Recently in Opportunities Category

Sept 29 Mini-Bioblitz St. John's Outdoor University

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5:00-8:00 p.m.
McKeown Center
St. John's University

For more information and to register, click here.

Sept. 26 & 27 Native Perennial Plant Sale

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The SMSC Land and Natural Resources Department is having its annual Native Perennial Plant Sale on Sept 26th and 27th at the SMSC greenhouses. Many native species are available and are detailed in the attached brochure. Grown here from seed, most plants are in gallon sizes now so they will be perfect to plant yet this fall. If you or any coworkers/partner orgs/contractors/friends you know are looking for a great deal on native perennials, pass the word on to them because this is it. This would be a great opportunity to pass on to any Rain Garden in a Box, native planting or other cost share residents if they are in need of any replacement plants or are looking to expand their project.

Details on the event are in the 2014 Perennial Plant Sale flyer.pdf, along with the location of the greenhouses. If you have any questions or would like more information on the plants, please contact Jennifer Trichie at

2014 Perennial Plant Handout .pdf

Oct. 24 Halloween Extravaganza

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Halloween Extravaganza
Friday, Oct. 24
5:30 - 10 p.m.
Scary Trail opens at 7 p.m.
For All Ages
Location: Farm Entrance
1701 Charlton St.,
West St. Paul

Dodge's Halloween Extravaganza has a smorgasbord of activities to fulfill your Halloween craving. Hike on the friendly trick or treat trail or the scary trail through the frightening forest. Gratify your creative edge by getting your face painted and dancing to the DJ. Grab a snack at the concessions and enjoy shows that have an educational twist. Costume contest? YES.
Public: Adults $9 / Children $9
Members: Adults $6 / Children $6 FREE for children age 2 and under

Make Stillwater a Pollinator Friendly City

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Hello Pollinator Champions!
Good News.......

We presented our proposal to make Stillwater a Pollinator Friendly City last night.
The Stillwater Council likes the idea so we will be moving forward to make our City Pollinator Friendly.

(Choose Sep 16 Video) Watch the City Council presentation here online.

September 16, 2014: Standing room only for an articulate, informative and cohesive presentation made to the Stillwater City Council by Dr. Vera Krischik, Director Center for Sustainable Urban Ecosystems & Professor of Entomology, Agricultural & Natural Resource Sciences, plus Lex Horan, Pesticide Action Network, Laurie Schneider & Marcia Forsberg of Pollinator Friendly Stillwater, and Andrea Rustad, Stillwater Butterfly Conservation Project.

The City Council was supportive and impressed with the information presented. We are excited to move forward to make Stillwater "pollinator friendly". We have exceptional partners with volumes of expertise ready to consult on issues of pesticide management and creating safe havens for pollinators. We are awaiting news from the City Council about the next step, and anticipate a meeting with City staff to develop a resolution and/or ordinance.

This is only the bee-ginning!

Sept. 27-Nov. 22 Make CSB/SJU National Outdoor Champions!

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Outdoors is calling...will you answer?

Sept. 27-Nov. 22

Get outside. Win awesome gear.

How to Win:
1) Get outside! For at least 30 minutes
2) Take a photo! Have fun. Be creative.
3) Log on:
4) Repeat Up to 5 times a day
5) Win awesome prizes along the way!

10 schools...8 weeks...1 champion

A head-to-head outdoor battle to see which school can inspire the most people in their communities to do outdoor activities:
Whoever you are;
Wherever you are;
Whenever you can;
Sharing with as many people as possible.

Pre-Game Prizes
Log-on to the challenge by Sept. 27 to win these great prizes!

All will receive a discount code for 25% of products at good through Dec. 24, 2014

These people will be selected to win one of these 5 prizes (1st drawn, 1st choice):
1 gallon St. John's Maple Syrup
$200 coupon toward a PRP trip
A Minnesota book set
A Patagonia better sweater jacket
A Neverest Outfitters backpack or messenger bag (your choice)

Win weekly prizes throughout the challenge.

Sept 24-25 Work Days at Welcome Center Sax-Zim Bog

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Work Day at the Welcome Center
#1--Wednesday, September 24th
#2--Thursday, September 25th
WORK DAYS=FUN TIMES at the Welcome Center. JOIN US!
Our main goal for this work day is to stain the exterior of the Welcome Center before winter sets in. Other jobs needed include general clean up of construction debris, clearing trails.

Friends of Sax-Zim Bog will have back-to-back work days at the Welcome Center on Wed. Sept. 24 and Thurs. Sept. 25. 10am-4pm but come whenever...and leave whenever! But Please RSVP to

CHORES? Main job will be staining exterior of the building. Bring brushes, rollers, ladders, gloves, mineral spirits, paint pans. We'll provide the stain!

OTHER JOBS will include brushing a new trail. Bring loppers, gloves, boots, eye protection, saws.

Trash bagging and burning scrap wood (small fire if not windy).
Putting up feeders (no feed yet though, as the bears are still awake!)

PLEASE RSVP to ...just so I have your email address in case we have a weather delay/cancellation.

Other information can be found in the newsletter at

Sept. 27 Protest for Bird Safe Glass

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Dear Bird Advocates,

Aside from being a remarkable group of animals, birds are an integral and essential part of a healthy ecosystem. Sadly, over 25% of United States bird species are currently listed as being of conservation concern. Many of these birds use habitat adjacent to the Mississippi River as their home year-round, for breeding, or during migration. In addition to predation by outdoor cats, loss of suitable habitat, and competition by invasives, one major problem driving bird population declines is unique to the urban environment. Birds don't recognize transparent glass as a solid object so instead of avoiding it, they attempt to fly directly towards reflected habitat, or through the invisible surface. Although accurate quantification is difficult, it's estimated that over ½ billion birds are killed per year by window collisions in North America alone.
The Minnesota Vikings stadium that is currently under construction is a $1.024 billion dollar project, nearly half of which is public money. Featured in the building design is 200,000 ft2 of glass, equivalent to over three football fields. Immediately this was identified as a major hazard to birds as more than 50% of North American migratory birds use the Mississippi River Flyway during migration. For less than 0.1% of the cost of the stadium, MFSA could have opted for a bird safe alternative glass which features a small pattern, barely noticeable to the human viewer except at close proximity, but allows birds to recognize the surface and avoid flying into it. Despite 76,000 public signatures, a unanimous resolution by the Minneapolis City Council, and the efforts of multiple scientists and conservation experts requesting the use of bird safe glass in the stadium, MFSA decided to place the order for the reflective glass, their reason being that the bird safe alternative would interfere with the completely transparent view.
We are fortunate to reside in a city that lies next to one of the most important migration routes in North America. Many of us can step outside our front doors and see a concentration of bird species that would be hard to find anywhere else. The National Audubon Society recently released a comprehensive Climate Report summarizing 30 years of data including citizen-scientist observations from the North American Breeding Bird Survey, the Audubon Christmas Bird Count, and eBird. Included in the list of 312 birds predicted to go extinct by the end of the century if we don't prioritize conservation in future industry regulations and land/water management decisions, are dozens of bird species recently sighted just a quarter of a mile from the new stadium. A few of these include the Baltimore Oriole, Peregrine Falcon, Golden-winged Warbler, Blackburnian Warbler, and Scarlet Tanager. The Ovenbird and White-throated Sparrow are included in this list as well; two birds that we know are common victims of window collisions.
There was a time when we lived in a world without understanding the magnitude of impact that our decisions have on the environment. We no longer live in that time. We are now blessed with a wealth of knowledge about the ways that we can better protect our planet and its wildlife. Some challenges are incredibly difficult to overcome as we try to balance efforts of conservation with maintaining a functioning society with comfortable standards of living. Providing enough food and energy for the entire human population while minimizing habitat destruction and pollution is a huge problem where compromises to conservation are unavoidable. Building a new stadium with completely transparent glass is not one of those problems. We know that windows pose a major threat to birds. We also know of an affordable and viable alternative that would significantly reduce threats without compromising the overall design of the structure. We should not reject that knowledge. Let's protect our future so that our children and our children's children will also have the opportunity to see and hear some of the wonderful birds of this region.
It's not too late! Join us on Saturday, September 27th at 1:00 pm at the Downtown East Light Rail Station Platform in protest for using bird safe glass in the new Vikings Stadium. Let's tell MFSA that we want to focus Adrian Peterson's runs, not birds hitting the glass. We will meet rain or shine. Come show your support for the birds and the Vikings!

We hope to see you there! Please spread the word and don't hesitate to contact me with questions.

There are also these two Facebook events that it would be great for people to share and join:

St. John's Outdoor University Events

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Monday, Sept. 29
5:00-8:00 p.m.

12th Annual Collegeville Colors
Sunday, October 5
1:00-4:00 p.m.

Illustrator Opportunity

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The Zumbro Watershed Partnership, a clean water nonprofit group in southeast Minnesota, is seeking an illustrator to create ​2-4 ​full-color illustrations ​(roughly 8.5" x 11") ​of the Zumbro River in 1900 and in 2010 to illustrate the changes in the river over that time. ZWP staff will provide historical photos, modern photos, and a list of other historical and current river information to help the illustrator create the pictures.​ Medium is at the discretion of the artist, but a fairly high level of detail is desired.​

We have a budget for this work, so please include a cost estimate and some sample scientific illustrations. ​Timeline is flexible, but preference is for work to be completed before mid-November. ​Send all materials to:
Kevin Strauss, Education Coordinator, Zumbro Watershed Partnership, 507-993-3411

Find out how you can work toward "Cleaner Water and Fewer Floods" at our Water Ways Speaker Series, the 2nd Thursday of each Month at 6:30 p.m. at the Cascade Meadow Wetlands and Environmental Science Center, 2900--19th St. NW, Rochester, MN.

Kevin Strauss, M.S. Ed.
Education Coordinator, Zumbro Watershed Partnership

Great River Greening Volunteer Opportunities

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This fall, Great River Greening will be holding four 100+ person volunteer opportunities across the metro planting trees and shrubs, pulling or lopping invasive species, and seeding, all to secure the legacy of Minnesota lands and waters. Some of our best and longest-serving volunteers are Master Naturalists, and we'd love invite more Naturalists to participate in our volunteer events. Additionally, many Naturalists enjoy serving in the role of Volunteer Supervisor.

As you will see, it is going to be quite the exciting event season! We'll be working to create new parks in Saint Paul and Elko New Market, while working to enhance to fabulous parks in Apple Valley and Mahtomedi. The Great_River_Greening_Fall_v-ops-14 (1).pdf has more details about the events, but a summary of tasks, dates and locations are included below:
Stacking and Seeding
o Saturday, September 27, 8:30am - 12:30pm
o Alimagnet Park, Apple Valley
Tree and Shrub Planting
o Saturday, October 11, 8:30am - 12:30pm
o Trout Brook Nature Sanctuary, Saint Paul
Brush Stacking
o Saturday, October 25, 9:30am - 1:00pm
o Doyle-Kennefick Regional Park, Elko New Market
Buckthorn Blast
o Saturday, November 1, 9:30am - 1:00pm
o Katherine Abbott Park, Mahtomedi

Zebra Mussel Monitoring

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I would like to thank you for your past participation in helping to monitor our waters for zebra mussels. Your help is very important, as you provide "eyes" on lakes where our staff would not likely be able to work. I'm asking if you would again participate in this effort for this season. The link below will take you to our Volunteer Monitoring page, where you can scroll down and find the online reporting form. If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to contact me. If you are unable to continue, please let me know and I will remove you from our program list. Also, feel free to pass this along to others on the lake who may also want to provide reports for their particular properties or areas - the more people looking, the better! Thank you.

U of M Researcher looking for American Hazelnuts

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Researchers in the University of Minnesota's Department of Agronomy and Plant Genetics are working to develop hazelnuts as an alternative crop for the Upper Midwest. We are taking a two-pronged approach: 1) hybridize American hazelnuts, which have the cold hardiness and disease resistance needed in our region, with European hazelnuts, which have been selected over centuries for high nut yield and large size, and 2) select the best American hazelnuts from the wild and develop them into a new crop on their own merits. It is for the latter effort that we seek your help.

We are looking for people to send us seeds collected from wild American hazelnuts all over the state (and beyond). If you know of some productive stands of hazelnuts, please send us some seed!

What we are looking for is high yielding bushes that produce good quality nuts. We define quality as "anything that is good enough that you would want to eat it." Nuts with thick shells and small kernels are probably not going to be worth your effort to shell them so we're not interested in them. But we'll let you be the judge of what is "good enough".

Although we'd ideally like nuts only from high yielding bushes, we've learned that in the wild that's nearly impossible to evaluate because they often grow as thickets, so you can't isolate one bush from its neighbor. So we're simply not going to worry about yield at this stage. That will come later when we evaluate the seedlings under controlled conditions in a managed orchard.

Harvest the nuts as soon as they are fully mature. You can tell because the nuts will come loose from their husks with gentle pressure. This often happens when the husks are still green. If you wait for them to turn brown or dry down then squirrels and mice are likely to get them first.

They usually mature some time in mid to late August, but maturation date varies widely. This year it may not be until September.

It is not necessary to keep nuts from different bushes separate, but it would be best to keep nuts from different locations separate.

Label them with information about the location they came from. GPS coordinates would be appreciated if possible, but are not essential.

Mail them right away in their green husks, or keep them for a week or so until they separate from the husk easily and just send the nuts. Either way, do not let them dry out and do NOT expose them to high heat which will kill the embryo.

10 to 50 nuts per sample are enough.

Mail to:
Lois Braun,
U of M Dept of Agronomy and Plant Genetics,
1991 Upper Buford Circle,
411 Borlaug Hall,
St. Paul, MN 55108.

Thank you very much for helping advance a potential new alternative crop for Minnesota

Green Apple Service Projects

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Dear Environmental Educators (non-formal and formal),

Our 2014 Green Apple Season of Service (September through October) is quickly approaching! We are so excited about your potential participation in Green Apple, and want to thank you for the outstanding work you are involved in to help advance Green Schools in Minnesota.

Powered by MN Green Schools Coalition, and the Center For Green Schools at US Green Building Council, Green Apple and gives parents, teachers, students, companies and local organizations the opportunity to transform all schools into healthy, safe and productive learning environments through local service projects.

Register Your Project/Event Here!

The MN Green Schools Coalition has set a goal of 30 Green Apple Service Projects, this fall, in the State of Minnesota, with 5 projects already registered!

Your project could be as simple as taking your classroom outside or creating signage around your school to reduce waste.

For more ideas, check out the 100 Easy Projects resource page to start brainstorming.

Powered by the U.S. Green Building Council, Center for Green Schools and the
MN Green Schools Coalition

As always please feel free to reach out for assistance, brainstorming help or with questions.

Jothsna Harris
Project Lead 2014 Green Apple Day of Service
MN Green Schools Coalition
USGBC MN Chapter
(651) 373-1262

Volunteer opportunity--program support! We will need help trimming boughs for our Wreath-Making 101 program again this year. The trimming will be Thursday, Dec. 4, here at Lake Bemidji State Park. Anytime between 9 am and 4 pm is great--come for as little or as long as you can! New people always welcome

Reply to Lake Bemidji State Park, Sue Olin 308-2300 or email: Susan Olin

Sept. 27 Lester River Rendezvous

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I've been approached by the folks organizing the Lester River Rendezvous, a tremendous community event in late-September that sees thousands of visitors, to see if we could organize some "trail" tours. They are looking for a 15- and 30-minute tour options.

"The tours could highlight any furs or feathers, bones and sculls, or be led by a naturalist who can speak to flora/ fauna and all that can be found so close to home on our City's trails. This might even be a good education opportunity to talk about the gypsy moth, emerald ash bower, and other non-native invasive plant species."

Cheryl Skafte
Volunteer Coordinator | City of Duluth
411 W. 1st Street | Duluth, MN 55802
218-730-4334 (office) | 218-341-8454 (cell) |

Wild-harvesting seed from native plant species

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I'm working with UM-Twin Cities faculty Ruth Shaw, Georgiana May & Don Wyse. They have a new LCCMR-funded project that involves wild-harvesting seed from native plant species throughout the prairie region of Minnesota. The collection sites are concentrated in the SE, SW, W-central, and NW regions of the state.

It's a lot of ground to cover; we hope to connect with people who live near to the collecting sites and have an interest in native plant species and/or prairie restoration.

Please feel free to forward this email to anyone you think would be interested, or to contact myself ( or Ruth Shaw ( with any questions.

Best regards,
Shelby Flint
Conservation Biology Graduate Program
University of Minnesota-Twin Cities

Volunteer for the new Wasp Watchers Program

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Volunteer for the new Wasp Watchers Program:
Using a native wasp to monitor for Emerald Ash Borer

Why watch wasps?
With the help of a native beetle-hunting wasp, called the smoky winged beetle bandit (Cerceris fumipennis) we have a new biosurveillance tool that can locate the Emerald Ash Borer (EAB) even
before trees show symptoms. We need your help to find and monitor wasp colonies.

What is biosurveillance?
Biosurveillance uses one organism's natural behavior to monitor or survey the presence of another. In this case, smoky winged beetle bandits (Cerceris fumipennis) hunt and capture wood boring
beetles like EAB and carry them back to provision their nests. Each wasp colony provides a site for us to monitor for the presence of EAB.

How can we detect EAB using Cerceris?
Cerceris nests are observed to see what beetles are brought back by Cerceris. The beetles can be intercepted before they are taken down into the nest. This can be done by netting the female wasp. When threatened, the wasp drops her prey in the net. Then she can be released without being handled. Did I mention that these are stingless wasps? Researchers working with them have not been stung--even when handling the wasps directly. The collected beetles are sent to the University and identified.
When EAB is positively detected, then EAB is known to be in that area.

Does this really work?
The first EAB detect in Connecticut was made through Cerceris. More than 20 states and Canadian provinces have found Cerceris colonies and are using this method to supplement other methods to help detect EAB.

How do you volunteer?
Visit potential Cerceris nesting sites, search for nests, and report back to the University.
Monitor smoky winged beetle bandit wasp nests at one location for several weeks, collect beetles and turn the beetles in to the University of Minnesota for identification. If you suspect that you have captured Emerald Ash Borers, contact the University of Minnesota immediately.

Find More Information and Volunteer at:

Please join our Wasp Watching Team--we need you!

Please contact me with any questions.

Jennifer Schultz

Attention master naturalists of the Twin Cities!

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Attention master naturalists of the Twin Cities!

Are you looking for a new weekend volunteer opportunity in Minneapolis during the late summer and fall? Well you're in luck, because your local national park, the Mississippi National River and Recreation Area, and its nonprofit partner, the Mississippi River Fund, have begun a new volunteer crew focused on a large demonstration prairie at Mill Ruins Park - in the heart of downtown Minneapolis next to the Stone Arch Bridge.

The crew will meet every other Saturday from 9:00AM to noon to work on removing invasive species, and other restoration activities. If you are interested in volunteering with this crew, please contact Anna Waugh at or 651-291-9119.

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!

My name is Anna Dutke and I am planning a Field and Leadership Day for Prior Lake Savage Area School youth who are student leaders in environmental awareness and sustainability practices. The students come together with leaders from the other schools to get to know one another as well as learn about some key information and skills that they can take back to their classrooms and share with their peers. I am anticipating approximately 225 students ranging in age from 3rd grade through 12th grade. Students will be grouped by age, so your sessions will have either 3rd-5th graders or a combination of middle school and high schoolers. There will be no more than 20 students per session.

I am looking for volunteers who are willing to teach sessions about topics of their choice. The day will be held at McColl Pond ELC in Savage which boasts a big woods forest, native prairie, and wetlands and pond with decks for close observation. There is a potential for teaching a total of 6 classes (the Elementary Session #1 and Middle and High School Session #3 cross with one another.).

The 2014 Field and Leadership Day is scheduled for Monday, October 6th from 8am-2:30pm. The following is a tentative schedule for the day:

8:30am-9:20am Middle and High School Session #1
9:25am-10:15am Middle and High School Session #2
10:20am-11:10am Middle and High School Session #3/Elementary Session #1
11:15-12:00pm Elementary Session #2
12:05-12:25pm Lunch
12:30pm-1:15pm Elementary Session #3
1:20pm-2:05pm Elementary Session #4

Example topics that we have had volunteers teach in the past, and are looking to incorporate again this year include Aquatic Life, Insects, Prairie Ecology, Art of Observation, Tree Identification, Nature Journaling etc. We're open to new ideas, so if there is something you are interested in teaching about, let me know!

Should you have any questions or need more details please email or call me at 651-249-3742. If you get an "out of the office" response from my email, no worries as I am checking it regularly during the summer while working on some projects.

Thank you so much for considering and I'll look forward to hearing back from you.


Anna Dutke
Early Childhood Teacher
Grainwood Elementary Junior Naturalist Advisor
Prior Lake, MN 55372

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