Lex Horan, Pesticide Action Network, Laurie Schneider & Marcia Forsberg of Pollinator Friendly Stillwater, and Andrea Rustad, Stillwater Butterfly Conservation Project.

The City Council was supportive and impressed with the information presented. We are excited to move forward to make Stillwater "pollinator friendly". We have exceptional partners with volumes of expertise ready to consult on issues of pesticide management and creating safe havens for pollinators. We are awaiting news from the City Council about the next step, and anticipate a meeting with City staff to develop a resolution and/or ordinance.

This is only the bee-ginning!

Sept. 27-Nov. 22 Make CSB/SJU National Outdoor Champions!

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Outdoors is calling...will you answer?

Sept. 27-Nov. 22
oncampuschallenge.org

Get outside. Win awesome gear.

How to Win:
1) Get outside! For at least 30 minutes
2) Take a photo! Have fun. Be creative.
3) Log on: oncampuschallenge.org
4) Repeat Up to 5 times a day
5) Win awesome prizes along the way!

10 schools...8 weeks...1 champion

A head-to-head outdoor battle to see which school can inspire the most people in their communities to do outdoor activities:
Whoever you are;
Wherever you are;
Whenever you can;
Sharing with as many people as possible.

Pre-Game Prizes
Log-on to the challenge by Sept. 27 to win these great prizes!

All will receive a discount code for 25% of products at www.coleman.com good through Dec. 24, 2014

These people will be selected to win one of these 5 prizes (1st drawn, 1st choice):
1 gallon St. John's Maple Syrup
$200 coupon toward a PRP trip
A Minnesota book set
A Patagonia better sweater jacket
A Neverest Outfitters backpack or messenger bag (your choice)

Win weekly prizes throughout the challenge.

Sept. Mississippi Messages

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FMR Updates

COMING SOON! FMR AND REI CELEBRATE PARTNERSHIP IN OCTOBER

This coming October, FMR is celebrating its valued partnership with REI. Accordingly, we are offering these special benefits, courtesy of REI, to our members and supporters throughout October:

Generous REI coupon for new or renewing FMR members.
Complimentary "REI Steward 2014" t-shirt if you are both an FMR and REI member.
REI Passage 2 tent raffle.

Read more »


FORD'S RIVERSIDE TOXIC DUMP UNDER INVESTIGATION

From 1945 until 1966, the Ford Motor Company dumped unknown quantities of industrial waste, including solvents and paint sludge, on the floodplain of the Mississippi River below the bluff adjacent to its St. Paul assembly plant. The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency is now asking Ford to conduct further investigation of the dump before deciding whether to require Ford to clean it up. Friends of the Mississippi River has numerous concerns about the thoroughness of the proposed investigation and the possibility that the dump will be allowed to remain at the river's edge permanently.

Read more »


MAKING OUR HOMES RIVER-FRIENDLY, FALL FMR WORKSHOPS

We all know it's important to conserve water and decrease pollution, but how exactly do you go about doing that in your own home or yard? And what really makes the biggest difference for our local rivers?

At FMR, we're asked these questions all the time. This fall, we're offering a trio of Vermillion Stewards workshops to answer them as best we can, as quickly and concisely as possible. Join the movement to make your home river-friendly. Sign up for one or all!

Read more »


SUPPORT THE EPA'S WORK TO PROTECT U.S. STREAMS AND WETLANDS

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is now accepting comments on their draft Waters of the U.S. rule - a clarification of the Clean Water Act. Tell the EPA that you support their efforts to protect our nations streams and wetlands today!

Read more »


THEY'RE BAAAAACK!

FMR's hungriest volunteers have returned to Gores Wildlife Management Area to dine on invasive shrubs.

Read more »


ROCHESTER EARNS STORMWATER EXCELLENCE AWARD!

Congratulations to the city of Rochester for earning the Blue Star Award. Rochester, like all Blue Star communities, is taking a leadership role in protecting Minnesota's water resources and public health through excellence in stormwater management.

Read more »


A FAMILIAR FACE JOINS THE FMR EVENTS TEAM

FMR is delighted to officially welcome events intern Amy Kilgore as our new Outreach Assistant and Events Registrar. Her smiling face will be familiar to many Mississippi Messages readers. Since March, Amy has worked with hundreds of FMR volunteers at our restoration and education events. Now she'll also be the person signing everyone up, staying in touch about details and directions and sending Facebook-worthy photos after each event.

Read more »


Mississippi River News

LAWSUIT OVER WHITE BEAR LAKE WATER LEVELS WILL GO TO TRIAL

The Star Tribune recently covered a decision by Judge Margaret Marrinan to send a nearly two-year old lawsuit over White Bear Lake water levels to trial next spring.

Read more »


NEW INFORMATION RAISES QUESTIONS ABOUT TRICLOSAN SAFETY

Triclosan made headlines for all the wrong reasons in recent weeks. New research on the risks on triclosan in personal care products, and newly released data on the FDA's original approval in triclosan in toothpaste, shined a less-than-flattering light on the controversial chemical.

Read more »


THE STAR TRIBUNE WEIGHS-IN ON THE STATE'S NEW PHOSPHOROUS POLLUTION STANDARDS

In response to toxic algae blooms in Lake Erie, the Star Tribune authored this recent editorial highlighting the importance of Minnesota's new standards, and calling for additional state action to protect and maintain our waters for both aquatic recreation, environmental health, and public safety.

Read more »


Calendar of Events

EXPLORE WETLAND ECOLOGY IN TUNNEL VALLEY

Thursday, September 18, 6-7:30 p.m.
Cottage Grove Ravine Regional Park, Cottage Grove

Join Friends of the Mississippi River ecologist Karen Schik and Washington Conservation District's Angie Hong as we explore Ravine Lake and the wetlands surrounding it. You'll learn about the plant life in and around the wetlands -- aquatic, amphibious, and terrestrial -- and the important role these plants play as they provide habitat and filter pollutants from our waters. Then we'll use dip nets to get a closer look at macroinvertebrates living in the marsh, and discuss what these tiny creatures reveal about the impacts of water pollution!

Capacity is limited and preregistration required. Children are welcome with a parent or guardian. Learn more on the event page, or sign up now with Amy at akilgore@fmr.org or 651-222-2193 x31.

Read more »


ST. PAUL OPEN STREETS WATER FESTIVAL

Sunday, September 21 -- noon-4 p.m.
University Avenue, Central Corridor, St. Paul

St. Paul Open Streets encourages residents to get out and see our community up-close in a safe, car-free environment. This year's event also includes a Water Festival, focused on making the connection between our local streets and the health of our local waters. Join FMR's Kate Clayton to learn about the 450 miles of storm drains that run below the streets of St. Paul, what flows through them, and where all this stormwater -- and the pollution that comes with it -- really goes. Participants can also help educate others and reduce water pollution by joining Kate to stencil storm drains in the surrounding neighborhoods. Learn more on the event page.

Read more »


'MAKE AND TAKE' RAIN BARREL WORKSHOP

Thursday, September 25, 6-7:30 p.m.
Lakeville Area Arts Center, Lakeville

Every time there's a heavy rain, rainwater has washed over your roof, your yard and pavement -- carrying bits of roof shingles, pet waste, fertilizer, pesticides, motor oil and dirt into the nearest storm drain. All of this pollution goes right into our local creeks, lakes and the Vermillion and Mississippi Rivers -- unfiltered, untreated! Rain barrels help reduce this runoff pollution, and offer many other benefits as well. Learn more, sign up and purchase your barrel and supplies ($30) via the event page.

Read more »


REMNANT BLUFF PRAIRIE RESTORATION

Saturday, September 27 -- 9:00-11:00 a.m.
River Oaks Park, Cottage Grove

Just southeast of River Oaks Golf Course in Cottage Grove lies a riverfront bluff with stunning views and a special remnant bedrock bluff prairie. Roughly 30 years ago this remnant prairie was renown as a very high quality area with excellent biodiversity. Over the years, however, it has steadily declined, and is now at risk of slowly being taken over by non-native species.

Recently, FMR began working with the City of Cottage Grove to preserve and restore this important site. Now volunteers are needed to join FMR Ecologist Joe Walton at our first restoration event at River Oaks Park. Volunteers will primarily haul pre-cut buckthorn, helping to open the canopy and making way for more beneficial native prairie and savanna plants to return.

Capacity is limited and registration required. Learn more on the event page, or sign up now with akilgore@fmr.org or 651-222-2193 x31.

Read more »


SCHEDULE YOUR STENCILING OUTING TODAY!

Through mid-October
City of Saint Paul

If you're looking for a great service outing that is educational, active, outdoors and provides a significant community benefit, consider storm drain stenciling. It's just one and a half to three hours in length, and can be set at a time and St. Paul location convenient for your group. Reservations are now being taken for outings through October 2014. Learn more on the stenciling event page or go straight to our stenciling, cleanup and presentation request form!

Read more »


OAK SAVANNA BUCKTHORN HAUL

Saturday, October 4 -- 9:30-11:30 a.m.
Near 36th & West River Pkwy., Mississippi River Gorge, Minneapolis

Volunteers will work closely with FMR staff to remove buckthorn and other invading trees and shrubs or to haul brush to its pick-up spot. Tools and gloves will be provided. However, be prepared to work on steep slopes and uneven terrain. Due to the tools and terrain, this event is not suitable for small children.

Capacity is limited and preregistration required. Learn more on the event page, or sign up now with Amy at akilgore@fmr.org or 651-222-2193 x31.

Read more »


SEED COLLECTION IN THE SAND COULEE/RARE PRAIRIE

Saturday, October 11 -- 9 a.m.-noon
Sand Coulee Scientific and Natural Area, Hastings

After a brief training, volunteers will help collect much-needed native prairie seed while enjoying this rare example of a sand-gravel prairie in full fall bloom. Volunteers will work with FMR Senior Ecologist Karen Schik and Assistant Stewardship Coordinator Kate Clayton in the natural area most recently added to the Sand Coulee Scientific and Natural Area. Seed will be used for further habitat restoration. Large quantities -- of volunteers and seed alike -- are needed!

Capacity is limited and preregistration required. Learn more about this Vermillion Stewards event on the event page, or sign up now with Amy at akilgore@fmr.org or 651-222-2193 x31.

Read more »


BUST BUCKTHORN IN 'TUNNEL VALLEY'

Saturday, October 18 -- 9:00 a.m.-noon
Cottage Grove Ravine Regional Park, Cottage Grove

Centered around one of the most impressive landscape features in southern Washington County, Cottage Grove Ravine Regional Park totals nearly 600 acres. The ravine for which it is named is approximately a half-mile wide with 80- to 100-foot slopes, and bisects the park north to south before ending in a small lake. Known as a "tunnel valley," the ravine was carved by a subglacial drainageway that carried large volumes of water, eroding the valley.

Volunteers will work with FMR Senior Ecologist Karen Schik to continue and expand the restoration of this beautiful park by hauling cut brush, primarily buckthorn. (There may also be some brush-cutting for volunteers comfortable working with handsaws or loppers.) This will help open the canopy, making way for native plants beneficial to local wildlife and waters to return.

Capacity is limited and registration required. Learn more on the event page, or sign up now with akilgore@fmr.org or 651-222-2193 x31.

Read more »


MAKE YOUR HOME RIVER-FRIENDLY

Wednesday, October 22 -- 6:00-7:00 p.m.
Dakota County Western Service Center (next to Galaxie Library), Apple Valley

Join FMR Stewardship Coordinator Adam Flett to learn about practices and small projects you can take on inside your home -- be it a mansion or a small apartment -- to significantly improve your water footprint. We'll quickly cover the basics, touching on both well-known lessons and lesser-known tools to help you figure out the most effective steps to take to make your home river-friendly.

Topics include the biggest water users in your house or apartment (both direct and indirect usage), where to take leftover prescription drugs, alternatives to household products containing triclosan and other river polluters.

Capacity is limited and registration required. Learn more about this free Vermillion Stewards event on the event page, or sign up now with akilgore@fmr.org or 651-222-2193 x31.

Read more »


RESTORE HABITAT AT PINE BEND BLUFFS

Saturday, October 25 -- 9:00 a.m.-noon
Pine Bend Bluffs near Highway 52, Flint Hills property, Rosemount

After a light breakfast and hot coffee, enjoy a nice fall workout removing pre-cut invasive buckthorn at this annual event in beautiful Pine Bend Bluffs. At the end, we'll enjoy a hot lunch (in a heated tent) to say thank you and celebrate a day's good work.

Learn more on the event page, or sign up now with akilgore@fmr.org or 651-222-2193 x31.

Read more »


LANDSCAPE FOR THE RIVER: NATIVE PLANTS, RAINGARDENS, LAWN CARE FOR WATER QUALITY (+ WINTER TIPS)

Tuesday, November 4 -- 6-7 p.m.
Schaar's Bluff Gathering Center, Hastings

Whether you're interested in a smaller native planting or want to transform your whole yard into a force for clean water in 2014, this FMR workshop can help you jump-start your spring planning. We'll also touch on ways to make your yard river-friendlier this winter. Taught by FMR's former River Stewardship Coordinator Adam Flett, the presentation receives rave reviews from participants, who also appreciate the high-quality and concise take-home materials. .

Capacity is limited and preregistration required. Learn more on the event page, or sign up now with Amy at akilgore@fmr.org or 651-222-2193 x31.

Read more »


Resource of the Month

NEW MWMO VIDEO SERIES TEACHES GOOD LAWN CARE CHOICES FOR CLEAN WATER

Residents, homeowners, business owners, and seasonal workers can all benefit from the recently released Mississippi Watershed Management Organization (MWMO) lawn care videos. The 21-minute videos promote techniques for maintaining an attractive and healthy lawn while keeping our rivers, lakes, streams and groundwater clean and safe.

Part 1: Lawn Care Basics
Part 2: Fertilizing Your Lawn
Part 3: Weed Control


Phenology

SQUADRONS SOARING ABOVE US

There are squadrons of large white birds overhead.

Read more »


Supporting FMR

HELP US EARN THE LAST $500 OF THE $10,000 CHALLENGE GRANT!

The Pohlad Foundation has offered FMR a $10,000 challenge grant to match new gifts before October 27. Thanks to an awesome show of support we are $500 away from the goal! To help us earn the final $500 and add your voice to the community voice for the river, please consider a tax-deductible gift to Friends of the Mississippi River today. You can call Heather at 651-222-2193 x30 to make a gift by phone, mail in a check or make your gift right now.

All new members get an attractive FMR magnet with our thanks!

Read more »


Quote of the Month

"The rising hills, the slopes, of statistics
lie before us.
the steep climb
of everything, going up,
up, as we all
go down.

In the next century
or the one beyond that,
they say,
are valleys, pastures,
we can meet there in peace
if we make it.

To climb these coming crests
one word to you, to
you and your children:

stay together
learn the flowers
go light"

- "For the Children" by Gary Snyder

Dec. 7 Winter Sneak Peek Field Trip Sax Zim Bog

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Winter Sneak Peek Field Trip
Sunday, December 7th, (Time to be Announced)

Meet at the Welcome Center (Directions at the bottom of this e-Newsletter). We'll depart in a car caravan (Please plan for passengers or to ride with someone else). Two-way radios will keep all cars in touch. No major hiking as all birding will be from the car or stops along the road. Dress warm!
Cost: Free to members (those who've donated more than $20 during the last 12-months). $20 to non-members who have not donated $20 during the last 12 months.

Please RSVP to sparky@saxzim.org...just so I have your email address in case we have a weather delay/cancellation.

Oct. 25 Field Trip Sax Zim Bog

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Field Trip--Golden Tamaracks & Arriving Rough-legs
Saturday, October 25th, 7:30-Noon
We are timing this field trip for the peak of the "Tamarack show." They should have glowing gold needles at this time. Of course our main goal will be finding some cool birds, especially migrating sparrows, hawks (including Rough-legs), eagles, cranes. We'll also cruise Admiral and McDavitt for any early hunting owls or foraging Black-backed Woodpeckers.
Cost: Free to members (those who've donated more than $20 during the last 12-months). $20 to non-members who have not donated $20 during the last 12 months.

Meet at the Welcome Center at 7:30 am (Directions at the bottom of this e-Newsletter). We'll depart by 7:45am in a car caravan (Please plan for passengers or to ride with someone else). Two-way radios will keep all cars in touch. No major hiking as all birding will be from the car or stops along the road. Trip will go until noon or so.

Please RSVP to sparky@saxzim.org...just so I have your email address in case we have a weather delay/cancellation.

For those in the Chesapeake Bay area, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's Chesapeake Bay Program Office has issued a Request for Proposals for the creation of a Chesapeake Bay citizen monitoring program. More information about this opportunity is posted on the Extension Volunteer Monitoring Network homepage (under "Upcoming Opportunities") at: http://www.usawaterquality.org/volunteer/

Proposals are due October 8.

St. John's Outdoor University Events

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12th Annual Collegeville Colors
Sunday, October 5
1:00-4:00 p.m.

Illustrator Opportunity

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The Zumbro Watershed Partnership, a clean water nonprofit group in southeast Minnesota, is seeking an illustrator to create ​2-4 ​full-color illustrations ​(roughly 8.5" x 11") ​of the Zumbro River in 1900 and in 2010 to illustrate the changes in the river over that time. ZWP staff will provide historical photos, modern photos, and a list of other historical and current river information to help the illustrator create the pictures.​ Medium is at the discretion of the artist, but a fairly high level of detail is desired.​

We have a budget for this work, so please include a cost estimate and some sample scientific illustrations. ​Timeline is flexible, but preference is for work to be completed before mid-November. ​Send all materials to:
Kevin Strauss, Education Coordinator, Zumbro Watershed Partnership
kevin@naturestory.com, 507-993-3411


Find out how you can work toward "Cleaner Water and Fewer Floods" at our Water Ways Speaker Series, the 2nd Thursday of each Month at 6:30 p.m. at the Cascade Meadow Wetlands and Environmental Science Center, 2900--19th St. NW, Rochester, MN.

Kevin Strauss, M.S. Ed.
Education Coordinator, Zumbro Watershed Partnership
education@zumbrowatershed.org
507-993-3411

Sept. Saint Paul Natural Resources

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Welcome to the Natural Resources Newsletter!

By Eric Thompson, Parks Program Supervisor, and Cy Kosel, Natural Resources Manager

As your Natural Resources team (Arts & Gardens, Environmental Education, Environmental Services, Forestry, and Volunteer Resources), we strive to meet our mission, to create lifelong connections to a healthy natural environment for all.

With the understanding we all may want to "connect" in different ways. We look forward to creating "connections" with all of you through this newsletter. The City has recently enhanced our trail connections by partnering with PedalMN and HealthPartners to install four new bike repair stations along the Sam Morgan and Bruce Vento regional trails. These stations allow cyclists to stop along the way and make minor repairs to their bikes. Each station allows for a bike to be held in place with an assortment of tools securely attached. We hope this will encourage people to ride their bikes more frequently knowing that if something goes wrong, there are areas provided to make repairs and get them on their way.

The Sam Morgan Regional Trail has three stations. Two are adjacent to the information kiosks at the Ford Dam overlook and the Elway entrance to Crosby Farm Regional Park. The third is located near downtown at Lower Landing Park. The Bruce Vento Regional Trail unit is located at the Southeast corner of Johnson Parkway and East Shore Drive. We encourage you to ride the trails that connect to our beautiful parks.


Parks after Dark Series Kicks Off this Fall

Get out your flashlight and lace up your boots! This fall, a new program series engages the public in wildlife monitoring in parks under cover of darkness.

Join us as we attract nocturnal insects using a black light at Crosby Farm Regional Park on Friday, September 12, 9:00-11:00 pm with the help of entomologist Alex Egan. Then on Tuesday, October 28, 7:00-8:30pm, find out about your urban owl neighbors by dissecting an owl pellet and venturing out to call owls in Como Regional Park. Future Parks after Dark programs will focus on bats, mammals, and frogs and toads. We are grateful to REI and the Clean Water, Land and Legacy Amendment for their generous support of our wildlife survey and educational outreach efforts


Landmark Tree Program Nominations Now Open

The Landmark Tree Program was established in 2010 to document the remarkable trees found growing throughout the neighborhoods and parks of Saint Paul.

Since the program's inception, 29 trees representing 22 tree species have been selected with two trees currently listed as state champions. Nominations for the 2014 Landmark Tree Program are now being accepted through November 1, 2014.

The Saint Paul Tree Advisory Panel will review the nominations and the selected trees will be announced at the Blooming Saint Paul Awards in January 2015.

For more information or a nomination form, visit www.stpaul.gov/forestry or contact the Forestry office at 651.632.5129.


RightTrack Team 2014 Worked Hard to Beautify City

With 12 youth and two supervisors, the Blooming Saint Paul Right Track team took on the responsibility to beautify the city's public spaces through garden maintenance.

The team carried out this responsibility with a variety of services, including weeding, planting, and mulching. Not only did the Blooming St. Paul Right Track team maintain Saint Paul's status as a beautiful city, but also learned the inner workings of a job.

The purpose of the Right Track program is to get youth on the right track to a career. Supervisors Kyle and Ryan guided the youth through their first job and helped them understand the importance of timeliness, communication, and work ethic.

Further, the youth of Blooming Saint Paul Right Track had biweekly education sessions on horticulture. In these sessions, the youth learned about plant anatomy, general ecology, strategies to maintain gardens, and the varieties of plants native to Minnesota (especially weeds).

The program lasted for 10 weeks. Throughout those weeks, a group of strangers found common interests and developed relationships to facilitate a group dynamic that paralleled the atmosphere of a summer camp. The team crossed cultural, ethnic, and social barriers in order to complete the demands of the job. Bringing youth together and providing a positive experience provided the most beauty to the city, even more than the gardens themselves.


Flying Squirrel was Guest of Honor at Mammal Survey

Did you know that flying squirrels are actually quite common in the Twin Cities? We rarely see them because they are a truly nocturnal animal and thus are quite elusive. We lucked out when we caught one during our AweSnap! mammal survey at Trout Brook Nature Sanctuary last month.

Over 30 photographers learned wildlife photography tips from volunteers Gordon Dietzman and Debbie Koenigs, while helping collect mammal traps for the survey. Volunteer mammologist Carmen Martin taught participants about mammal life and behavior while collecting data from 90 traps over four days.

We'll be continuing these efforts as Trout Brook Nature Sanctuary is transformed from a brownfield to a restored natural area in the coming years, thanks to a grant from REI. We also want to thank all the volunteers who helped set traps each night as well as the photographers who contributed to our mission in Project Noah.

Our favorite feature of this furry friend was a toss-up between its large bulging eyes, and its patagia--the flap of skin that connects the wrists and ankles.


Celebrate National Public Lands Day

Come celebrate the 21st annual National Public Lands Day with Saint Paul Natural Resource on Saturday, September 27th at Hidden Falls Regional Park from 9-11:30 am. You will be able to volunteer, learn more about Saint Paul's public lands and sip some hot chocolate as we ring in a new season.

Last year 175,000 volunteers and park visitors celebrated at 2,237 public land sites in all 50 states. This volunteer event will include:

Planting trees, shrubs and acorns
Fun birding activities
Hot cocoa
Enter through the North Gate/Prior Avenue Entrance at the intersection of Prior Avenue and Mississippi River Boulevard.

Register online at bit.ly/NPLD2014

Great River Greening Volunteer Opportunities

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This fall, Great River Greening will be holding four 100+ person volunteer opportunities across the metro planting trees and shrubs, pulling or lopping invasive species, and seeding, all to secure the legacy of Minnesota lands and waters. Some of our best and longest-serving volunteers are Master Naturalists, and we'd love invite more Naturalists to participate in our volunteer events. Additionally, many Naturalists enjoy serving in the role of Volunteer Supervisor.

As you will see, it is going to be quite the exciting event season! We'll be working to create new parks in Saint Paul and Elko New Market, while working to enhance to fabulous parks in Apple Valley and Mahtomedi. The Great_River_Greening_Fall_v-ops-14 (1).pdf has more details about the events, but a summary of tasks, dates and locations are included below:

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Tree and Shrub Planting
o Saturday, October 11, 8:30am - 12:30pm
o Trout Brook Nature Sanctuary, Saint Paul
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Brush Stacking
o Saturday, October 25, 9:30am - 1:00pm
o Doyle-Kennefick Regional Park, Elko New Market
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Buckthorn Blast
o Saturday, November 1, 9:30am - 1:00pm
o Katherine Abbott Park, Mahtomedi

Sept. My Minnesota Woods

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You can see the September Update here.

Sept Project BudBurst Community Newsletter

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Fall into Phenology with Project BudBurst

Like many of you, I love this time of year as the seasons change. There is so much to observe as plants are in various stages of leafing, flowering, and fruiting. Deciduous trees and shrubs get center stage as they dramatically start to change colors. Late summer flowers are still showing off. Many plants are in various stages of fruiting. Yes, the days are getting shorter, but happily, it only takes a few minutes to make a Project BudBurst observation! We look forward to getting your reports.

--Sandra Henderson, Director

Can you sense the change
As fall makes its presence known
To plants you observe?


Register Now for Fall Professional Development Courses

Registration is open for 2014 fall online professional development courses. Space is limited, so act now! Fall courses begin on October 7th. Learn how to engage your classes and visitors in our seasonal campaign, Fall Into Phenology, or prep your lesson or outreach plans to include Project BudBurst. If you are looking for an opportunity to teach science via authentic research, now is the time to sign up.

All courses are geared towards K-12 Formal Educators and Informal Educators. Optional graduate level continuing education credits are available. Register at www.citizenscienceacademy.org Questions? Email: CSAregistrar@neoninc.org

Join the 4th Annual Fall into Phenology Campaign
Fall into PhenologyCelebrate the beginning of fall with Project BudBurst's 4th Annual Fall Into Phenology campaign. Fall is a great time to check out leaves changing color and falling, fruits ripening, and flowers blooming. In New England, leaf peepers are enjoying colorful changes on red maples; aspens in the Rockies turn gold before shedding their leaves; and wildflowers such as Common yarrow and California poppy are in full bloom.

Grab a Single Report form and tell us what the plants around you are doing this fall. Together, we can learn more about how plants respond to changes in their environment. For more information, visit Fall Into Phenology


Project BudBurst at the Jason Learning Conference

Teachers and JASON trainers making Project BudBurst observations of a Sweetgum
Earlier in the summer, science teachers from around the country attended a JASON Learning conference, and in the process were introduced to Project BudBurst. As part of their commitment to citizen science, JASON Learning invited the Project BudBurst team to provide workshops for conference attendees. Teachers headed outside to practice Project BudBurst protocols on the beautiful George Washington University-Ashburn, VA campus. They discussed the merits of the relatively simple protocols and the power that participatory learning has in fostering authentic science inquiry. We look forward to observations from JASON students and teachers!


Caleb Shaw, Summer Intern, Presents his Research

After completing his summer internship in Colorado, Caleb ventured California to present at a Joint Summer Internship Program Final Poster Session. Interns from national science labs and research programs around the country presented their research as part of the STAR (STEM Teacher and Researcher) Program. Here are a few words from Caleb:

"Hi, I am Caleb Shaw, an environmental educator and future classroom teacher. I spent this summer as an intern investigating Project BudBurst data. I compared historical lilac phenology data with recent BudBurst lilac observations and found earlier first flower and first leaf dates suggesting that climate change is having an effect on the timing of these phenophases. The full data sets were not statistically comparable which opens the door for further investigation. This has shown the potential value of the BudBurst data and the data set will become stronger with more observations over time."


The Many Faces of Project BudBurst

Project BudBurst would not exist without the enthusiasm and dedication of the thousands of participants and supporters. Below are just a few folks we'd like to recognize this month:

Joy S.
Angela W.
Ken L.
Ruth A.
Grant P.
JASON Learning Team

Sept. Headwaters Science Center News

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Click here for the September issue of Monthly News from Headwaters Science Center.

Oct 24-26 Fall 'Phenology with Larry Weber' Weekend

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October 24 @ 5:00 pm - October 26 @ 1:00 pm
$155-235
Audubon Center of the North Woods

Explore our woods, prairies, ponds, lake and wetlands with renowned phenologist Larry Weber and learn about the wonderous changes the season brings to our natural world

The crisp air, glorious fall colors and smell of crunchy freshly fallen leaves are the classic signs of autumn that are familiar to us all. This weekend, phenologist Larry Weber shares his vast knowledge of the natural world to give you a more in-depth, up-close look at nature's preparations for winter during this season of transition.

Enjoy walking the trails and exploring the different habitats and ecosystems here at the Center during this special all-inclusive weekend.

More info to come - stay tuned

Comfortable lodging and all meals are included in the weekend's fee.

Pricing (includes 2 nights lodging, all meals and instruction):

Two people to a room: $235 person

Four people per room: $155 per person

To register, call us at 888-404-7743

About Larry Weber

Phenologist Larry Weber shares his knowledge of the natural worldNow retired, Larry Weber taught science for 40 years. In 1993, he was named Minnesota Secondary Science Teacher of the Year and 1998, he received the National Biology Teacher Association's Middle School Life Science Teacher of the Year award. Larry is the author of several books including Backyard Almanac, Minnesota Phenology, Fascinating Fungi of the North Woods, and a series of Northwoods Naturalist Guides. He also writes a weekly phenology column for newspapers, and is a regular contributor to the Minnesota Conservation Volunteer and Natural Superior.

Larry lives with his wife, Fran, on a farm in northeastern Minnesota, where he observes and pursues critters with a camera and continues to enjoy sharing his vast knowledge of the natural world with other.

Jan 30-Feb 1 Winter "Phenology with Larry Weber" Weekend

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January 30, 2015 @ 4:00 pm - February 1, 2015 @ 1:00 pm |
$155-235
Audubon Center of the North Woods

Explore our woods, prairies, ponds, lake and wetlands with renowned phenologist Larry Weber and learn about the wonderous changes the season brings to our natural world

The crunch of snow under foot, the nostril-stinging cold temperatures and the utter silence of the snow-blanketed forest are familiar to Minnesotans during the winter season. This weekend, phenologist Larry Weber shares his vast knowledge of the natural world to give you a more in-depth, up-close look at nature as you've never seen it during this season of frigid temps and stark landscapes.

Enjoy skiiing or snowshoeing the trails and exploring the different habitats and ecosystems here at the Center during this special all-inclusive weekend.

More info to come - stay tuned

Comfortable lodging and all meals are included in the weekend's fee.

Pricing (includes 2 nights lodging, all meals and instruction):

Two people to a room: $235 person

Four people per room: $155 per person

To register, call us at 888-404-7743

About Larry Weber

Phenologist Larry Weber shares his knowledge of the natural worldNow retired, Larry Weber taught science for 40 years. In 1993, he was named Minnesota Secondary Science Teacher of the Year and 1998, he received the National Biology Teacher Association's Middle School Life Science Teacher of the Year award. Larry is the author of several books including Backyard Almanac, Minnesota Phenology, Fascinating Fungi of the North Woods, and a series of Northwoods Naturalist Guides. He also writes a weekly phenology column for newspapers, and is a regular contributor to the Minnesota Conservation Volunteer and Natural Superior.

Larry lives with his wife, Fran, on a farm in northeastern Minnesota, where he observes and pursues critters with a camera and continues to enjoy sharing his vast knowledge of the natural world with other.

Sept Mississippi Messages

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Calendar of Events
NATIVE WETLAND & GREEN INFRASTRUCTURE PLANTING

Thursday, September 11 --- 6-8 p.m.
Crosby Farm Regional Park, St. Paul

Help install native plants along and atop a large-scale native-prairie berm previously planted by FMR volunteers. This green infrastructure will help prevent erosion, provide wildlife and insect habitat, and filter stormwater runoff pollution before it can reach the river.

Capacity is limited and registration required. Children are welcome with a parent or guardian. Learn more on the event page, or sign up now with Amy at akilgore@fmr.org or 651-222-2193 x31.

Read more »


2014 CLEAN WATER SUMMIT: GREEN INFRASTRUCTURE FOR CLEAN WATER

Thursday, September 11 --- 8 a.m.-5 p.m.
Minnesota Landscape Arboretum, Chanhassen

Using green infrastructure to manage runoff in the urban landscape provides multiple benefits to our communities, yet this practice isn't the norm. The 2014 Clean Water Summit will focus on both the costs and benefits of green infrastructure, including economic, social and ecological factors.

Learn more and sign up ($60-$70, including lunch and Arboretum admission) with event organizer the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum.

Read more »


EXPLORE WETLAND ECOLOGY IN TUNNEL VALLEY

Thursday, September 18 --- 6-7:30 p.m.
Cottage Grove Ravine Regional Park, Cottage Grove

Join Friends of the Mississippi River ecologist Karen Schik and Washington Conservation District's Angie Hong as we explore Ravine Lake and the wetlands surrounding it. You'll learn about the plant life in and around the wetlands --- aquatic, amphibious, and terrestrial --- and the important role these plants play in the health of our waters. Then we'll use dip nets to capture macroinvertebrates living in the marsh, spoon them up for a closer look, and see what these tiny creatures reveal about local water pollution.

Children are welcome with a parent or guardian. This event is free but capacity is limited and registration required. Learn more on the event page, or sign up now with Amy at akilgore@fmr.org or 651-222-2193 x31.

Read more »


ST. PAUL OPEN STREETS 'WATER FESTIVAL'

Sunday, September 21 --- noon-4 p.m.
University Avenue, Central Corridor, St. Paul

St. Paul Open Streets encourages residents to get out and see our community up-close in a safe, car-free environment. This year's event also includes a Water Festival, focused on making the connection between our local streets and the health of our local waters. Join FMR's Kate Clayton to learn about the 450 miles of storm drains that run below the streets of St. Paul, what flows through them, and where all this stormwater --- and the pollution that comes with it --- really goes. Participants can also help educate others and reduce water pollution by joining Kate to stencil storm drains in the surrounding neighborhoods. Learn more on the event page.

Read more »


'MAKE AND TAKE' RAIN BARREL WORKSHOP

Thursday, September 25 --- 6-7:30 p.m.
Lakeville Area Arts Center, Lakeville

Every time there's a heavy rain, rainwater has washed over your roof, your yard and pavement --- carrying bits of roof shingles, pet waste, fertilizer, pesticides, motor oil and dirt into the nearest storm drain. All of this pollution goes right into our local creeks, lakes and the Vermillion and Mississippi Rivers --- unfiltered, untreated! Rain barrels help reduce this runoff pollution, and offer many other benefits as well. Learn more, sign up and purchase your barrel and supplies ($30) via the event page.

Read more »


REMNANT BLUFF PRAIRIE RESTORATION

Saturday, September 27 --- 9-11 a.m.
River Oaks Park, Cottage Grove

Just southeast of River Oaks Golf Course in Cottage Grove lies a riverfront bluff with stunning views and a special remnant bedrock bluff prairie. Roughly 30 years ago this remnant prairie was renown as a very high quality area with excellent biodiversity. Over the years, however, it has steadily declined, and is now at risk of slowly being taken over by non-native species.

Recently, FMR began working with the City of Cottage Grove to preserve and restore this important site. Now volunteers are needed to join FMR Ecologist Joe Walton at our first restoration event at River Oaks Park. Volunteers will primarily haul pre-cut buckthorn, helping to open the canopy and making way for more beneficial native prairie and savanna plants to return.

Capacity is limited and registration required. Learn more on the event page, or sign up now with Amy at akilgore@fmr.org or 651-222-2193 x31.

Read more »


FMR 2014 'EVENING CELEBRATING THE MISSISSIPPI RIVER' FUNDRAISER

Wednesday, October 1 (RSVP by W, Sept. 17)
Weisman Art Museum, Minneapolis

FMR will host the 13th annual Evening Celebrating the Mississippi River at the stunning Weisman Art Museum on the Mississippi! The evening will feature storyteller Kevin Kling, guitarist Phil Heywood, a fantastic river-oriented live auction, great food and beverages, and more. RSVP required by September 17th. Please contact John at jbriel@fmr.org or 651-222-2193 x19.

Read more »


OAK SAVANNA BUCKTHORN HAUL

Saturday, October 4 --- 9:30-11:30 a.m.
Near 36th & West River Pkwy., Mississippi River Gorge, Minneapolis

Volunteers will work closely with FMR staff to remove buckthorn and other invading trees and shrubs or to haul brush to its pick-up spot. Tools and gloves will be provided. However, be prepared to work on steep slopes and uneven terrain. Due to the tools and terrain, this event is not suitable for small children.

Capacity is limited and registration required. Learn more on the event page, or sign up now with Amy at akilgore@fmr.org or 651-222-2193 x31.

Read more »


SEED COLLECTION IN THE SAND COULEE/RARE PRAIRIE

Saturday, October 11 --- 9 a.m.-noon
Sand Coulee Scientific and Natural Area, Hastings

After a brief training, volunteers will help collect much-needed native prairie seed while enjoying this rare example of a sand-gravel prairie in full fall bloom. Volunteers will work with FMR Senior Ecologist Karen Schik and Assistant Stewardship Coordinator Kate Clayton in the natural area most recently added to the Sand Coulee Scientific and Natural Area. Seed will be used for further habitat restoration. Large quantities --- of volunteers and seed alike --- are needed!

Capacity is limited and registration required. Learn more about this Vermillion Stewards event on the event page, or sign up now with Amy at akilgore@fmr.org or 651-222-2193 x31.

Read more »


BUST BUCKTHORN IN 'TUNNEL VALLEY'

Saturday, October 18 --- 9 a.m.-noon
Cottage Grove Ravine Regional Park, Cottage Grove

Centered around one of the most impressive landscape features in southern Washington County, Cottage Grove Ravine Regional Park totals nearly 600 acres. The ravine for which it is named is approximately a half-mile wide with 80- to 100-foot slopes, and bisects the park north to south before ending in a small lake. Known as a "tunnel valley," the ravine was carved by a subglacial drainageway that carried large volumes of water, eroding the valley.

Volunteers will work with FMR Senior Ecologist Karen Schik to continue and expand the restoration of this beautiful park by hauling cut brush, primarily buckthorn. (There may also be some brush-cutting for volunteers comfortable working with handsaws or loppers.) This will help open the canopy, making way for native plants beneficial to local wildlife and waters to return.

Capacity is limited and registration required. Learn more on the event page, or sign up now with Amy at akilgore@fmr.org or 651-222-2193 x31.

Read more »


MAKE YOUR HOME RIVER-FRIENDLY

Wednesday, October 22 --- 6-7 p.m.
Dakota County Western Service Center (next to Galaxie Library), Apple Valley

Join FMR Stewardship Coordinator Adam Flett to learn about practices and small projects you can take on inside your home --- be it a mansion or a small apartment --- to significantly improve your water footprint. We'll quickly cover the basics, touching on both well-known lessons and lesser-known tools to help you figure out the most effective steps to take to make your home river-friendly.

Topics include the biggest water users in your house or apartment (both direct and indirect usage), where to take leftover prescription drugs, alternatives to household products containing triclosan and other river polluters.

Capacity is limited and registration required. Learn more about this free Vermillion Stewards event on the event page, or sign up now with Amy at akilgore@fmr.org or 651-222-2193 x31.

Read more »


RESTORE HABITAT AT PINE BEND BLUFFS (SIGN-UP CLOSES M, OCT. 20)

Saturday, October 25 --- 9 a.m.-noon (Sign-up closes M, Oct. 20)
Pine Bend Bluffs near Highway 52, Flint Hills property, Rosemount

After a light breakfast and hot coffee, enjoy a nice fall workout removing pre-cut invasive buckthorn at this annual event in beautiful Pine Bend Bluffs. At the end, we'll enjoy a hot lunch (in a heated tent) to say thank you and celebrate a day's good work.

Learn more via the event page, or sign up now with Amy at akilgore@fmr.org or 651-222-2193 x31.

Read more »


For current event listings and more information on the events listed above, please visit our events calendar page at www.fmr.org/participate/events.

St. Paul Parks and Recreation

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Environmental Volunteers
=============
Welcome to the updated Environmental Volunteers newsletter. This is a semi-regular newsletter that is published upon need. We will send out newsletters regularly during the growing season (Apr-Oct).

Please also keep an eye out for our new Saint Paul Natural Resources quarterly newsletter. The inaugural issue will be published within the next week.

Saint Paul Natural Resources is a section of Saint Paul Parks and Recreation that consists of the following units: Arts & Gardens, Environmental Education, Environmental Services, Forestry and Volunteer Resources.

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NATIONAL PUBLIC LANDS DAY

Sat, Sept 27 | 9-11:30 a.m. | Hidden Falls Regional Park (South Gate/Prior Entrance)

Celebrate the 21st annual National Public Lands Day in Saint Paul by planting trees, shrubs and acorns; learning about our migrating birds; and sipping some hot cocoa in the company of new friends.

Register: http://bit.ly/NPLD2014

All ages, individuals and groups are welcome. No experience necessary.

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GOT ACORNS?
First two weeks of Sept. | Saint Paul parks or your own backyard

We are collecting acorns to plant in our parks this fall (including at National Public Lands Day - see above!) This is a great opportunity to volunteer on your own time. Here's what you need to know:

Collect acorns from a Saint Paul park or your backyard. Separate out sticks and leaves and any other non-acorns. Do not include broken ones. Store in paper bags or buckets. Store bags in fridge or another cool, dry place, like a basement or garage. Best to get them to us as soon as possible (before the weevils get out)!

Deliver acorns in paper bags, Attn: Shannon Montante, to the Park Permit Office at 1100 Hamline Ave N, St Paul, 55108, between 7 a.m. and 3:30 p.m.

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SPECIAL EVENT INTERNS

Spring Semester, Jan-May

Saint Paul Natural Resources will be hiring two Special Event Interns during the Spring Semester to help coordinate, plan and implement special events including the Blooming Saint Paul Awards, the Citywide Spring Cleanup and the annual Arbor Month Celebration. These interns will gain experience in marketing, advertising and event organization, as well as opportunities to work closely with our internal and external partners and sponsors. Interested? Email Ryanna.Jackson@ci.stpaul.mn.us.

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VOLUNTEER FOR A SPOOKTACULAR EVENT IN COMO PARK!
October 18, 19, 24, 25 and 26 | Weekend Evenings

ZooBoo is a fall fund raiser for Como Park Zoo and Conservatory. This is a non-scary Halloween event for families. This magical occasion offers families a safe trick-or-treating alternative with Halloween activities. Hop into a Como costume, bring your own non-scary costume or assist in a non-costumed position! A pre-event orientation for learning more and reserving a costume is offered in early October. More information and registration online here.

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CARING FOR COTTONWOODS
Join our partners Mississippi River Fund...

Every Thursday through Oct | 9 a.m.-noon | Lilydale Regional Park - meet at the boat launch parking lot

Looking for a way to be part of the cottonwood restoration experiment? Meet us at Lilydale to care for the young trees and ensure they are growing to be healthy and strong. Shifts subject to cancellation if the trees are getting enough rainfall. Contact Maria at mdelaundreau@missriverfund.org to help out!

Visit our website to find more information about our ongoing volunteer opportunities and how to set up a GIVE (Group Impact Volunteer Event).

Sept BEN Bulletin

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BEN Bulletin (Bird Education Network)

Kids: The Binocular Trap
by Paul J. Baicich

Why is it that when you share binoculars with an adult, perhaps a beginning bird watcher, you make sure that you share a solid, quality, even impressive, pair of binoculars, but when you go afield with a child, say, between 8 and 12 years of age, almost any piece of optics will do?

Worse yet, why is it that inexpensive and light "compact binoculars" are almost always ascribed to kid use?

It's a big mistake.

Too often, the very people whom many bird educators value the most, youngsters, are left with the worst in introductory binoculars. Nothing will discourage continued bird-watching activity and learning in the field more than an initial experience with binoculars that are, essentially, junk. It's just no fun.

Of course, there are important optics features that do need attention when dealing with youngsters. These may include the ability for the young folks to get their hands around the binoculars, access the focusing knob, and adjust the interpupillary distance (to match the closeness of the eyes among the youngest kids in the group). What's more, finding the bird in the tree or bush is difficult enough for beginning birders - of any age - without having to deal with a narrow field of view or a high magnification that may have the image almost bouncing around.

Try a lower power - between 6X and8X - and definitely stick to a wide field of view.

Of course, some training and help - from a parent or other adult - is essential. Learning to bring the binoculars to your face, while constantly watching the bird, needs practice. (Focusing on a far-off sign - and reading simple text - is a fine way to learn locating the object and focusing properly.) While practice makes perfect, that practice can be squandered if the binoculars are unserviceable.

We have probably all seen a box of binoculars distributed among kids in a group, binoculars that are small, light, flimsy, very low power, narrow field of view, and really unacceptable

The options for binoculars appropriate for youngsters are many today. It's not like the limitations of a decade or two ago. In fact, we live in an era when relatively good quality binoculars can be secured for around $100 or even less. Some of these are porro-prism binoculars that can be outstanding. There are so many options, that recommending a particular brand would be inappropriate or misleading here. Still, you might look around the website for Eagle Optics to review the many, many brands and sorts of models that are available. A final point to be aware of is warranty. Some manufacturers will offer a unconditional warranty, a relief when binoculars get dropped, slammed against a tree, or run over with a lawn mower.

Don't sell the kids short. They usually arrive in the field eager to learn something new. Don't make it more difficult for them at the very outset. Make it fun.

[Ben Lizdas, Tom Rusert, and Dave Watkins provided advice for this article]


Book Review: Look Up! Bird-Watching in Your Own Backyard
by Dave Magpiong

Many birders have thoroughly stocked shelves of books. Field guides, bird-finding guides, life histories of birds, and birding memoirs are some of the common variations. Through the decades, there have been several volumes addressing "how to be a birder" from the likes of Peterson, Kaufman, Sibley, Dunne, and others. Perhaps it's time to add Annette Leblanc Cate to that esteemed list.

Her Look Up! Bird-Watching in Your Own Backyard captures many of the basics of becoming a birder and delivers the message in a kid-friendly package. Her cartoonish illustrations and humorous style will draw in and entertain younger readers. Yet, she provides many insights that will provide youth with the foundation to get started down the path to birding. Her light-hearted approach to birding is balanced out with the help of "technical assistance" long-time Massachusetts birder Jim Barton.

This is not a book that will teach young birders how to identify Empidomax flycatchers or distinguish between fall warblers. Rather, it will whet the appetite of kids who never considered bird watching to be an option for them. Cate gives her a readers a glimpse of the beautiful diversity of North American birds. She outlines general skills for learning birds - using shape, bill, feet, sound, habitat, and range. A nice resource is the "Bird-Watching Do's . . . and Don't's!" which touches on the ethics of birding. Quite importantly, she debunks the notion of "there aren't any birds where I live" by pointing out that birds can be found anywhere, including the suburbs and cities.

While some experienced birders may be bothered by the anthropomorphic birds and cartoonish feel, Look Up! achieves its goal of making birding both more appealing and more accessible to the bird conservationists of tomorrow. The book's humorous moments and laid-back presentation may also pull in the parents of its young readers - and they can impact conservation in many ways today.


California Fall Birding Challenge is Here!

The San Francisco Bay Bird Observatory is dedicated to the conservation of birds and their habitats through science and outreach. Founded in 1981, the Bird Observatory has produced over 30 years of scientific information on local bird populations, working with both government agencies and partner organizations.

The18th Annual California Fall Challenge (CFC) is SFBBO's biggest fundraising campaign of the year, a month of trips, contests, and events to raise money for their science and outreach programs. Join them for guided trips, bird-a-thons, band-a-thons as well as photo and youth art contests through October 18.


Choosing an IMBD habitat theme for 2015

The artist, Amelia Hansen, will be working on the 2015 International Migratory Bird Day (IMBD)theme, "Habitat Restoration". In the process, bird educators have been asked for their input.

You can give your opinion and rank you choices on habitats, slogans, and accompanying materials. Make your opinions known in this IMBD Survey from Environment for the Americas.


BEN: Connecting Bird Educators TM
CEE logo CC good resolutionFor more information visit:
www.birdeducation.org

Sept. SEEK Bulletin

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The September issue of the SEEK Bulletin can be found here

Oct-Nov Maplewood Nature Center Programs

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About Maplewood Nature Center
Maplewood Nature Center is a 40-acre preserve operated by the City of Maplewood. The Visitor Center is located at 2659 East Seventh Street in Maplewood and is open Tuesday through Saturday, 8:30 am to 4:30 pm. The Nature Play Yard adjoins the Visitor Center. Trails wind through oak woods and marsh and are open every day from dawn to dusk. Trails are available to explore every day from dawn to dusk. Use of facilities is free of charge. For more information about Maplewood Nature Center and its programs visit www.maplewoodnaturecenter.com or call 651-249-2170.

To Register for a Nature Center Program:
Register by credit card in person, by phone or online by clicking the registration Quick Link at www.maplewood naturecenter.com. You may also send or drop off a check or cash to Maplewood Nature Center, 2659 7th St. E, Maplewood, MN 55119, by the date indicated. Program sizes are limited, register early. For more information please call 651-249-2170 or e-mail info@maplewoodnaturecenter.com.

OCTOBER:

FALL BIRD BANDING DAY
Saturday, October 4
AT MAPLEWOOD NATURE CENTER, 2659 E. 7th St., Maplewood, MN 55119
9:30AM - Noon
For all ages, youth groups welcome.
Free. Drop in.
Confusing Fall Warblers; Oh My! Watch licensed biologists capture, band and release wild birds to learn about age, migration, and populations. Bring a camera. If conditions allow, take a short hike to observe birds with binoculars from the floating boardwalk.

NOVEMBER
:

SUPERIOR AGATES AND MN GEOLOGY
Saturday, Nov 8th
AT MAPLEWOOD NATURE CENTER, 2659 E. 7th St., Maplewood, MN 55119
1:00PM - 2:30PM
Ages- best for 3rd - 5th grade and parents
$5/child, register online by Nov 6th.
Learn about rocks and minerals and Minnesota's state gem, the Lake Superior Agate. Unearth the secrets of Minnesota's long geologic history from volcanoes and inland sea to glaciers. Test rocks and minerals for their characteristic hardness, magnetic qualities and more. Make a piece of rock jewelry to take home. Agate Phil will share his rock collection and help you identify really cool rocks.
Register online www.maplewoodnaturecenter.com. If you need help registering online, call 249-2170 for more info. You may also send or drop off a check or cash to Maplewood Nature Center

U of M Researcher looking for American Hazelnuts

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Researchers in the University of Minnesota's Department of Agronomy and Plant Genetics are working to develop hazelnuts as an alternative crop for the Upper Midwest. We are taking a two-pronged approach: 1) hybridize American hazelnuts, which have the cold hardiness and disease resistance needed in our region, with European hazelnuts, which have been selected over centuries for high nut yield and large size, and 2) select the best American hazelnuts from the wild and develop them into a new crop on their own merits. It is for the latter effort that we seek your help.

We are looking for people to send us seeds collected from wild American hazelnuts all over the state (and beyond). If you know of some productive stands of hazelnuts, please send us some seed!

What we are looking for is high yielding bushes that produce good quality nuts. We define quality as "anything that is good enough that you would want to eat it." Nuts with thick shells and small kernels are probably not going to be worth your effort to shell them so we're not interested in them. But we'll let you be the judge of what is "good enough".

Although we'd ideally like nuts only from high yielding bushes, we've learned that in the wild that's nearly impossible to evaluate because they often grow as thickets, so you can't isolate one bush from its neighbor. So we're simply not going to worry about yield at this stage. That will come later when we evaluate the seedlings under controlled conditions in a managed orchard.

Instructions:
Harvest the nuts as soon as they are fully mature. You can tell because the nuts will come loose from their husks with gentle pressure. This often happens when the husks are still green. If you wait for them to turn brown or dry down then squirrels and mice are likely to get them first.

They usually mature some time in mid to late August, but maturation date varies widely. This year it may not be until September.

It is not necessary to keep nuts from different bushes separate, but it would be best to keep nuts from different locations separate.

Label them with information about the location they came from. GPS coordinates would be appreciated if possible, but are not essential.

Mail them right away in their green husks, or keep them for a week or so until they separate from the husk easily and just send the nuts. Either way, do not let them dry out and do NOT expose them to high heat which will kill the embryo.

10 to 50 nuts per sample are enough.

Mail to:
Lois Braun,
U of M Dept of Agronomy and Plant Genetics,
1991 Upper Buford Circle,
411 Borlaug Hall,
St. Paul, MN 55108.

Thank you very much for helping advance a potential new alternative crop for Minnesota

Sept-Dec Maplewood Parks & Rec Brochure

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Wellness, Arts, & Fun for Everyone!

Check out the Fall edition of the brochure listing upcoming events here.

Fall 2014 MN Zoo Speaker Series

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Dwindling numbers for an iconic insect: A conservation biologist ponders moving beyond the documentation of declines
Speaker: Karen Oberhauser, University of Minnesota
Date: Thursday, September 11, 2014
Time: 7:00-9:00 p.m.


Paul Greenberg's American Catch
Speaker: Paul Greenberg
Date: Tuesday, October 14, 2014
Time: 7:00-9:00 p.m.


The Role of Zoos in a Changing World
Speaker: Lee Ehmke (Minnesota Zoo's Director/CEO)
Date: Tuesday, October 21, 2014
Time: 7:00-9:00 p.m.


The Wildlife of Voyageurs National Park
Speaker: Dr. Steve Windels
Date: Thursday, November 20, 2014
Time: 7:00-9:00 p.m.

Volunteer opportunity--program support! We will need help trimming boughs for our Wreath-Making 101 program again this year. The trimming will be Thursday, Dec. 4, here at Lake Bemidji State Park. Anytime between 9 am and 4 pm is great--come for as little or as long as you can! New people always welcome

Reply to Lake Bemidji State Park, Sue Olin 308-2300 or email: Susan Olin

Zoo Careers

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Saturday, November 8
Wednesday, March 11
Sunday, May 17

Learn about science careers and receive advice about how to prepare for the future. Zoo professionals will recommend college programs, emphasize how volunteering and related work experiences can make an impact, and describe what they do in their day-to-day activities.

For more information and to register, visit mnzoo.org/careerday or call 952.431.9390

Non-timber forest products (NTFPs) refers to products other than timber that are harvested from woodlands. NTFPs include plants, parts of plants, fungi, moss, lichen, herbs, vines, shrubs, parts of trees, and other biological material that are either personally used or sold for their commercial value. We eat NTFPs and use them for medicine. We also use them to make decorations and create specialty products. Not only are many NTFPs marketable, they also are critical for healthy woodland ecosystems. Sustainable harvesting and cultivation of NTFPs through forest farming practices can complement overall stewardship of working forests.

This webinar series highlights the remarkable and diverse world of non-timber forest products, ranging from an overview of the abundance and diversity of NTFPs to forest farming practices focused on particular marketable products.

The webinar series is sponsored by NIFA, the USDA National Agroforestry Center, Forest Farming eXtension, the American Forest Foundation, and the U.S. Forest Service.

Webinar Schedule:

All webinars are from 2:00-3:00 pm

October 9: Manage Your Forest for Pine Straw and Rake in the Profits

October 29: Art from the Forest

November 10: Forest Cultivated Mushrooms - a Rotten Business

December 12: Forest Botanicals - Deep and Tangled Roots

Registration links can be found on the webinar series link above.

You're Invited!

The Eloise Butler Wildflower Garden Florilegium Exhibition
Hennepin County Library - Minneapolis Central
August 14 - October 15, 2014

Opening Reception
Thursday, August 14, 6:30-8:00 p.m.
Tour of the Exhibition with Artists & Athenaeum Special Collections

Lectures
Naive Bees: What's all the Buzz?
Crystal Boyd, DNR Entomologist
Thursday, August 21
Socialize 6:30 p.m., Lecture 7-8 p.m.

History of the Eloise Butler Wildlife Garden
History of Botanical Art
Susan Wilkins and Marilyn Garber
Saturday, September 6, 1 p.m.

This exhibit includes nearly 50 paintings of native plants found at the Eloise Butler Wildflower Garden.

The exhibit is free and open to the public during library hours. The library is located at 300 Nicollet Mall, Minneapolis.


Eloise Butler Wildflower Garden.jpg