Humming for Bees - St. Louis Park

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Master Naturalists from St Louis Park are invited to join Humming for Bees as we plan and meet with the city council to encourage St Louis Park to become a bee safe city. Aspects of the resolution include banning the use of systemic neonicotinoid pesticides and planting pesticide-free pollinator plants on city land.

Humming for Bees meetings are every other Sunday from 1:00 to 3:00 pm at local public libraries. Our next meeting will be November 30 at Ridgedale Library. We are expecting to meet with the city council in January. Please see our website,, or contact Judy Chucker ( or Melissa Hochstetler ( for more information.

Congratulations CSB/SJU

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Congratulations to The College of Saint Benedict and Saint John's University - National Outdoor Champion!

Western Monarch Count

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A new web site is launched to support volunteers counting monarchs in California -- and new energy is brought to monarch conservation in the United States thanks to a memo from the president.

Knowing how many monarch butterflies there are and where they overwinter is vital information that shapes protection efforts. Monarchs ranging from British Columbia to Arizona migrate primarily to the California coast, where they overwinter in wooded groves scattered from San Diego to Mendocino. The Western Monarch Count is an annual citizen-science project that collects data on the status of these monarchs during the overwintering season. Xerces has launched the Western Monarch Count web site to support this effort and help coordinate the count.

The height of this volunteer effort occurs during three weeks surrounding the Thanksgiving holiday. Those three weeks are starting now -- and you could join in! Roughly 100 overwintering sites are monitored each year, but we know of approximately 450 sites that monarchs are currently using or have used in the past. With your help we can monitor more sites and paint a clearer picture of the status of this vital monarch habitat. The new website allows volunteers to find sites to monitor, read information about those sites, and contact regional count coordinators. The project will also use social media to enable volunteers to connect with each other and share count information.

In the last year, a revived energy has been brought to monarch conservation in North America -- in large part due to President Obama issuing a memorandum that directs U.S. government agencies to do what they can to protect the butterfly. Xerces has been protecting monarchs since the 1980s, placing us in a good position to help. Through the Monarch Joint Venture, Xerces is helping the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and Mexican agencies revise the tri-national North American Monarch Conservation Plan. We are also assisting other federal agencies to develop monarch conservation strategies (including the U.S. Geological Survey and the U.S. Forest Service) and collaborating with NatureServe to complete a status review of the monarch in North America.

But don't worry if you are not able to help count monarchs this fall, there are still things you can do to conserve monarchs:

  • Help map milkweed. Each spring, monarchs leave the California coast and disperse across several western states, searching for milkweed plants on which to lay their eggs. We are also searching for milkweed plants and creating maps of likely monarch breeding areas. You can help with this by contributing to the Milkweed Survey in spring and summer.

  • Plant native milkweed. This can be in your backyard, at your workplace, or at your school. Find sources of local, native milkweed seed in your state using our Milkweed Seed Finder.

  • Plant native flowers. Monarchs need nectar to provide energy to migrate, breed, and overwinter. For information about which flowers to plant, visit the Bring Back the Pollinators web page.

  • Avoid using insecticides and herbicides. These may kill butterflies or caterpillars, or kill the plants that monarchs use for nectaring or breeding.

  • Get involved in another citizen science project. The Western Monarch Count web site has a directory of projects in other parts of the continent.

  • Support the Xerces Society's monarch conservation efforts.

Master Water Stewards Training

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Want to protect clean water in a lake or stream you care about? The Master Water Stewards program can give you the knowledge, skills, and network to make it happen!

2015 is the last year training will be offered at no cost to the participant. Applications are due by Dec. 20. Interested applicants must attend one of the following hour-long informational sessions:

Thurs., Dec. 4 -- 6:30 p.m., MCWD Offices (15320 Minnetonka Boulevard, Minnetonka, MN 55345)
Tues., Dec. 16-- 6:30 p.m., MCWD Offices
The program offers extensive training from top industry professionals -- engineers, educators, planners and more. Participants will also build a network with like-minded peers, with an emphasis on creativity and collaboration.

Armed with that knowledge, Stewards build projects in their communities that protect water quality and work to educate their neighbors on clean water issues. Past certified Stewards have installed raingardens, rain barrels, cisterns, and water-permeable walkways that catch polluted rainwater before it makes it to a nearby lake or stream.

The program is a partnership between the Freshwater Society and Minnehaha Creek Watershed District (MCWD), made possible by a grant from the state Clean Water Fund. Participants must live in a city that is within the MCWD. Learn more at

Fall/Winter Call of the North Newsletter

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The Call of the North Fall Winter 2014.pdf is the quarterly newsletter of the North Country Trail Association for North Dakota & Minnesota.

Minnesota Zoo NEW Teen/Adult Programs

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Horticulture Tours
A New View of the Tropics Trail
We're not just a zoo; we're the Minnesota Zoological Garden. Botanists and plant-lovers, come on out to learn more about the amazing variety of plants along our Tropics Trail. With the zoo closed to the public, you'll get a unique tour led by one of our horticulturalist staff, as you discover plants native to exotic locale around the world but raised right here in the Zoo's greenhouses.
DATE/TIME: December 4 from 5-6 p.m.
AGES: 16 years old - adult
FEES: Members: $10 per person; Non-members: $12 per person
More information on Horticulture Tours

Photography at the Zoo
This series of photography programs includes sessions perfect for photography beginners, professional photographers, and everyone in between. Learn tips and tricks-of-the-trade from photography experts, and take advantage of the chance to see and photograph the Zoo's animals without the crowds, as the Zoo will be closed to the public. A Zoo naturalist will also assist with each program to answer questions and share fun facts about the trails and their animals. Each session offers a new focus and the chance to visit a new area of the Zoo - bring your cameras and come back often!
AGES: 16 years old - adult
FEES: Members: $35 per person; Non-members: $40 per person

Bypassing Barriers
The Minnesota Zoo is a great place to test your photography skills; where else will you find a 900+ lb grizzly bear on the other side of your lens without going to Alaska? Sometimes figuring out how to get that great animal photo without the fence or glass can be a bit of a challenge though...Come to our inaugural photo workshop to learn some handy ways to "bypass the barrier" and other useful camera tricks.
DATE/TIME: November 30 from 8-10 a.m.

Focusing on Focus: Selection Point Strategies
Whether you're shooting in the wild or at the zoo, taking advantage of your camera's auto-focus abilities is often crucial to capturing the best photos of nimble critters. Whether you're using a full-featured DSLR or a point & shoot, this workshop will explore the ins and outs of your camera's focusing options before heading out to the Tropics Trail and its aviary for practice.
DATE: January 31 from 8-10 a.m.
More information on Photography at the Zoo

Our World Speaker Series
Join wildlife and wild place experts as they share their amazing stories of working around the world on conservation and environmental issues. Free to attend! However, space is limited, so pre-registration is required.

Critters I Have Known...with Ron Schara and RavenSpeakerSeriesRonScharaAndRaven
Ron Schara, and his trusted black lab, Raven, began sharing stories of the outdoor lifestyle back in 1995. Ron will be sharing some of his more memorable stories from his travels and experiences throughout Minnesota, highlighting the fascinating critters that call Minnesota home.
DATE/TIME: December 10 from 7-9 p.m.
More information on Our World Speaker Series

For more information, please email or call the Education Scheduler at 952-431-9320

Minnesota Harvester Handbook

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The Harvester Handbook is now available at Minnesota's Bookstore. The retail price is $24.95. Quantities of five or more for use in educational programs or for resale may be purchased for $20 per copy. Contact Mary Mikes at Minnesotas Bookstore -- -- 651-297-3979 to place orders for five or more books.

For information about the book visit

Nov. Mississippi Messages

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After 12 years of outstanding service to Friends of the Mississippi River, Development Director Heather Haynes is moving on.

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FMR is seeking a seasoned and creative development professional with a passion for protecting and restoring the natural environment and its waterways, a person who wants to use their leadership, experience and energy to grow the organization and increase its impact.

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It's not too late to stop invasive carp from getting into the Mississippi Gorge, but Lock #1 (also known as the Ford lock) needs to be kept closed as much as possible. That's why the Stop Carp Coalition is urging the Army Corps of Engineers to limit service at Lock #1 to "by appointment only" when the Upper St. Anthony Falls Lock closes next year.

Read more »


As the snow begins to fall we'd like to thank everyone who helped restore habitat and improve the health of our local waters this volunteer season. We are pleased to report that approximately 2,341 people contributed 6,677 hours to help the Mississippi River at some 96 FMR volunteer events in 2014 -- an increase of 20% over 2013! Thank you everyone, and please keep telling your friends about us!

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Eighteen acres of native prairie and savanna restoration will be revealed at Spring Lake Park Reserve next summer.

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FMR is excited to expand our volunteer stewardship work to include most of the Minneapolis riverfront. Building on our successful Gorge Stewards initiative, we've greatly increased our volunteer stewardship opportunities north of St. Anthony Falls. Do you know of a youth group in North or Northeast Minneapolis that cares about the river? Let us know!

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A new master plan has been drafted for Saint Anthony Falls Regional Park, previously known as Minneapolis's Central Mississippi Riverfront Regional Park. FMR has been actively involved throughout the planning process and we would like you to help us support this great plan. Please comment during the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board's 45-day comment period scheduled to occur from December 4, 2014 to January 18, 2015.

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It has long been known that phosphorus pollution from farm operations makes its way to our state's waters, sometimes helping feed toxic algal blooms like the one in Lake Erie this summer.

New research concludes that agricultural drain tile systems export far more of the phosphorus pollution than previously believed. The results show that drain tile systems accounted for 47% of the total phosphorus discharge to their watersheds.

These new findings suggest that reducing agriculture's share of phosphorus pollution to the Mississippi River will require meaningful efforts to address both field runoff and drain tile pollution.

Calendar of Events

Thursday, December 4 -- 6-7 p.m.
Wilder Center, Midway (near the Green Line), St. Paul

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 registration required. Learn more on the event page, or sign up now with Amy at or 651-222-2193 x31.

Read more »


Atomically speaking, the month starts out slow and then peters out all together.

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Resource of the Month

Getting rid of your pharmaceuticals properly can take an extra step or two, but that's far better than flushing your pills. Our wastewater treatment systems aren't designed to filter out pharmaceuticals, and after being released back into the environment, our ecosystems feel the effects.

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Supporting FMR

One of the most exciting things about being in development at FMR is that we get to watch the increasing community support for our work. Some of our most energized donors have stepped up again this year to offer a $10,000 challenge gift to encourage year-end giving and help FMR do more for our river and our community! If you contribute now, your support will be matched dollar for dollar!

Read more »

Quote of the Month

"The nation behaves well if it treats the natural resources as assets which it must turn over to the next generation increased, and not impaired in value."

- Theodore Roosevelt

Citizen Science Wolf Tracking Project

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this story is about a Minnesota guy starting a citizen science wolf tracking project. He's among Midwest Mountaineering's Outdoor Adventure Expo presenters this weekend. Plans still in the works re: setting up training; when we talked he was aiming for December.

The link:

Dec 3 & 4 Explorers Advanced Training

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There are upcoming opportunities for advanced training in the Master Naturalist Explorers program on December 3 and 4 at McColl Pond ELC in Savage. "Teaching Youth Outdoors" is offered to Master Naturalists who are interested in learning how to share their interest in and knowledge of the outdoors with elementary youth through the Explorers after school program.

Past participants of "Teaching Youth Outdoors" are invited to attend day 2 of "Teaching Youth Outdoors," December 4, to "refresh" their skills and catch up on program updates.

More information about each of these classes can be found on the Master Naturalist website,

Nov. The LEAFlet

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Your Online Source for K-12 Forestry Education News, Stories and Resources can be viewed here.

Dear Master Naturalist,

Are you knowledgeable about the threats and impacts aquatic invasive species have on our natural areas, or do you wish to expand on your knowledge?

For the second year in a row, Minnesota Sea Grant cordially invites you to co-host an aquatic invasive species exhibit at the Northern Green Expo, which will be held Wednesday, January 14th through Friday, January 16th at the Minneapolis Convention Center.

Sign up for a shift by Tuesday, December 9th:

Trade show only: FREE (a $25 savings)
To attend classes: $100 for all three days or $75 for one day.
To take advantage of this special offer, you need to sign up for one shift at the booth (to qualify as an exhibitor) AND email me directly at so we can work out registration details. This pricing reflects a $50 savings for people who are not members of supporting organizations.
Class information can be found here: Education - Northern Green Expo
Other Information
Northern Green Expo info: You will find trade show hours, directions, and parking information here. You will be responsible for your own parking expenses.
AIS knowledge: It is not a requirement that you know much about AIS, as you will be paired with an AIS expert. You do need to be friendly, engaging, and interested in outreach. If you want to brush up on your AIS knowledge, here are two links for you:,

I hope to see you there! If you have any questions, feel free to contact me: 218-726-8305.

Kind regards,

Marte Kitson

Fall Water Resources News

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From Shore to Shore Newsletter

Greetings Shoreland and Water Quality Steward!

The Fall issue of the "From Shore to Shore" newsletter is now posted on the website for you to view and/or download. To access it, please go to:

This issue includes the following articles:
Small Town, Big Project: Reducing Pollutants Entering the Blue Earth River
Green Infrastructure for Clean Water: Costs & Benefits to our Communities
What's being done about Asian Carp?
Low Salt Diet: What is Nine Mile Creek Doing
SNAPSHOTS: Water Resources Team Programming & Research - Recent Past & Upcoming Opportunities

Please feel free to share the newsletter with others; reproduce articles for other newsletters (please credit "From Shore to Shore" as the source); and submit shoreland and water quality articles, pictures of projects, upcoming local events, and suggestions for topics for upcoming issues. Your input and feedback are always welcome!

If you have difficulty accessing the website, please let me know. Also, please notify Heidi Olson-Manska,, if your email address changes. If you wish to unsubscribe to this newsletter, please send an email to with "Unsubscribe to From Shore to Shore" in the subject line.

Karen Terry, Extension Educator-Water Resource Team
University of Minnesota Extension
Regional Office, Morris
WC Research/Outreach Ctr.
46352 State Highway 329
Morris, MN 56267

Voice: 320-589-1711
Fax: 320-589-4870

2014 Lake Friendly Awards Winners Announced

The Lake Friendly Awards Committee proudly announced the 2014 Lake Friendly Award Winners at a Brainerd Area Environmental Learning Network-sponsored event on October 9, 2014. This was the 12th consecutive year of recognition of lake friendly activities by citizens and collaborations of organizations to protect our area water resources.

Winners were selected in several categories this year as follows. In the category of Lake Friendly Stewardship, Margaret Blistain and Peter Berg were recognized for shoreland restoration to native vegetation on Bay Lake in Crow Wing County. For Lake Friendly Protection Strategy, Crow Wing County and Dan Steward were recognized for the innovative 2013 Crow Wing County Water Plan. The Water Plan created a methodology to prioritize protection and restoration implementation efforts for the county. This plan provides opportunity to measure and quantify implementation efforts. Also in the category of Lake Friendly Protection Strategy, the Army Compatible Use Buffer Program, Camp Ripley Area, was recognized for protecting the rural character of Morrison, Crow Wing and Cass counties. Their partnership has maintained and improved water quality and habitat along the Mississippi, Crow Wing, Gull and Nokasippi rivers.

In the category for River Stewardship, the Brainerd Rotary Club, was recognized for their efforts in protecting land from development along the Mississippi River including wetlands downstream from Buffalo Creek. They purchased the land and donated it to the City of Brainerd which will maintain it as a park with trails and wildlife viewing.

John Allen, Bar Harbor on Gull Lake in Cass County, was recognized in the category of Lake Friendly Lakescaping for installing a shoreland buffer and rain gardens. Also in the category of Lake Friendly Lakescaping, Charles and Julie Costa were recognized for their work in restoring shoreland on Lake Ossawinnamakee in Crow Wing County by adding two rain gardens and a shoreline buffer on their property.

At this event, honors were given in memory of Alan Cibuzar, Chief Executive Officer, A.W. Research Laboratories (1971-2014) and Image Engineering, Inc. (1981-2014). Mr. Cibuzar dedicated his life and work to sustaining the quality of Minnesota lakes.

The awards event was also highlighted by an engaging presentation by Paul Radomski, author of Lakeshore Living: Designing Lake Places and Communities in the Footprints of Environmental Writers. Radomski shared facts about the impacts on our lakes and strategies for maintaining clean water and healthy water resources into the future.

Partners for the Lake Friendly Awards include Brainerd Lakes Area Audubon Society, Crow Wing County Lakes and Rivers Alliance, Crow Wing Soil and Water Conservation District, Jerry Raedeke, Minnesota Chapter of the American Fisheries Society, Minnesota Department of Natural Resources Nongame Wildlife Program, Minnesota Department of Natural Resources consecutive year of recognition of lake friendly activities by Section of Fisheries, The Nature Conservancy and the University of Minnesota Extension.

Source: Eleanor Burkett, Extension educator/specialist in water resources, U of M Extension Regional Office, Brainerd, MN (218)828-2326,

Discovery Farms Minnesota helps farmers protect water quality and soil fertility

Discovery Farms in Minnesota are capturing real-world data on water run-off from Minnesota farm fields.

Read more at:

Column: Imagine how it could be

How clean do we need our lakes and rivers to be before we're satisfied we've accomplished our goals? Is it enough that they don't catch on fire, or do we hold the bar a bit higher? Early in the morning, beneath a blanket of stars, it's easy to dream big and imagine things as they could be.

Read more at:


Events Calendar

Flux32 - Introductory
Date: November 19, 2014
Location: Chanhassen, MN
Contact: Shahram Missaghi

Flux32 - Advanced
Date: January 14, 2015
Location: TBD
Contact: Shahram Missaghi

32nd Annual Red River Basin Land & Water International Summit Conference
Date: January 20-22, 2015
Location: Winnipeg, Manitoba
Contact: Leah Thvedt

Shoreland Buffer Basics
Date: February 5, 2015
Location: Windom, MN
Contact: Karen Terry, 218-770-9301,

Partnership for River Restoration & Science in the Upper Midwest Symposium
Date: February 8-11, 2015
Location: Dubuque, Iowa
Contact: Barbara Heitkamp

Linking Land Use and Water Quality
Date: March 25 or 26, 2015
(same workshop each day)
Location: Fulda, MN
Contact: Karen Terry, 218-770-9301,

Let It Rain: Using Rain Gardens & Rain Barrels
Date: May 29, 2015
Location: Windom, MN
Contact: Karen Terry, 218-770-9301,

For the most current calendar items and more details, visit

Nov My Minnesota Woods

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Check out the lasted issue of My Minnesota Woods here.

Nov Northland Arboretum Newsletter

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Below is the link to our November ArbLINK newsletter. Simply click on the link and it will take you to our November Newsletter. If you are not a member of the arb yet, PLEASE consider becoming one today

*** Give to the Max Day
Minnesota is home to Give to the Max Day, a 24-hour online give-a-thon. Visit on November 13 and give to the Northland Arboretum. (If you are eager, you can actually start donating on November 1.)

Your donation on Give to the Max Day also may help us receive an additional donation of $1,000. How? On November 13, every gift made on will be entered into an hourly drawing for a $1,000 GiveMN Golden Ticket to be awarded to a non-profit organization. That adds up to 24 opportunities for you to help us receive an extra $1,000!

Here's the really exciting part: At the end of the Give to the Max Day, one donation made on will be randomly selected to receive a $10,000 Super-Sized GiveMN Golden Ticket. The more gifts we generate on on November 13, the more our chances increase to receive that additional $10,000 donation. Imagine what we could do with $10,000!

*** PLEASE NOTE: The Northland Arboretum Visitor Center will be closed November 27 and 28 so our employees can enjoy a wonderful Thanksgiving with their families.

*** Our Compost Site will remain open Monday through Friday from 8 am to 4 pm through November 14th.
Please be sure to stop by the visitor center when bringing your leaves and grass clippings as our compost site has been moved.

Cleaning out your house and garage? Remember the Arboretum as you go through items - they can be dropped off any time Monday through Friday from 8 am to 4:30 pm. You will receive a letter showing your donation for your use as you prepare you taxes.
We can use the following:
ANY items that are like new that would make great silent auction items. We have silent auctions at a couple of our fundraisers throughout the year.
ANY items for garden use - including tools, power tools, tractors, mowers, etc. Please be sure that these items are usable and do not need a lot of work - we don't have the fund to repair broken motors, etc.
ANY tools and power items - these are used by our maintenance team. Anything from hammers and nails to welders and masks. If you are not sure, give us a call!
CRAFT ITEMS - including things like buttons, sea shells, paper, beads, sequins - again, if you are not sure, give us a call!
As always - your cash donation helps us out on purchasing items for the Visitor Center and Grounds!

Nov. SEEK Bulletin

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Find the latest news for Minnesota's environmental education community here.

Dec 12 Member & Volunteer Open House

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Member & Volunteer Open House
Friday, Dec 12 | 5:30 - 8:00 PM
Great Hall, SJU

Join us as we honor our members, volunteers and special guests at our annual holiday celebration. Enjoy food, entertainment and conversation and bid on our silent auction! Invitations were sent out this week. If you don't receive an invitation, contact us to check on your membership

PlayCleanGo volunteer opportunities

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For those of you who have participated in past events with PlayCleanGo: Stop Invasive Species In Your Tracks (PCG), thank you so much. The campaign is growing by leaps and bounds largely due to your participation. We now have 70 public and private organizations partnering with us in our outreach and education campaign. Most recently the North American Invasive Species Management Association (NAISMA) adopted PCG as their national campaign. Way to go PCG!!

Past PCG volunteers have reported having a great time talking to visitors about invasive species and the simple steps folks can take while recreating to prevent the accidental spread of terrestrial invasive species. This is to announce that we have more volunteer opportunities this winter! Between now and the next PlayCleanGo Day in June 2015, we have five sports show around the state. I invite you to participate by visiting the doodle links below and picking shifts that work for you. Be sure to hit 'save' once you check your preferred time slot. Each participant will receive a free ticket to the show (for each day you sign up). Plan to stay the day to check out the show before or after your shift. I have as much fun talking to the other vendors as I do the visitors, dreaming about that next vacation or that camp shirt I just have to have. It's also a great opportunity to enroll other PCG partners. I've had other vendors sign-up and hang our PCG poster in their own booth for the duration of the show. How rewarding is that! So come join us for the fun and help protect our precious natural resources.

The shifts range from 4 to 5.5 hrs long depending on show hours. For all but the Outdoor Adventure Expo, PCG will be sharing the booth space with the Stop Aquatic Hitchhikers outreach campaign. As such there will be at least one person with knowledge about aquatic invasives on duty for each shift. PCG volunteers are expected to have a basic understanding of invasive species and be familiar with the top four or five terrestrial invasive species threatening the state's natural resources. Talking points will be shared with the volunteers before each event and a folder of references will be at the booth to help with specific visitor questions. Each volunteer will receive a ticket to the show and a PCG tote bag to carry all of your goodies home with you. If you have any questions, feel free to give me a call. The available sports shows are as follows:

Outdoor Adventure Expo November 21-23, 2014 at Midwest Mountaineering on Cedar Ave in MPLS

MN Sports Show January 8-11, 2015 at the River Center on Kellogg in St Paul

St Cloud Sports Show February 6-8, 2015 at the River's Edge Conference Ctr in St Cloud

Red River Valley March 5-8, 2015 at the Fargodome in Fargo, ND

NW Sports Show March 25-29, 2015 at the MPLS Convention Ctr in MPLS

I look forward to working you!

Susan Burks
MNDNR Forestry / Invasive Spp. Prog. Coord.
500 Lafayette Rd / St Paul, MN 55155
651-259-5251 (office) / 651-296-5954 (fax)

Pollinators3 (NEW Three-Part Series)

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Pollinators3 (NEW Three-Part Series)
What You Need to Know and How to Make a Difference

The news media is crammed with reports on declining pollinator populations. But what are the facts, and more importantly, how can you be part of the conversation? University of Minnesota researchers and industry professionals will reveal the truth behind the headlines. Come and explore the complex relationship between pollinators and plants that ultimately affects people. Investigate the hot-topics around pesticides and pollinators, and the impact of legislation and policies to effect change. Learn ways to support pollinators - from home landscapes to national forums. Discover what difference you can make.

Attend an individual session, or bundle them all!
Minnesota Landscape Arboretum, MacMillan Auditorium
Part 1: Plants & People - Thursday, November 6, 2014, 12:30-4:30 p.m.
Part 2: Pesticides & Other Problems - Thursday, March 26, 2015, 12:30-4:30 p.m.
Part 3: Policies & Politics - Thursday, May 21, 2015, 12:30 p.m. - 4:30 p.m.

Learn more and register
Each Individual Session: $20 member/$25 Master Gardener & Master Naturalists/$32 non-member, includes Arboretum admission
3-Session Bundle Bundle and Save!: $48 member/$60 Master Gardener & Master Naturalists/$77 non-member, includes Arboretum admission

Certificate(s) of Attendance will be available for Master Gardeners, Master Naturalists, or others who wish to verify their participation.

Details on this series can be found here

Oct Mississippi Messages

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FMR Updates


Our recent rain barrel workshop quickly reached capacity, but we still have three free fall workshops to help you make your home river-friendly inside and out! Capacity is limited and early registration highly encouraged.

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Join us Saturday, November 1, 9:30-11:30 a.m. in the beautiful bluff-top prairie and oak woodlands above the river in Cottage Grove. Volunteers are needed to help FMR staff remove invasive species, such as buckthorn and honeysuckle. No experience is required and all supplies (pizza included!) will be provided. Learn more and sign up via the event listing, or contact Amy Kilgore at for details and directions. We look forward to hearing from you!

Read more »


The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is 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!

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Friends of the Mississippi River held our 13th annual "Evening Celebrating the Mississippi River" on October 1, 2014 at the Weisman Art Museum - overlooking the great river we are all working to protect. The evening was a success on many accounts, and we are very grateful to everyone who helped make it a success. For photos, numbers and more, read on!

Read more »


In recognition and appreciation for the individuals and families who also support our work, REI is offering special benefits during the month of October.

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FMR has called on activists to write letters, sign petitions, attend trainings and meetings, and send formal comments to the DNR over the past year. We would like to extend our thanks to nearly 2,000 FMR advocates that acted to better our river for future generations. Read on for what's next in the Mississippi River Corridor Critical Area (MRCCA) rulemaking process.

Read more »


Restoration of the city of Cottage Grove's River Oaks Park has started. This park's primary ecological feature is a small (half-acre) remnant Bedrock Bluff Prairie. The vista of the Mississippi River, from the bluff prairie, is sweeping and gorgeous.

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Mississippi River News

The Vikings are paying another half-million for upgrades including an eighth elevator and additional food stands, but refuse to upgrade to bird-friendly glass for their new stadium. Due to its location in the Mississippi Flyway and towering glass wall, Audubon Society and many others, including the Minneapolis City Council, expect the new stadium to be a death trap for birds.

Read more »

Calendar of Events

Tuesday, October 21 and/or 28 -- 9:30-11:30 a.m.
FMR Headquarters, Robert & 5th, Downtown St. Paul

We have a big mailing that we need last-minute volunteer help to get out the door. Let us know if you can help Tuesday the 21st or the 28th! (Sign up for one or both.) We'll provide the pizza and sodas!

Capacity is limited and registration required. Learn more on the FMR calendar listings, or sign up now with Amy at or 651-222-2193 x31. (Be sure to let her know which night(s) you're committing to.)

Read more »


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 or 651-222-2193 x31.

Read more »


Saturday, October 24 -- 3:00-7:00 p.m.
REI Bloomington, 750 American Blvd W, Bloomington, MN 55420

Throughout October, FMR and REI are celebrating their longstanding partnership with special member benefits. One of these perks, is a complimentary REI "Steward 2014" t-shirt ($20 value) for individuals that are both REI and FMR members. T-shirts will be available only for pick-up on the date provided above. Additionally, when picking up your t-shirt you can enter to win a light-weight REI Passage 2 Tent -- it's great for backpackers. Come out and join us on October 24th from 3:00-7:00 p.m. at REI Bloomington. T-shirts available while supplies last. Only one per member please. Contact John Briel, Development Associate, with questions at

Read more »


Saturday, November 1 -- 9:30-11:30 a.m.
3M Cottage Grove facility natural area

Join us in the oak woodlands and bluff prairie near the Mississippi River, part of a natural area owned by 3M-Cottage Grove being restored in partnership with Friends of the Mississippi River. Alongside FMR Ecologist Joe Walton and River Stewardship Coordinator Adam Flett, volunteers will learn about, explore and then help restore the woodlands and prairie by hauling cut brush, primarily buckthorn, and removing honeysuckle. This will immediately create openings for the return of native plants that benefit our local wildlife and waters. No experience is required and all supplies will be provided.

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

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Tuesday, November 4 -- 6:00-7:00 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 or 651-222-2193 x31.

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Thursday, December 4 -- 6-7 p.m.
Wilder Center, Midway (near the Green Line), St. Paul

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 registration required. Learn more on the event page, or sign up now with Amy at or 651-222-2193 x31.

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Mid to late fall can be a rewarding time to see rare birds in the Twin Cities.

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Supporting FMR

If you've read this month's Mississippi Messages down to this point, you are well aware not only of what FMR has accomplished but what we still need to accomplish. And to do that, we need your support. Your gift in any amount today will help us accomplish more for your river and your community. And if you are able to consider a sustaining, monthly gift - the impact will really add up! If you value the work that we are doing, please make a gift today. Thank you!

Quote of the Month

"Autumn is a second spring when every leaf is a flower."

- Albert Camus

Dec. 6 Balsam Bough Wreath Making Workshop - Cloquet

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Boozhoo, The 13 Moons Ashiniswi Giizisoog program has several workshops and events coming up this fall and winter! Please go to under News and Events for more information.

December 6th--The Balsam Bough Wreath making workshop will be held at the Cloquet Community Center, 1720 Big Lake Rd. Cloquet, MN--10am-3pm.
Participants will learn about sustainably harvesting balsam boughs and learn the art of making a wreath for seasonal decorations! POTLUCK, Bring a dish to pass!

MN Zoological Gardens Horticultural Tours

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MN Zoological Gardens Horticultural Tours

Thursday, December 4th, 5-6 pm

These tours are a chance to walk the Tropics Trail after hours with one of our Zoo horticulturalists. You'll get an insider's view of the trail without the public around, as you learn all about how we get tropical plants to thrive in a Minnesota winter, where our plants come from and how they're selected, and how they interact with their environment. This will be a high-level look at tropical ecosystems and their coolest plants, and incredibly relevant for anyone interested in studying horticulture or botany at any level.

Tickets: $20/person
Learn more and register online:

Feb 27-28 Schoolyard Garden Conference

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Save the Date!
Schoolyard Gardens Conference
February 27-28, 2015
Stay Tuned...Registration available November 2014

Minnesota Landscape Arboretum

Oct Headwaters Science Center News

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You can read the latest news from the Headwaters Science Center here.

Forest Pest First Detector & Ash Management Guide Workshops

Rochester will host two upcoming workshops in response to recent emerald ash borer (EAB) in Olmsted County. The first will be Forest Pest First Detector on Wednesday, November 5th from 9 AM - 3:30 PM, $40; followed by Ash Management for Woodland Owners on Wednesday, November 12 from 9 AM - noon, $20. Pre-registration is required for both workshops. Money will be collected at the door. Checks and credit cards are acceptable. These workshops will begin and end in HA 102, Heintz Center, 1926 Collegeview Rd E, Rochester, MN. To register visit for one or both classes at

Forest Pest First Detectors

Forest Pest First Detector will be from 9 AM - 3:30 PM on Wed, Nov. 5, 2014, $40 lunch included.

First Detectors are a part of the Federal "National Plant Diagnostic Network (NPDN) First Detector program (that) promotes the early detection of invasive, exotic plant pathogens, arthropods, nematodes and weeds."

The Minnesota Forest Pest First Detectors training program is designed to help identify the occurrence of Emerald Ash Borer and other forest pests in Minnesota. First Detectors are the front line of defense against likely infestations. Meeting, working with and educating the public about exotic forest pests are key activities of Forest Pest First Detectors.

Other pests to be discussed include gypsy moth, Asian longhorned beetle, thousand canker disease, and Oriental bittersweet.

Everyone is welcome to attend - even if you do not wish to become a Forest Pest First Detector! Anyone with a background in tree or forest health should consider becoming a Forest Pest First Detector.

Before coming to class participants are:
· Able to identify common tree species
· Willing to be contacted by and work with the public
· Prepared and able to visit sites if necessary
· Frequent users of the internet and e-mail
· Ready to document EAB-related activities
· Able to guard confidential information
· Able to complete on-line training modules

Examples of potential First Detectors include Master Volunteers (Master Naturalist, Master Gardeners, Tree Care Advisors, etc.), tree care professionals, forestry professionals, natural resource professions who work with trees, environmental educators, MN Conservation Corps participants, and others.

Forest Pest First Detectors must complete online training modules before attending the one-day Forest Pest First Detector training and commit to being available and involved with the program after completing the training. Involvement includes being accessible to the public, willing to conduct site visits if necessary, report forest pest-related activities, protect confidential information, and notifying organizers of current contact information.
For more information visit:

To register visit

Ash Management for Woodland Owners

Ash Management for Woodland Owners is from 9 AM - noon on Wed, Nov. 12, 2014. There will be a field tour; dress for the weather.

Ash Management for Woodland Owners will include information about emerald ash borer and managing your woodland in the era of EAB. An outdoor field tour will follow an indoor presentation.

This workshop is intended for woodland owners.
To register visit

Boulder Lake ELC Volunteers Needed

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Below are some items I need help with.
If you can help, please send me a quick email letting me know which ones you can help out with.

November 24 Anytime 9:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m. (4-8 people needed) Help collect boughs and make wreaths...

Dec 1 Anytime 8:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m. (4-8 people needed) Help collect boughs and make wreaths

Dec 5 9:00 a.m. - Noon Help set up for Christmas Tree Cut (1-4 people needed)

Dec 6 8:00 a.m. - Noon or Noon - 4:00 p.m. (8-10 people needed) Help with Christmas Tree Cut - Greeters, take pictures, help carry out trees, keep bonfires going, set up, take down, etc.

Thanks in advance,

John Geissler
Program Director
Boulder Lake Environmental Learning Center
7328 Boulder Dam Road
Duluth, MN 55803

Fun with Phenology - Eveleth

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Join other outdoor enthusiasts on the third Tuesday of each month at the Eveleth Public Library for a Naturalist Class called "Fun with Phenology." Journey through the four seasons unlocking the secrets of our great Northwoods, as you study at the library with a guest Naturalist, followed by a phenology hike through Fayal Pond. Sessions will continue from Sept to May and are free of charge.

For more information call: 744-7499 or visit the city's website for the schedule of guest naturalists and topics for the coming year. (Special Events Tab)

Fun_with_Phenology_Guest_Lecturers(1) (1).pdf