Dear Fellow Naturalist,
We invite you to join NABA's Butterfly Count Program so that scientists studying butterfly distribution and population fluctuations will have the benefit of important data from your area. Now is the time to plan a new count - it's a great way both to help the environment and to have an exciting day in the field with friends who enjoy the natural world.
Butterflies are ideal indicators of the health of the environment because they are exquisitely sensitive to small changes in their world. Yet surprisingly little is known about butterfly population fluctuations and distributions throughout North America. Gathering information about these important pollinators is the goal of the annual Butterfly Count Program organized by NABA, the North American Butterfly Association.
Celebrating almost 40 years, the Butterfly Count Program is a long-term citizen-scientist project, involving almost 500 counts and thousands of volunteers throughout the United States, Canada, and Mexico. Volunteers select a count area with a 15-mile diameter count circle and assemble a group to conduct a one-day census of all butterflies sighted within that circle.
Published annually in the NABA Count Report, count data provide critical information about the geographical distributions and population sizes of the species counted. Increasingly, these data are being used by scientists to help address a wide variety of topics, including the fall migration of Monarchs and the effects of habitat changes on butterflies.
Currently, NABA Butterfly Counts are conducted from March to October in nearly every state. If there is no existing NABA Butterfly Count in your area, we encourage you to start one! For more information about how to start a count and about the Count Program in general, please visit NABA's website, www.naba.org, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org, or call NABA's national headquarters at 973-285-0907.
If a count already exists in your area, we hope that you can participate in and facilitate the existing count. Location of counts and contact information for their compilers can be found on the NABA website at
Jeffrey Glassberg, Ph. D
February 2013 Archives
Dear Fellow Naturalist,
Do you have experience paddling? How about interpretive skills? Do you think you can do both at the same time? We just might have the opportunity for you!
Become a river rafting volunteer for Three Rivers Park District. Help TRPD staff lead groups of program participants down the Mississippi river. Volunteers will navigate inflatable white water rafts on half-day and full day trips exploring cultural, geological, and natural history on a three to six mile stretch of the river located in the north metro area. You will receive both interpretive and raft training on and off the river. All trips launch from West Coon Rapids Dam in Brooklyn Park.
River raft volunteers should possess excellent communication and interpersonal skills with an ability to maintain a friendly, courteous, and professional demeanor. Volunteers should be confidant in their paddling skills and be able to work without direct staff supervision. Interpretive experience is highly desired.
Volunteers work outdoors for 4-8 hours depending on the program with a commitment of 2 or 3 trips for the season (late June-Sept.). Trips are planned for early mornings, weekdays, evenings, and weekends. Heavy lifting and being able to stand in the river up to your knees are part of this volunteer position. You must sign up to become a Three Rivers Park District Volunteer and submit to a background check. Contact Paula Suchy, Naturalist, West Coon Rapids Dam, Three Rivers Park District, at 763-694-1117 or PSuchy@threeriversparkdistrict.org
Please join Great River Greening as we continue our efforts to restore native landscapes throughout the state! Individuals of all ages, families, and community and corporate groups of any size are welcome to participate in Greening's volunteer restoration events.
Pre-registration is required, so sign up today! To register, visit our website at www.greatrivergreening.org under "Volunteer" or contact Josh Kriz, Volunteer Manager, at email@example.com or 651-665-9500 ex. 11.
A light breakfast, snacks, and lunch are provided at all Great River Greening Community Restoration Events!
Cedar Lake Farm Regional Park Planting
Saturday, May 18, 8:30am - 12:30pm
New Prague, MN
Volunteers: 150 Supervisors: 15
Identified as one of the Last Best Places in the Metropolitan Council's Regional Parks Policy Plan, this 300-acre park includes the last remaining undeveloped shoreline on Scott County's Cedar Lake. Volunteers will plant native upland and aquatic vegetation as a component of a major wetland and shoreline restoration project.
A project of our Metro Area Program. This project is made possible with support from Scott County Parks, Scott Watershed Management Organization, Three Rivers Park District, Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, and the Minnesota Environment and Natural Resources Trust Fund.
Pond Dakota Mission Restoration
Saturday, May 11, 8:30am - 12:30pm
Volunteers: 150 Supervisors: 15
Take a step back in time and help out at the site of the Gideon Pond House, constructed in 1856. Volunteers will assist in removing undesirable brush and sowing native seed to restore the oak savanna that was here at the time Gideon first arrived. With buckthorn and other undesirable trees and shrubs removed, the site will once afford visitors stunning views of the Minnesota Valley.
A project of our Metro Area Program. This project is made possible with support from the City of Bloomington, the Bloomington Noon Rotary, and the Minnesota Environment and Natural Resources Trust Fund.
Spring Lake Regional Park Planting
Saturday, June 1, 8:30am - 12:30pm
Prior Lake, MN
Volunteer: 150 Supervisors: 15
Come out and join us in restoring a portion of this new 374-acre park. Hosting an array of natural features such as a rare maple basswood forest, beautiful lakes, and important wetlands, Spring Lake Regional Park is quickly becoming a favorite of local residents. Volunteers will assist with the restoration of these natural features by planting native oak trees, savanna shrubs, and wildflowers.
A project of our Metro Area Program. This project is made possible with support from Scott County Parks, Three Rivers Park District, and the Minnesota Environment and Natural Resources Trust Fund.
Great River Greening is a local 501 c3 nonprofit with a mission to secure the legacy of Minnesota land and water through community restoration, stewardship and partnerships. We work in collaboration at a grassroots level so partners, landowners and volunteers feel connected to an area, understand the power of working together, and are protective of the legacy that we pass on to future generations.
Major operating support for Great River Greening programs is provided by McKnight Foundation.
Free Digital Bridge to Nature Workshops
Digital Photography Bridge to Nature is a Minnesota DNR initiative. The Raptor Center is partnering with the Minnesota DNR to help facilitate a portion of the workshops. The goal is to have children use the technology of digital cameras to get them outside.
Each four-hour workshop is designed to train approximately 12-24 teachers in any subject area on how to use and apply the digital camera kits to your curriculum. Completion of the workshop will allow you to check out a camera kit and you will earn 4 Continuing Education units.
The workshop will focus on helping you enhance your current curriculum, not add to it! The workshop will cover how to use the digital cameras; basics of photography; hands-on activities with group discussion; brainstorming of curriculum ideas; downloading and editing techniques; and student project ideas.
- FREE access to digital cameras kits with 12 cameras
- Learn new ways to tie digital photography experiences to fulfill state education standards
- Learn how to use student digital photos with WEB 2.0 applications
- Targeted for Grades 3-9
- 4.0 Continuing Education Units Provided
- Workshops can be scheduled at your school if you have 12 teachers or you can come to a workshop hosted by The Raptor Center or another facilitator throughout the state of Minnesota.
Workshop Dates at The Raptor Center:
June 1, 2013
June 15, 2013
To register for a FREE workshop, please contact:
The Raptor Center at 612-624-2756 or RaptorEd@umn.edu
27th Annual Citywide Cleanup
Over the past 26 years, the Saint Paul Parks and Recreation Department has established a tradition of hosting an annual Spring Parks Cleanup event to collect the trash that has accumulated over the winter. Now, with the help of the Department of Public Works, the event has transformed into a citywide effort to clean our parks, neighborhoods, and streets.
Without the help of volunteers, trash accumulates in many areas, polluting lakes, rivers, and detracting from the beauty of our community. This event is a fun and effective way to improve our natural environment while also contributing to the overall beautification of Saint Paul.
Blooming Saint Paul Day
In an ongoing effort to promote volunteerism and the beautification of Saint Paul, the Parks and Recreation Department has decided to host a new event titled Blooming Saint Paul Day. The purpose of this event is to recruit new and current volunteers to assist in cleaning and preparing various garden locations for the summer months.
Tasks may include:
· removing dead vegetation
· installing new plant material
· and more!
Blooming Saint Paul Day will take place on Saturday, May 18th from 9:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.
To Register, Click Here
For more information, please email Shannon.Obrien@stpaul.gov or call 651.632.2458
Community Volunteer Events
Interested in planting trees for Arbor Month? Come on down to Crosby Regional Park on Saturday, May 4th! For more information or to register, click here (Registration for this event is hosted by REI)
Community events are added on a consistent basis from spring to fall.
Check out www.stpaul.gov/parks/environment for updates.
NEW! Project Based Volunteering
Saint Paul Parks and Recreation is seeking volunteers to assist in ongoing natural resource based projects throughout the city. Projects vary from prairie restoration to wildlife surveys.
For more information or to submit a volunteer inquiry, http://www.stpaul.gov/index.aspx?NID=5124
Restoration Supervisors assist with supervising volunteers during large habitat restoration events. They also lead small volunteer events in the absence of staff. Restoration Supervisors increase Saint Paul Parks' capacity to engage the public in actively restoring and protecting our natural resources.
For more inforamtion or to submit a volunteer inquiry, Click Here
Volunteer Greenhouse Assistants work closely with gardening staff to help grow and care for plants at the Harriet Island greenhouse facility. Plants and flowers used in Saint Paul's parks and streetscapes are more sustainable when grown on site in the greenhouse. This saves valuable resources as shipping and transport modes are reduced. Greenhouse volunteers greatly increase our capacity to grow more of our own plants and become more sustainable.
For more information or to submit a volunteer inquiry, Click Here
Assistant Volunteer Coordinator