Read about the latest happenings at the Northland Arboretum. 2013 04 01 ArbLink.pdf
March 2013 Archives
Birding Bonanza Weekend
June 7-9, 2013
All-inclusive weekend retreat for bird lovers!
The rich biological diversity of Pine County and the surrounding area provide a bonanza of birding opportunities for experienced birders and those just getting started. The Audubon Center of the North Woods is located in a unique transition zone where the eastern deciduous forest meets the northern conifer forest, and where pockets of the western prairie can be found. The terrestrial diversity is matched by the aquatic plethora of rivers, lakes, bogs and marshes. This first-class weekend birding festival gives participants a chance to visit a wide variety of habitats that support myriad bird species.
With field trips led by seasoned guides, engaging on-site workshops, bird banding sessions, a live raptor presentation, renowned keynote speakers, delicious homemade meals and comfortable accommodations, this festival is birding at its best. We invite you to join us for a fun and memorable weekend. Sign up today and take advantage of our "Early Bird" discount (ends May 1)! Online registration is available on our website http://www.audubon-center.org/birding_festival.htm
WHY DO WE NEED TO PULL WILD PARSNIP?
Wild Parsnip is an invasive plant. It can cause phyto-photo dermatitis, a very painful and disfiguring blistering effect on the skin. The plant is abundant throughout the park and poses a serious problem for campers and other park visitors.
HOW CAN YOU HELP?
Volunteers can assist project leaders by pulling wild parsnips from heavy use areas in the park. Over the last several years volunteers have pulled parsnip from campsites in the park and last summer showed a dramatic drop (more than 80%) in the number of parsnip plants pulled at those sites. Working together, we can slow the spread of this invasive plant at Whitewater State Park.
WHAT TO BRING?
Participants are asked to bring a shovel and to wear long sleeve shirts and pants tucked into long socks. A hat, sunglasses and water bottle are also recommended. The park will provide rubber gloves. This will be a fun social event, with a pot-luck style dinner to follow, so you are asked to bring a dish to pass. Parsnip root dishes are especially encouraged!
HOW TO SIGN UP?
Contact the Whitewater State Park naturalist, Sara Grover, at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 507-932-3007 ext 226.
Campsites are available at Whitewater State Park and Carley State Park
Are you a fisheries biologist, botanist, environmental consultant, biological technician, aquatic biologist, extension agent, college student, etc. who would like to improve your knowledge of aquatic plant identification? If so, be sure to sign up for the Gratiot Lake Conservancy-sponsored AQUATIC PLANT WORKSHOP in Michigan's Upper Peninsula this summer! This class will also be useful to volunteer monitors or lake association members interested in learning how to identify aquatic plants and invasive species in order to protect healthy ecosystems in inland lakes.
WHERE: near Eagle Harbor (Keweenaw Peninsula of Michigan's Upper Peninsula)
WHEN: August 24 (Sat.) and August 25 (Sun.) 2013
9:00 AM to 4:00 PM each day
INSTRUCTOR: botanist Janet Marr
SPONSOR: Gratiot Lake Conservancy (GLC) http://www.gratiotlakeconservancy.org
Program Director, Bonnie Hay email@example.com
FEE: Space is limited and advance enrollment is required. The fee for this 2-day workshop is $80 ($60 for Gratiot Lake Conservancy members). Fee includes a field notebook. Enrollment form can be downloaded from the Aquatic Plant Workshop page at http://gratiotlakeconservancy.org/AquaticPlantWrkshp2013.htm
SCHOLARSHIP: There will be a Janet Avery Scholarship available. Interested applicants should email Bonnie Hay at firstname.lastname@example.org
Please indicate your affiliation, why you would like to attend the workshop, and how you intend to use what you learn in your work, studies, or teaching. Put "Aquatic Plant Workshop Scholarship" in the subject line.
WORKSHOP ACTIVITIES: Workshop activities will take place both inside the classroom and in the field at several Keweenaw lakes and channels/coves connected to Lake Superior. Submersed and floating-leaved aquatic plants will be identified with a focus on identification of pondweeds (Potamogeton and Stuckenia species) and rosette-formers including the Michigan endangered awlwort (Subularia aquatica). Techniques for collecting and herbarium specimen/label preparation will be demonstrated. Differences between aquatic invasive species such as Eurasian water-milfoil (Myriophyllum spicatum) and curly-leaf pondweed (Potamogeton crispus) and their native relatives will be discussed.
Visit the GLC website to view photos of past Aquatic Plant Workshops. A list of aquatic plant species, many of which will be seen in the workshop, is being revised and will soon be available on the GLC website.
GUIDE TO AQUATIC PLANTS: An aquatic plant handbook Guide to Aquatic Plants of Gratiot Lake and other Keweenaw County Lakes and accompanying CD will be given to each participant free of charge and will be used during the workshop.
MICHIGAN K-12 TEACHERS will earn 12 SCECHS (State Continuing Education Clock Hours) by participating in this workshop.
TWO OTHER GRATIOT LAKE-SPONSORED 2013 WORKSHOPS. For further information please visit the GLC website or email Bonnie Hay at email@example.com :
Beginners Workshop on Dragonflies and Damselflies, August 17 (raindate August 18), 10am - 4pm
Shoreline Restoration Workshop. August 26.
If you know of anyone who may be interested in any of these workshops, please pass this message on to them. Thanks!
Janet Marr, Botanist
23180 Highway Rd.
Calumet, MI 49913
email: firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com
Register to Volunteer at WaterFest 2013, a free family celebration of our clean lakes and an opportunity for outdoor hands-on learning about clean water, wildlife, and land and water conservation.
Saturday, June 1
Phalen Lake Park in St. Paul
WaterFest is sponsored by Ramsey-Washington Metro Watershed District, the cities of St. Paul, Maplewood, Little Canada, Roseville, Shoreview, Landfall and North St. Paul, Ramsey County and other partners. For more information and to register to volunteer: www.rwmwd.org. Then click on WaterFest.
Free Rain Garden Workshops
Learn to design and build a rain garden in a 3-session series.
Iii) Rain Garden Design Workshop: Garden Layout & Plant Design--May 22
6:30-8:30 p.m. at the Maplewood Nature Center, 2659 East 7th Street, Maplewood
Workshops are sponsored by the Ramsey-Washington Metro Watershed District and the city of Maplewood.
For more information and registration details: www.rwmwd.org. Then scroll down to workshop information.
NextStep - News for the Minnesota Sustainable Communities Network Mary 22, 2013 newsletter can be found here.
The SNA Strategic Plan
By Bill Bleckwenn, SNA Strategic Planner
The SNA Strategic Plan is approximately halfway through the project. An inventory of all of the Native Plant Communities (NPCs) within all of the SNAs for which data exists, has been completed--which is called a GAP analysis. This was done to see how close the program is to realizing its protection goals. In addition, the inventory has been extended to include all lands under public or conservancy ownership at the recommendation of the Commissioner's Advisory Committee--a group of conservation professionals that is providing technical oversight for the project. The GAP analysis results revealed that an average of approximately 30% of all types of NPCs for sections of the state for which data exist have some representation within the SNA program. When all other public lands and conservancies are added in, the proportion increases to approximately 92%.
A preliminary map of the state has been generated showing areas for priority for conservation in the SNA program. The sample of that map above shows the highest priority conservation areas are in red, medium priority in yellow, and lowest priority in green. Biodiversity significance and globally-ranked rare NPCs were the primary inputs used to generate the map. The prioritization was completed using Marxan, a mapping software that interfaces with Geographic Information Systems (GIS). Certain high-priority natural corridors emerged such as Buffalo Ridge in southwestern Minnesota, the Minnesota River Valley, and the glacial beach ridges of the eastern Red River Valley.
The next stages include the incorporation of new data into the inventory and prioritization mapping, developing a review process of site selection criteria for acquisitions, and drafting the Strategic Plan report. Each stage is reviewed by the Commissioner's Advisory Committee.
Spring is a great time to get out and enjoy the wildflowers, birds, and rhythms of life in a natural setting. Come along on one of these fun and educational hikes! A full list is available on the SNA Events Calendar.
Are you interested in exploring one of our newer sites? If so then mark June 15th on your calendar now for a volunteer project to remove buckthorn at Clinton Falls Dwarf Trout Lily SNA. Full event details will be posted on the SNA Events Calendar in coming weeks.
04/22/13 King's & Queen's Bluff SNA (Great River Bluffs State Park) - Earth Day Hike
05/11/13 Wolsfeld Woods SNA - Spring Warbler Walk
06/22/13 Blanket Flower Prairie SNA - Full Moon Hike
Site Highlight: Langhei Prairie
The mesic and wet prairie on the 40-acre Langhei Prairie SNA, much of which is in very good condition, was the basis for the recommendation to protect this site as a Scientific and Natural Area in 2008. A mosaic of mesic prairie, wet prairie, and prairie pothole wetlands like those found on the SNA once covered most of the Minnesota River watershed. Today vast acreages of these natural community types have been eliminated by wetland drainage and cultivation. Preservation of what remains has become an ever more important concern.
Of course, once a prairie site is protected maintaining its quality takes time and effort. The first steps have begun at Langhei Prairie with invasive species removal and the re-introduction of fire. Prescribed burns in the Spring of 2010 and 2012 and reduction of trees marked the first steps toward retaining the long-term health of this high quality gem.
Notes from Site Stewards
Winter hasn't stopped the reports rolling in from site stewards monitoring SNAs across Minnesota. Their observations provide invaluable information to the SNA Program. Here are some interesting notes from recent reports:
On a beautiful January 5th, site steward Sheila Maybanks made a visit to Pine Bend Bluffs SNA and reported; "So many deer tracks. I followed the deer trails to see the lay of the land. Although I did not see any deer, there must be many as their tracks were everywhere!"
Winter wildlife was apparent at Kettle River SNA as Ed Heinen's February 8th steward report notes. The raised "secret" beaver pond, shown in the photo above, is damming a spring or creek. Noted observations included one beaver, close-up, lethargic; many tracks and trails with sign of river otters, including openings in the ice kept open for landings; deer tracks and mouse tracks with subnivean trails observed; and hawks, woodpeckers, nuthatches.
The site stewards at Blanket Flower Prairie SNA include student members of the Natural Resources Management Club at North Dakota State University (NDSU). On February 23rd they hosted a snowshoe hike and ski at the site. Travel was difficult because the snow was deep with a thin crust which was repeatedly broken through even though everyone was equipped for the conditions. Everyone did enjoy the nice weather and appreciated how hard it was to move around when snow is in that condition.
If you're a steward or simply enjoy visiting SNAs we would like to hear what wildflowers you see blooming as spring approaches! Send us a note on what you see at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Help track the "green wave" as trees progress through seasonal changes. More information can be found here.
Dear potential volunteer,
Lac qui Parle State Park has many opportunities for you to build your resume' and volunteer in the summer of 2013.
First, we have a monthly "Nature Story and Craft time at the Park." Two volunteers are needed to lead this two hour activity time. I have attached an outline of the four time periods. The dates are May 25, June 29, July 27, and Aug. 31 from 10 am to noon. Geared for 3-10 years olds.
Second, opportunity is on June 8, "National Get Outdoors Day." On this day, we will have various activities for visitors. Three volunteer opportunities are at this event: 1. Archery in the Park- help is needed to line kids up to take turns learning Archery techniques. It is nice to have extra eyes and ears when working with kids. 2. Fishing fun with kids- volunteers are needed to help kids learn how to improve their fishing skills. And lastly, 3. Nature craft at the Lower Campground Warming shelter- volunteers would help kids make an animal track book and lead short hikes along the trail to look for animal signs. Total volunteers needed 9
Last opportunity is on July 6, "Day of Exploration at the Beach." Local historian and naturalist Dave Craigmile will be sharing his knowledge and leading visitors on various learning activities. You could be stationed at one of three posts: 1.canoe and take visitors out canoeing and teaching basic canoeing skills, 2.fishing skills area, and 3. geo-caching station. Total volunteers needed 7
Thank you for your interest and support of our Minnesota State Parks. Please let me know if you or any of your like-minded friends would like to volunteer for any of the above mentioned activities.
Please contact me either by e-mail or the phone numbers below.
Cara Greger, NR Park Spec.
DNR, Lac qui Parle State Park
14047 20th Street NW
Work 320-734-4451 ext. 225
I think that I've got a good start on owl routes, but I still have some that are open and need volunteers. If you know of anyone in the following areas that might be interested in taking a route (or if you want to consider taking on another route), please connect us!
Aitkin (6 open routes!)
St. Louis (4 routes... one near Hoyt Lakes, 3 north - Lake Vermillion area)
Central and East Itasca (7 routes)
Eastern Otter Tail
far NW corner of the state (11 routes)
far SW corner of the state (15 routes)
scattered routes in Renville, Chippewa, Todd, Grant, Big Stone, Freeborn, Lac qui Parle
I wish I could offer a bounty for new volunteers, but we'll have to settle for the good feeling of knowing that you've brought more resources to the program. ;-)
Hawk Ridge Bird Observatory
Three Rivers Park District
Outdoor Recreation School Projects
Contact: Katie Andersen for more information.
Help to build a sleeping bag storage rack and a collapsible tent drying rack for our storage room. Ideas needed. Materials provided.
Animal Tracking Flip Charts:
Needed: Laminated cards (maybe 5"x5") on a ring that can be carried on a hike and flipped through for reference. Would include images of common MN animals and their tracks (tracks to scale) along with information regarding animal stride/gate, how to differentiate from similar tracks, and other helpful clues and signs for each animal. Materials provided.
Grants - Adaptive Programs & Connections
Research and identify potential funding sources for Adaptive Programs and/or adaptive equipment. Work with ORS staff to gather information and complete grant applications for submission. Seek out adaptive program networking opportunities, create collaborative connections with other organizations and recruit new adapted recreation participants.
Interested in working with computers? Help digitize our paper records to make reporting easier. This will consist of entering past information on private and public ski lessons into our MS Access database.
Adapted Bow Stand:
Welders or handy people needed. The bow stand is a platform on the ground with a metal bar extending up holding the bow so someone with arm weakness or low arm function can pull back the bow string without holding the bow. The participant can roll their wheelchair or stand on the platform. This will keep the bow stand stable. The metal bar can be adjusted up or down depending on if the participant is sitting or standing. There is a metal plate at the top of the bar that the bow claps on to. This can be adjusted up or down to help the participant aim the bow.
We are looking for volunteers to build 2 worm composting bins. These bins would be a freestanding wooden structure. The tops would be large enough to dig in and rotate the soil, but critter-proof. We may also make ones that are lattice structures. We would like to produce night crawlers for our fishing program, so they need to be approximately 2-3 feet in diameter. Dimensions, plans, and material gathering can be discussed.
Portable Snowshoe Rack:
We need removable racks made for snowshoes to be stored and transported to programs. Materials provided.
Ice Fishing/Fishing Pole Bags:
We need a quick and efficient way of moving and transporting our fishing poles for programs and camps. Right now we have a heavy duty tarp material that the poles slide into. The problem that we see with this is that the poles will get snagged and also when it rains the bag holds water so then we run into rusting problems. A roll up system would work well that drains easily.
We are looking for a person to develop a lightweight shack on skis that we can push across the ice to setup for programs. It would need to be lightweight but with options to anchor to the ice so in windy conditions the shelter won't ski away. It would be great if it was large enough for 4 holes inside so participants can get out of the elements during programs.
Kids Kayak Trailer:
We need someone to help us figure out a good way to protect boats on the kayak rack while still providing strength and stability when strapping them down. Also the addition of a ladder off the back would be very helpful, especially for putting the boats on top. Innovation needed, materials provided.
ORS Volunteer Coordinator
Three Rivers Park District
Volunteer with MN DNR this Spring!
DNR Volunteer Opportunities - Spring 2013
All of the newest DNR volunteer opportunities are NOW posted on our website! Check them out to see how YOU might get involved in the outdoors!
Minnesota Frog and Toad Calling Survey
Volunteer to participate in the Minnesota Frog and Toad Calling Survey (MFTCS), Minnesota's portion of the nation-wide program (North American Amphibian Monitoring Program). Participants will be assigned to pre-selected routes and asked to conduct nighttime "listening surveys" on three evenings per year between April and July.
Help is needed statewide, but especially in southwestern and northern Minnesota. Available route locations and other information can be found on our website.
Minnesota Loon Monitoring Program
Volunteers across the state are needed to track Minnesota's loon population. You will be assigned to a pre-selected lake to count the number of loons you see on one morning between June 28 and July 8, 2013.
Call or e-mail the following DNR Regional Nongame Wildlife staff to be assigned to a lake(s) in one of the listed counties:
Becker or Otter Tail Counties: Contact Sherry Wright, Bemidji, 218-308-2620, email@example.com
Cook, Lake, or Itasca Counties: Contact Sarah Verke, Grand Rapids, 218-999-7808, firstname.lastname@example.org
Aitkin or Crow Wing Counties: Contact Karen McLennan, Brainerd, 218-828-2605, email@example.com
Kandiyohi County: Contact Dorie Tess, New Ulm, 507-359-6036, firstname.lastname@example.org
Over 50 Campground Host Opportunities this Summer at a Minnesota State Park!
If you enjoy the great outdoors, scenic vistas, and the company of other campers, then consider volunteering to be a "live in" host for at least 4 weeks (one month) during the period of May to October at a Minnesota State Park campground.
A host's primary responsibility is to assist campers by answering questions and explaining campground rules in a cheerful and helpful manner. Campground Host volunteers should be familiar with state park campground rules, perform light maintenance work around the campground such as litter pickup, sweeping, stocking supplies in toilet buildings and making emergency minor repairs when possible. Hosts may be requested to assist in the naturalist program by posting and distributing schedules, publicizing programs or helping with programs. Volunteers will set an example by being model campers, practicing good housekeeping at all times in and around the host site, and by observing all rules.
Campground Host volunteers generally work independently. Volunteers are accountable to the park manager who will provide training and orientation for hosts and assist hosts throughout the season with any question or problems that may arise. Length of period, workdays and hours are established with the campground manager, but will generally include all weekends and holidays. Avid campers or RV'ers are encouraged to apply!
Read more about the Campground Host Program. Email your questions to email@example.com or call 888- MINNDNR ( 888-646-6367) or in the Metro area call 651-259-5607.
To apply for any of these volunteer positions, fill out the Campground Host application and email it to firstname.lastname@example.org
BOW - NEW! Birds and Bogs Weekend
06/21/2013 to 06/22/2013
UM Cedar Creek Preserve, East Bethel
Course details: Spend time with two of Minnesota's outstanding birding and bog plant identification experts. You will hike Cedar Creek Reserve to view bogs and birds in their natural habitat. This weekend includes lodging at Cedar Creek and instruction.
Limited to 18 participants.
Course dates and times: June 21-22, 2013, 4p.m. Friday to 5:30p.m. Saturday.
Registration: Register by printing off a registration form from the BOW website www.dnr.state.mn.us/education/bow/index.html or you can call the DNR Information Center to request a registration form at 1-888-646-6367 or 651-296-6157.
Contact DNR Information Center at 651-296-6157 or 1-888-646-6367.
Butterfly & Pollinator Garden TOUR
Friday, May 31st, 6:30PM
Tour the nature center butterfly and rain gardens to see the colorful flowers. Find out how you can attract butterflies to your yard with pocket gardens of native plants with leaves that grow caterpillars and flowers for adults. Learn which flowers attract bees and hummingbirds so you can design garden patches for specific pollinators.
FREE. Call 651-249-2170 or email email@example.com for reservations.
Location: Maplewood Nature Center, 2659 7th Street East, Maplewood, MN 55119
BEFRIENDING BUMBLE BEES
Friday July 12, Saturday July 20 and Friday August 2, 10:00 a.m.-Noon
(Rain Date: Tuesday July 30th)
For adults and children, 5 and up.
Join the quest for the Rusty-patched bumble bee formerly common in Minnesota. Assist Elaine Evans, Entomologist from the U of MN and co-author of the book, Befriending Bumble Bees, in collecting bumblebees from prairie flowers. Watch as she identifies and records them before releasing them back to the wild.
The sessions will take place at Jim's Prairie, a native wet prairie in Maplewood where rare bumblebees were once found in the 1990's. Perhaps you will find them again.
You will be sent directions when you pre-register at least 2 days before each session: email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 651-249-2170. FREE
TASTY TREATS FROM THE BEES
Saturday, July 27th, 9:30-10:45 am
Ages 4-10, families
Taste different kinds of honey, and sample food pollinated by bees such as blueberries and raspberries! Learn about different kinds of bees and why they are important. We'll do an easy and fun bee-count with the Great Sunflower Project, www.greatsunflowerproject.org, that you can also do later in your backyard or nearby park.
Fee: $2 per person, or $5 per family. Please pre-register by Thursday, July 25th by calling 651-249-2170 or email email@example.com
Location: Maplewood Nature Center, 2659 7th Street East, Maplewood, 55119.
Tuesday, August 6th, End of Season Project Tour and "Punch & Popcorn" Party will be held from 11:00 -Noon following the last regular Junior Volunteer morning session. Award certificates will be handed out, family members welcome and encouraged to attend.
Location: Maplewood Nature Center, 2659 7th Street East, Maplewood 55119
Greetings Monarch Watchers!
We are finally moving forward with our monarch tagging database project and we need some help! :-)
As most of you know, citizen scientists just like you have been tagging monarch butterflies through Monarch Watch since 1992. In all, more than ONE MILLION monarchs have been tagged with Monarch Watch tags over the years - representing a HUGE volunteer effort. Most of these tagging records have been returned to us in the form of paper datasheets, organized by students into binders, and relocated when a tagged monarch is reported to us - thus allowing us to complete the tag record and add it to our online tag recovery database (currently more than 16,000 records).
This system has its inefficiencies and limitations but given funding constraints this was the only workable solution for many years. The really big downside to this storage method is that it does not give us easy access to the majority of the data set - those records that include date, location, and other data for more than one million monarch
butterflies. An infinite number of analyses could be done using this massive data set and we are determined to whip it into shape and have it available very soon. In the process, the online recovery database (http://monarchwatch.org/recoveries) will get an overhaul as well.
We now have a firm plan in place to renovate our existing databases, clean up the data, and add records to make the set as complete as possible. We already have about 975,000 tagging records in an electronic database and estimate that we have an additional 300,000 records that still need to be entered in order to complete the set - data from the 1992-1999 tagging seasons as well as sheets that are still coming in for
this season (monarchs tagged last fall).
This is where we need some help.
Ann has just hired one data entry student and may be able to hire one more, but we would also like to open this up to any Monarch Watcher out there that would like to assist us - either in person (Lawrence, KS) or by working remotely at home. This data entry will involve taking the hard copy datasheets (or digital versions of them) and typing the information into a spreadsheet (using Excel, etc.). If you are not familiar with our datasheets, you can check them out via http://monarchwatch.org/tagging - including a spreadsheet format that will be used for this data entry project. As you can see, for any given datasheet there will be a lot of duplicate (date, location) or sequential (tag codes) data, so there are some shortcuts that can be used to make data entry go faster (copy/paste, fill down, etc.) - we will provide you with all the information you need to speed things along.
If you can help us in person, we will provide everything you need; if you would like to work remotely, you will need a computer, spreadsheet software (Microsoft's Excel, Apple's Numbers, Apache OpenOffice's Calc, etc.), and internet access - we will send you a set of scanned datasheets and the spreadsheet template. Beyond that, all we ask is that you return the completed data to us in a timely manner, follow the simple instructions we will provide, and be very focused when entering the data to reduce the number of keying errors :-)
The amount of time that you spend volunteering will be up to you - we will send you a small number of sheets initially so that you can get a feel for the data entry and how long it takes. When you submit your data you may request additional sheets if you'd like to continue.
If you would like to assist us in this endeavor, please respond to this message expressing your interest and we will get back to all potential volunteers as soon as possible with additional details.
We're excited to be forging ahead with this - thank you for your help and continued support!
Jim, Chip, & Ann