Recently in Educational Category

FREE! Neighborhood Buckthorn Buster Training (Adults)
AT VISTA HILLS PARK (2480 Mailand Road)
SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 6, 10:00am - 12:00pm

Where once impenetrable thickets stood, cleared areas of Vista Hills Park now allow suppressed native wildflowers, ferns, shrubs, and tree seedlings to return. Views along paths and corners are safer for the neighborhood, traffic and walkers. Learn how neighbors worked together to remove buckthorn from their neighborhood park! Interested in organizing a group in your neighborhood? Learn how you can be involved! Register online.

Oct 20-22 Upper Midwest Invasive Species Conference

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Please join us for the 2014 Upper Midwest Invasive Species Conference (UMISC), which will be held in scenic Duluth, Minnesota this October 20-22 to exchange information on all invasive aquatic and terrestrial plant, animal, insect and pathogen species. Expected attendance is 500+ individuals involved in invasive species research, land or water resource conservation, restoration, management, policy, outreach, and education.

Volunteers play a vital role in making UMISC happen. Volunteering is a great opportunity for students, nonprofits, and private individuals to attend the conference at a reduced rate or no cost. We are looking for 20-25 volunteers to assist with tasks such as registration, handing out conference materials, directing attendees to concurrent sessions and other venue areas, conference set-up and tear down (Sunday PM or last shift Wednesday only), loading presentations on laptops for concurrent sessions, and other on-site support.

Volunteering four hours of your time allows you a one day conference registration waiver and volunteering six hours allows you a full conference registration waiver. Applications for volunteer spots will be reviewed as they are received and spots will be filled on a first-come, first-served basis after conference administrative staff interview prospective volunteers.

If you are interested in volunteering, please visit this link and complete an application. Deadline to apply is September 15. Select ANY volunteer shift(s) you may be available and any particular tasks you feel comfortable to assist with.

Please contact Belle Bergner (414-967-1350, if you have any question or concerns. Once you submit an application, you will be contacted within 3 business days to go over your availability and confirm your volunteer responsibilities. You will then be given a unique complimentary registration web link to register for the conference as a volunteer. We hope to see you at our fourth biennial conference!

Sept-Nov Maplewood Nature Center Programs

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

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


Saturday, Sept. 6th
AT VISTA HILLS PARK, 2480 Mailand Rd., Maplewood 55119
10:00AM - Noon.
Adults. Free; register online
Where once impenetrable thickets stood, cleared areas of Vista Hills Park now allow suppressed native wildflowers, ferns, shrubs, and tree seedlings to return. Views along paths and corners are safer for the neighborhood, traffic and walkers. Learn how neighbors worked together to remove buckthorn from their neighborhood park! Interested in organizing a group in your neighborhood? Learn how you can be involved!
Register online If you need help registering online, call 249-2170 for more info.

Dates: Wednesdays and Fridays, Sept 10 - Oct. 17, 2014
AT MAPLEWOOD NATURE CENTER, 2659 7th St. E, Maplewood 55119
9:30AM to Noon.
Adults. Fee $200 payable to Minnesota Master Naturalists -register at
Participants will learn about the natural history of the Big Woods;Big Rivers biome, specifically the maple-basswood forests along the St. Croix River and the Mesic Oak Woods of the east metropolitan area. We'll learn techniques for teaching others, including children, about our natural world. Topics to be covered include: geology, ecology, human impacts, water quality, and how to be a Master Naturalist. Classes will include outdoor activities, classroom activities, Powerpoints, and field trips.

Capstone projects will be focused on City of Maplewood Open Space sites, and the Maplewood Nature Center.

Course is two days a week, Wednesday and Friday, starting Sept 10 and ending on October 17. Includes two 8 hour field trips on Saturday, Sept 13, and October 11. Field trips will be to some unique remnants of Mesic Oak Woods, as well as unique sites along the St. Croix River.

Saturday, September 13,
AT MAPLEWOOD NATURE CENTER, 2659 E. 7th St., Maplewood, MN 55119
Adults. Free, Drop-in
Watering your trees is the best way to prepare them for winter. Learn other tips during this drop-in program, and talk trees with other interested folks. Coffee and handouts provided.

Saturday, Sept 20th,
Drop in anytime between 1:30PM and 2:30PM
Join vegetable garden enthusiasts at the garden! Community Garden Tours by garden members or staff. Learn how to save seeds in the garden, and participate in a seed-swap for your garden next year!


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


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

Sept. 11 The Nature of Bats

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Thu Sep 11: The Nature of Bats: An Introduction to Bats in Minnesota's Ecological Systems
Learn about bats as a group and their evolution in brief, then focus on the diversity, adaptations, and ecological roles of bats in Minnesota, including seasonal behaviors and the coming threat of white-nose syndrome. Weather permitting, we will walk briefly outside to listen and look for bats.

Presented by author and educator Christine Petersen. Christine holds a master's degree in education from Hamline University, where her capstone looked at the use of bats as an integrating theme to fulfill science education standards. As assistant in mammalogy at San Francisco's California Academy of Sciences, she participated in research focusing on the behavioral ecology of some of California's most unusual and threatened species of bats. More information about this speaker is available at

At Minnetonka Community Center, 14600 Minnetonka Boulevard, Minnetonka; 7:00 p.m. Sponsored by the West Metro Chapter of MN Master Naturalist Volunteers, Free and open to the public

Fall 2014 MN Zoo Speaker Series

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

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

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

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

Zoo Careers

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

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

For more information and to register, visit or call 952.431.9390

Sept 10 Ganawenjigewin Maawanji'idiwin

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Fond du Lac Resource Management
4th Annual
Ganawenjigewin Maawanji'idiwin
Taking Care of Things Gathering

Wednesday Sept 10th 1pm-6pm
Behind FDL Ojibwe School
49 University Road
Cloquet, MN 55720
Contact: Shannon Judd

Ozhiitaadaa--Let's get prepared

Join us as we highlight the protection and sustainable use of our natural resources!

Audubon Center
EcoTrek for Raffle, Archery
Native Plant Walks at Noon & 6pm
Wild Foods Sampling
Artisan & Farmer's Market,
Information Booths
Supper served at 4:30pm
Presentations at 5:15pm
National Climate Change Taskforce
FDL Air Program

To reserve a table for the Artisan & Farmer's Market call:
Kari Hedin

Inclement Weather - School Gymnasium and Commons

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

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

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

Webinar Schedule:

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

August 21: From Ginseng to Mushrooms - Goodies from Your Woods

September 3: The Incredible Edible Ostrich Fern Fiddlehead

September 16: Ramping Up to Forest Farm Culinary Delights

September 25: Forest Brews

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

October 29: Art from the Forest

November 10: Forest Cultivated Mushrooms - a Rotten Business

December 12: Forest Botanicals - Deep and Tangled Roots

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

Aug 28 Walleye Reproduction in Mille Lacs Lake - DNR

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Mille Lacs walleye reproduction is topic of presentation

Walleye reproduction in Mille Lacs Lake will be the subject of a Department of Natural Resources presentation and discussion from 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 28, in the New Brighton Community Center, at 400 10th St. NW in New Brighton.

The event is intended to share biological information and answer citizen questions related to past, present and future walleye reproduction.

"We all care about Mille Lacs," said Tom Jones, DNR regional fisheries treaty coordinator. "To that end, our goal is to create a deeper and more common understanding on the specific issue of whether there is a walleye reproduction problem."

The DNR is calling the event Hooked on Mille Lacs: On the Road. It complements the agency's new Hooked on Mille Lacs Lake quarterly newsletter. At this and future gatherings, local DNR fisheries biologists will present on important and timely Mille Lacs topics. A facilitated group discussion on the evening's topic will give people the chance to ask questions and make suggestions for future discussions.

"The plan is to regularly meet with citizens to take an in-depth look at a specific issue," said Jones. "This is new. It's different. It will allow for more public interaction than in our past meeting formats."

Jones said the meeting is part of an emerging agency approach to more broadly communicate fish population information, research findings and rationale for management decisions. There is no charge for admission.

To learn about Mille Lacs Lake management, visit People interested in receiving email updates about Mille Lacs Lake, including notices of the new Hooked on Mille Lacs Lake newsletter, can subscribe to the Hooked on Mille Lacs update list at

Sept 27 Whitetail Woods Regional Park Grand Opening

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We're opening a new regional park in Dakota County
Whitetail Woods Regional Park

Mark your calendar and plan to join us
to celebrate this momentous occasion
at a grand opening on

Sept. 27, 2014
11 am-3 pm


Whitetail Woods Regional Park
17100 Station Trail

Featuring live music by Twin Cities sensation The Honeydogs,
horse-drawn wagon rides, a 5K Fun Run/Walk and lots of food and fun.

Whitetail Woods Regional Park is located in Empire Township just east of the City of Rosemount off County Road 46 -- the latest addition to a 4,000-acre natural area in the heart of Dakota County that includes Vermillion Highlands Modified Wildlife Management Area, Vermillion River Wildlife and Aquatic Management Area, and University of Minnesota's UMore Park.

Read the recent Pioneer Press article about Whitetail Woods Regional Park HERE.

We're looking for volunteers to bring the grand opening celebration to life.

For more information on how you can help, visit:

It'll be a history making day in Dakota County.

Hope to see you there!

Sept 5 & 6 Lake Superior Wilderness Conference

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Lake Superior Wilderness Conference
September 5 & 6 · Duluth MN
With the passage of the Wilderness Act on September 3, 1964, a new course for conservation was chartered. Fifty years later, we think this is still worth celebrating.

Join National Geographic Adventurers of the Year Dave and Amy Freeman, canoeists Gary and Joanie McGuffin, Vice President of the Bush Foundation Jaime Pinkham of the Nez Perce Tribe, Jim Pfitzer portraying Aldo Leopold, and many others to inspire and challenge us.

Sponsored by the Sigurd Olson Environmental Institute in partnership with over 15 conservation organizations.

September 5-6, 2014
Inn on Lake Superior · Duluth, MN
$60 per person, student rate $25

Registration and details:

9/2-12/7 Minnesota Watershed Specialist Training

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The Minnesota Watershed Specialist Training

is designed with lessons that apply immediately to your work today
AND prepare you to grow into your next job.

Register now for the fall session: September 2 through December 7, 2014

More info and application at:

WST is . . .
an online, interactive course designed for local professionals who are dedicated to improving and protecting water resources. Join local government staff from around the state facing similar challenges in developing and implementing TMDLs, WRAPS, stormwater plans, Comprehensive Plans, and other water restoration and protection efforts, large and small.

Who is the course for?
The people who take this course are mostly staff of SWCDs, WDs, county ESDs, or cities. The course is also appropriate for staff of agencies and private firms that work with local government, and for students aspiring to careers in water resources.

Participants are generally comfortable in one aspect of their job, such as running a monitoring program or presenting to citizens' groups. But effectively running a water resource project requires comfort with many aspects: water policy, building partnerships, engaging landowners, interpreting hydrologic data, planning evaluations and adapting to the results, writing work plans, evaluating implementation alternatives, and communicating all this to diverse audiences who have other priorities.

What will you learn?
Participants in this course learn about the set of tools needed to effectively protect water resources and they learn to integrate the social and physical aspects of their job. Participants are able to immediately practice using what they learn to address concerns on the job. They learn skills including assessing the community and stakeholders to more effectively engage them in problem-solving, identifying social and physical data needs, writing a communication strategy, justifying implementation activities that will best address their water resource issues, and pulling it all together into a work plan that could be used for a grant proposal.

More info and application at:

Minnesota's beloved state bird is currently just a visitor on Grindstone Lake.

Our state bird, the Common Loon, is a regular presence on Grindstone Lake in the summer. However, the loons are just visiting and have never chosen to nest on our lake. Loons often nest on floating mats of vegetation, and this habitat is absent in Grindstone Lake since the lake drops off from the shoreline very quickly.

The MN Department of Natural Resources' non-game wildlife program donated a frame of a loon nesting platform to us this spring. We added dead emergent vegetation as a base, mixed with mud, and planted cattails and ferns. Our platform is anchored just off the point on the Center shoreline.

Although we did not have nesting loons this year, possibly due to the fact the platform was not installed until near the end of May, we hope to make the platform more attractive to nesting loons next year by having it installed right after ice out.

If you are interested in installing a loon nesting platform on your lake next spring, click here for information and plans.

Upcoming events at the Center

Visit our Calendar of Events for information about upcoming events
Aug. 4 - Dinner at the Lake with Dr. John Abraham
Aug. 4-6 - Summer Institute for Environmental Education
Aug. 24-29 - Road Scholar Migration Mysteries
Aug. 31-Sept. 5 - Road Scholar Migration Mysteries
Sept. 27 - 'Autumn at the Audubon' Open House & Craft Fair/Farmer's Market (vendors
Sept. 27 - Renewable Trail Run/Walk
Oct. 3-5 - Women's Wellness & Adventure Weekend
Oct. 10-12 - ACNW/Northland College 40 Year Reunion
Oct. 24-26 - Wilderness Navigation
Oct. 25 - Dinner at the Lake
Oct. 24-26 - Fall Phenology with Larry Weber Weekend
Nov. 1-2 - Reading the Landscape
Dec. 27-30 - Winter Family Escape

Join us as a member

We depend on member support to help us continue our important work, including:

Educating and fostering environmental stewardship in thousands of K12 students annually
Enhancements for wildlife
Wetland and prairie restoration
Wildlife rehab and care
Residential and day programs for youth, families and adults
Community events
Renewable energy systems and energy conservation

Learn about the benefits of becoming an ACNW member by visiting the Support Us page on our website.

Get the Lead Out
When fishing sinkers are lost, they can be picked up by loons or other waterfowl like ringneck ducks and trumpeter swans, who routinely swallow pebbles on the bottom of lakes to help in digestion. As the lead is exposed to stomach acid, it slowly poisons the bird. One sinker is all it takes.

In areas where loons breed, biologists have found that lead poisoning from sinkers or jigs may account for up to 50 percent of dead adult loons.

If you are a fisherperson, PLEASE make the switch NOW to non-lead sinkers and jigs. Currently there are many non-toxic sinker alternatives on the market.
If your local bait and tackle store doesn't stock unleaded sinkers, ask them to or take your business elsewhere.

Never throw old tackle into the water or on shore. Consider lead sinkers and jigs as toxic material and dispose of them at household hazardous waste collection sites.

Help ensure that future Even if you don't fish, share this information with family and friends who do.

For more information on how you can 'Get the Lead Out', visit the Get the Lead Out page at Minnesota Pollution Control Agency


Restoring MN Ecological Restoration Online Courses

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Ecological restoration is increasingly relied on as a conservation strategy in Minnesota. In order to increase project success rates, the Ecological Restoration Training Cooperative has developed five online restoration courses that teach practical in-field applications, as well as the theory behind the practice, for specific aspects of restoration.

Who Should Participate
With a goal of promoting best practices in ecological restoration, this training series is targeted at early career professionals, but even well-seasoned practitioners will benefit from the depth of the content.

Susan M. Galatowitsch, professor/head, Department of Fisheries, Wildlife
& Conservation Biology, University of Minnesota
Julia Bohnen, research fellow, Department of Fisheries, Wildlife &
Conservation Biology, University of Minnesota

Two sessions scheduled.
August 25-September 28, 2014
January 5-February 8, 2015
This required introductory course will simulate the initial steps of planning a restoration project from gathering background information to collecting relevant data, and then use the information gathered to formulate restoration goals. This course covers how to assess the ecological condition of degraded sites, diagnose the restoration needs of a site prior to restoration, and plan meaningful project goals. This course is a prerequisite to each of the other four courses.

Two sessions scheduled.
September 29-November 9, 2014
February 9-March 22, 2015
Many ecological restoration projects rely on re-vegetation from seed. This course discusses successful steps for designing and implementing a seed mix, from choosing appropriate species to preparing the planting site. This course covers how to: assess the need to seed, use seed biology to make practical decisions about seeding projects,
design seed mixes, acquire and store seeds, prepare sites and seeds for sowing, seed a
restoration site, and manage a site after sowing to promote vegetation establishment. *Field Training Session included.

Two sessions scheduled.
September 29-November 9, 2014
February 9-March 22, 2015
Monitoring is necessary for evaluating the effectiveness of restoration actions. Learn how to design an efficient and effective monitoring program that yields information helpful for ongoing restoration management decisions and problem solving. This course covers how to select monitoring parameters, develop monitoring protocols, monitor
implementation and quality control, summarize and visualize data, analyze data, and keep records

Two sessions scheduled.
November 10-December 21, 2014
March 23-May 3, 2015
Ecological restorations of small sites often rely primarily on installing plants to restore the desired native vegetation. Even large sites, which are typically seeded, may be supplemented with plantings. This course covers how to assess the need to plant, design a planting and select species, choose planting stock, create a planting plan, prepare to plant, plant a restoration site, and manage a planting.

Two sessions scheduled.
November 10-December 21, 2014
March 23-May 3, 2015
Restored and degraded ecosystems may take many years to recover. During that time, they need ongoing management. Techniques used in two broad categories of management strategies for restorations: re-establishing natural disturbances
and controlling invasive species will be presented. This course covers: disturbances and introduced species as management priorities, non-chemical management techniques, vegetation management with herbicides, and long-term management of prairies, forests, and wetlands. *Field Training Session included

Field Training Sessions
Participants who successfully complete the Designing and Using Native Seed Mixes and
Vegetation Management for Restored Ecosystems online courses have the opportunity to join staff from the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) Division of Parks and Trails to participate in an all-day field training session. During the field session, participants will tap into the experiences of DNR Parks and Trails Area and Regional Resource Specialist staff to gain new skills in a hands-on environment.
More information is available at

Time Commitment
It takes most students 25-30 hours to complete each course. All requirements must be completed by the last day of the course period to receive continuing education credit.

Course Deadlines and Final Exam
The course includes recommended deadlines for submitting assignments and a final exam. If you submit your assignments and exam by the recommended deadline, you'll know which questions you didn't answer correctly in time to try again.

Professional Credit
Each course has been approved for 3.0 Continuing Education Credits (CEUs) and 30 Professional Development Hours (PDHs). A CEU certificate will be sent to each participant after the course is passed and completed. The University of Minnesota maintains a permanent record of CEUs earned.

Registration and Fees
Your registration includes access to the course within the course dates and a CEU certificate upon passing and completion of the course. The fee for each course is $375.

How to Register
Online registration is available on the website at

For Further Information
Zack McGough
University of Minnesota

Online Training
For those of you who avoid online courses because they don't seem like a great way to learn - give these a try! These online courses have been designed to be interactive and as "real world" as possible. This means you'll be able to visit warm, sunny field sites even when it is 20 degrees below. How bad can that be? All courses will be delivered online and each course will have a specific start and end date.

Sept 29-30 Water Trails Tourism Summit

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River's Edge Convention Center, St. Cloud
Registration opens August 1

Join us for the Water Trails Tourism Summit - an interactive and educational gathering of communities, businesses, and user groups. This first-ever event will focus on how paddlesports can increase outdoor recreation tourism, foster economic development, build a sense of community, and provide a better quality of life.

Experience ...
The Mississippi River State Water Trail.

Learn how to ...
Make your community "paddle friendly"
Recruit & support paddlesport businesses
Target your audiences and coordinate the outreach message across sectors of your community
Provide specialized paddling opportunities that create deep connections to place, which result in repeat customers and word of mouth advertising
Engage local paddling clubs to organize and promote Water Trail events and stewardship

Network ...
Meet Water Trail users and advocates from businesses and communities.

Attend if you are a:
Tourism Professional
Paddlesports business that serves Minnesota State Water Trails
Part of local community leadership
Nonprofit or volunteer group that promotes paddlesports recreation

Sept 20 Hawk Ridge Trip

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Hawk Ridge Trip

Trip Date: Saturday, September 20, 2014, 8 am - 10 pm
Cost: $95/person
CEUs: 6 CEUs available

Twenty different species of raptors migrate along the north shore of Lake Superior, following the ridge line as they make their way from summering grounds as far north as the Arctic to wintering grounds as far south as South America. Join a Minnesota Zoo naturalist and a Hawk Ridge naturalist for this awesome experience. Observe the raptor migration from the amazing view point at Hawk Ridge in Duluth, learn about the logistics and challenges of migration, and hopefully get a chance see a raptor up close and learn about bird banding and monitoring of these amazing birds. Trip fee includes transportation, instruction and snacks. Adult friends and family may register, too!

Register Online

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