March 2014 Archives

The Minnesota DNR Ecological and Water Resources, Forestry, and Fish and Wildlife Divisions are partnering to offer training in the use of the DNR Field Guides to the Native Plant Communities of Minnesota and in DNR Forestry's silvicultural interpretations for forested native plant communities.

There will be three indoor introductory classes and three field classes offered. The introductory class provides information about how to use the field guides, incorporates practice exercises, and explores how the information gained from using this process has been applied in resource management planning. The field sessions include plant identification, soils information, keying exercises, and discussions of management implications. The silviculture field applications class will provide field-based forest stand assessment exercises to apply the DNR ECS Silvicultural Interpretations, discuss silvicultural prescriptions that address different stand objectives in the context of native plant communities, and address topics in ecological forestry, and will offer an optional bird session which will focus on identifying bird species and their needs. CEU/CFE credits will be available for all classes.

Please refer to the attached 2014 NPC training flier.pdf for class locations and registration information. There is no cost for these but registration is limited for the field classes.

Wetland Plant Identification Workshop, Keweenaw Peninsula (in Michigan's western Upper Peninsula), August 23 and 24, 2014!

"So many aster-types in this wet meadow! How can I tell them apart?"

"Help! What is this sedge that keeps cropping up and doesn't seem to key out?"

"Hmmmm, is this giant grass the highly invasive non-native Phragmites, the native strain, or maybe a reed canary grass on steroids....?"

If you need to identify wetland plants for work, research, or school, be sure to sign up for the Gratiot Lake Conservancy-sponsored Wetland Plant Workshop being taught in August!

WHERE: near Eagle Harbor (Keweenaw Peninsula, Michigan's western Upper Peninsula)

WHEN: Saturday, August 23 and Sunday, August 24, 2014
9:00 AM to 4:00 PM eastern time each day

INSTRUCTOR: Botanist Janet Marr has taught various Gratiot Lake Conservancy-sponsored workshops focusing on spring botany (May) and aquatic plants (August) in addition to this wetland workshop (August); she also has taught many botany workshops on Isle Royale (June) sponsored by the Isle Royale & Keweenaw Parks Association

SPONSOR: Gratiot Lake Conservancy (GLC) at
Program Director, Bonnie Hay at

FEE and ENROLLMENT: 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 Wetland Plant Workshop page at

SCHOLARSHIP: Janet Avery Scholarships are available. To apply email Bonnie Hay at 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 "Wetland Plant I.D. Workshop Scholarship" in the subject line.

WORKSHOP ACTIVITIES: Workshop activities will take place mostly out-of-doors. Visits will be made to local wetlands including swamp forests, shrub thickets, and more open community types such as marshes and fens. Native wetland plant species, including more difficult groups (sedges, grasses, rushes, aster relatives), will be identified. Selected non-native invasive wetland species will also be identified. Characteristics of selected plant families will be discussed, botanical terms will be defined, dichotomous keys will be used when appropriate, and wetland community types will be described.

ARE YOU A MICHIGAN K-12 TEACHER with a professional certificate? If so, you will earn 12 SCECHS (pending) when you participate in this workshop.

Gratiot Lake Conservancy offers other workshops. The 2014 calendar will be posted on the website at in April. One workshop which may be of special interest will focus on freshwater clams and mussels. If you would like to receive notice of upcoming workshops and events please email Bonnie Hay at

If you know of anyone who may be interested in this wetland plant workshop, please pass this message on to them. Thanks!

Audubon Center of the Northwoods Newsletter

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Click here to read the entire newsletter

Includes information on Free education events, upcoming spring/summer events, and spring/summer dinners at the lake.

Volunteer this Spring in St. Paul

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Saturday, April 12 | 8:30 am in Saint Paul parks and neighborhoods--kickoff locations are below

For nearly 30 years, Saint Paul individuals, families, groups, and communities have volunteered to remove litter from Saint Paul's parks and neighborhoods during the annual Citywide Spring Cleanup.

With the help of volunteers, we can remove the trash that accumulates in these natural areas harming wildlife, polluting lakes and rivers and detracting from the beauty of our community. This event is a fun and effective way to improve the natural environment in our local community.
Citywide Spring Cleanup Kickoff Sites:
Como Lakeside Pavilion (1360 N Lexington Pkwy)
Harriet Island--Kelley's Landing (200 Dr Justus Ohage Blvd)
Highland Pavilion (1200 Montreal Ave)
Indian Mounds Shelter (10 Mounds Boulevard)
Phalen Pavilion (1600 Phalen Drive)
Linwood Recreation Center (860 St. Clair Ave)
Coffee and donuts will be provided at all locations, with the exception of Linwood. Brasa Rotisserie will be sponsoring the Linwood Recreation Center location and will provide pancakes, coffee and vegan baked goods. All locations will have a chance to win some awesome prizes.

We need your help! Please join us for the morning to help clean up Saint Paul!

Questions? Contact or call 651.632.2411.


Saturday, May 3rd | 9-11:30 am at Hidden Falls Regional Park, North Gate
Let's kick off spring together! Join us to plant tree and shrub seedlings and pull garlic mustard at Hidden Falls. This is a great event for families, groups, and individuals alike. We will provide all of the necessary tools for the restoration projects. Be sure to bring your own water bottles and dress for the weather. See you there! REGISTER HERE.



Saturday, May 17th | 8:30 am Volunteer 10 am-2 pm Celebration at Phalen Recreation Center
Help plant 50 trees in the landscape surrounding the recreation center. Registration begins at 8:30 am with light refreshments and music. We kickoff at 9 am with remarks and planting instructions from staff. The celebration will include tree climbing stations, a climbing wall, tree-related activities, information tables, demonstrations, and a visit from Smokey Bear. Please join us! (Register soon! Space is limited.)



Saturday, May 17th | 9-11 am at various Saint Paul parks
Love to garden? Blooming Saint Paul Day is a day to promote volunteer gardening and to prepare public gardens for the coming growing season. We hope to engage 150 volunteers helping in as many as 40 sites throughout Saint Paul. Many of our garden sites could use several hands to help plant and prep gardens. Current garden volunteers and those interested in gardening for one day are encouraged to REGISTER HERE.



Saturday, May 24th | 9-11 am at Como Woodland Outdoor Classroom (CWOC)
We are partnering with Conservation Corps Minnesota to host a garlic mustard challenge. Join the Corps crews and other groups and individuals to help us clear away this pesky invasive species. For more information and REGISTRATION, CLICK HERE.



Tuesday, May 20 | 6-8 pm at Crosby Farm Regional Park
Join Friends of the Mississippi River to help protect spring ephemerals and other important species by removing garlic mustard, an extremely invasive plant. Participants will be asked to sign a Pledge to Pull, promising to remove garlic mustard in this area of Crosby Park for a total of eight hours in the following weeks.. For more information and registration, CLICK HERE.



This summer, Saint Paul Parks and Recreation is piloting a Volunteer Park Patrol, and we need YOU! We are looking for 8-14 volunteers to help us pilot this program in Como Regional Park. Park Patrol volunteers help create safe and welcoming environments by being a park ambassador for park visitors and by being an extra set of eyes and ears in the park. Come be a part of a unique opportunity to help us develop this brand new program.

We are asking individuals to dedicate a minimum of 8 hours per month. This is a great opportunity to get outside and stay active in a park we all love.

Training and materials will be provided. Please contact if you are interested in applying.
Ryanna Jackson, Volunteer Coordinator | 651-632-2411
Keep up with the latest Community Volunteer Events at
Like us on FACEBOOK and follow our BLOG!

Volunteer with MN DNR this Spring!

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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!

MN Frog and Toad Calling Survey
MN Loon Monitoring Program
Whitewater State Park
Tree Planting Project
Prairie Butterfly Garden Maintenance
2nd Annual Parsnip Pull

And many other opportunities

Great River Greening Spring Opportunties

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Here at Great River Greening, we are busy gearing up for the spring volunteer restoration event season. This spring, we will be doing a variety of restoration work through our volunteers across the metro. We're looking to our partners in the community and groups who have volunteered with us in the past to help spread the word. As much as we can, we want to engage returning volunteers while continuing always to increase the number of people we involve--across the state--in restoration activities that benefit us all.

Our volunteer events have something for everyone--all ages and abilities. We need volunteers to help is in a number of ways at each event:

  • Registration volunteers ensure the timely and organized check-in of restoration volunteers as they arrive in the morning.

  • Restoration volunteers receive specialized training the morning of the event and carry out the activities needed to meet the restoration goals for the event.

  • Lunch volunteers help serve lunch to hard working restoration volunteers and help clean up after the event.

  • Photo Op volunteers help us catalog the whole event.

  • Volunteer Supervisors make sure the event is as successful as possible by training and managing our restoration volunteers (You can learn more about Volunteer Supervisors on our website if this sounds interesting.)

If you are interested in registering for one or more of our events, please visit our website to do so:

I've attached our Great River Greening Spring 2014 (1).pdf to this email. Some of our events are already beginning to fill up, and we'll soon be starting a waiting list, so now is the best time to get registered!

Please let me know if you have any questions about our events or organization.

Thank you, and I hope to see you out in the field this spring!

June 21 Parsnip Pull at Whitewater State Park

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Wild Parsnip is an invasive plant that 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.

On Saturday, June 21 from 8am - Noon, volunteers will work in teams with project leaders to pull wild parsnips from heavy use areas in the park. Over the last several years volunteers have pulled parsnip from campsites in the park and results show a dramatic drop in the number of parsnip plants regenerating at those sites.

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.

Working together, we can slow the spread of this invasive plant at Whitewater State Park. A free lunch will be provided for volunteers! To sign up, contact Sara Grover at or call 507-932-3007 ext 226.

Water Cycle Teaching Resource Pack

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Designed specifically for educators teaching the water cycle to children ages 8 to 12, this comprehensive Water Cycle Teaching Resource Pack includes the popular "Incredible Journey" Activity, nine Station Markers and Activity Dice, colorful Water Cycle Poster and a Screencast to give educators the background information needed for teaching the water cycle. All of the items in the Water Cycle Teaching Resource Pack are available as downloads for easy and immediate use, and the activity is correlated to Common Core, Next Generation Science Standards and the National Science Standards Framework.

Visit the Water Education Store today to purchase the Water Cycle Teaching Resource Pack and to see all the other resources available to help you bring water into your classroom!

Changing Public Behavior: People and the Environment

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Changing Public Behavior: People and the Environment is a self-study, e-learning course designed for natural resource professionals, Extension educators, and environmental educators who work with communities. Through an interactive format and investigation of practical examples, participants build skills and confidence in identifying and analyzing behavior change opportunities. When you complete the course, you will have a draft plan for increasing people's involvement in an environmental situation.

The course is set up as self-enroll. You must enroll (create a password) to participate, but there is no fee. Access the course at . Enter or create a login, and then type Changing Public Behavior into the search box. Or click on the Energy & Environment button and scroll down the (mostly) alphabetical list to find the course. You can also log in by clicking on "Login" in the upper right corner on the course listing page.

The course is presented in 8 Units. Within each Unit, Lesson content is 1-4 pages in length. There are many lessons and activities, but each is relatively short, and is designed to be accomplished within a limited time-frame. This structure allows the learner to stop and start as time permits. You can reduce course time by using a course Questionnaire to assess your skills, then itemize a Personal Education Plan that focuses only on the skills you need. If you choose to complete all the work, activities, and required readings for the entire course, it will take you about 30-40 hours.

The course offers several "badges" as evidence of Unit and course completion. You can collect e-learning "badges" on the eXtension Web site and/or at .

Badge details are available on the course site for:
Unit 4 - Behavior change theories
Unit 5 - Collect audience information
Unit 7 - Select education or outreach techniques
Changing Public Behavior course badge

The Changing Public Behavior course is sponsored by the eXtension Drinking Water and Human Health interest area, and the University of Wisconsin-Extension Environmental Resources Center. Initial work to develop course content was funded by the USDA Water Program. Course content has been extensively tested and reviewed, in collaboration with Extension and natural resource professionals around the USA. Background information is available at . Course instructors: Elaine Andrews, Kate Reilly, Patrick Robinson.

Spring News @ Neon

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News @ Neon - the enewsletter of the National Ecological Observatory Network

In this issue
Spring citizen science programming
Citizen science or crowdsourcing? Yes!
Data portal survey results
New NEON Project Manager
Continental-scale soil dataset
Construction update

View the newsletter here.

Mar Maplewood Parks & Rec Newsletter

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Wellness, Arts, and Fun for Everyone! View the newsletter here.

March My Minnesota Woods Newsletter

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Read the March My Minnesota Woods Newsletter here.

Join a Nature's Notebook Campaign in 2014

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It may still feel like winter at your home, but it's not too early to begin thinking about spring! Consider joining us in tracking one or more of our target species through a Nature's Notebook campaign. We have 4 different campaigns to offer you this spring: you can watch for leaf out of maples, oaks and poplars, report on flowering of lilacs or dogwoods, or track leaf phenology of poplars. Learn more below.

If you intend to collect data for one or more of these campaigns, be sure to sign up to receive the campaigns messages we send out periodically. You will receive messages providing early results, encouragement, observation tips, interesting links, and campaign-specific opportunities. To sign up for campaign messages, click the "Sign me up!" links below.

Please note: Even if you participated in one or more of these campaigns last year, you will not receive campaign messages unless you sign up for the lists this year.

Catch the Greenwave this Spring
Help scientists and natural resources managers track the "green wave" - the flush of green that accompanies leaf-out - over the course of the spring season, and the spread of seasonal color across the country in the autumn.
Sign me up!

Become a Lilac Flower Follower
Your observations of common lilac (Syringa vulgaris) life cycle events can enhance the decades of lilac phenology observations that have been collected across the United States.

Sign me up!

Become a Dogwood Flower Follower
Your observations of native flowering dogwood (Cornus florida) life cycle events can enhance the decades of lilac phenology observations that have been collected across the United States.

Sign me up!

Track the Timing of Trees with PopClock
Researchers at the University of Maryland are working to identify genes that could ensure tree survival as the climate changes. You can assist by collecting observations of leaf phenology for balsam poplar (Populus balsamifera) and quaking aspen (Populus tremuloides).

Sign me up!

Learn more about the specifics of registering and observing your plants at

About this Archive

This page is an archive of entries from March 2014 listed from newest to oldest.

February 2014 is the previous archive.

April 2014 is the next archive.

Find recent content on the main index or look in the archives to find all content.



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