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Saint John's Outdoor University Upcoming Events

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Find out about all of the happenings at the Outdoor U here.

April Mississippi Messages Calendar of Events

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Tuesday, April 7 -- 6:30-8:30 PM
UMN St. Paul Student Center Theater, Falcon Heights

Join Friends of the Mississippi River and Environment Minnesota for a one-time opportunity to hear directly from the leader of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Administrator Gina McCarthy. The Administrator will present the keynote address on the EPA's recent work to strengthen our nation's Clean Water Act at our forum Tuesday, April 7, 2015. Seating is limited; reserve your spot today!

Read more »

Saturday, April 11 -- 11 a.m.-noon
North Loop, Minneapolis

Join FMR Watershed Program Director Trevor Russell and Water Quality Coordinator Lark Weller of the National Park Service MNRRA Unit at Fulton Brewery for a brief State of the River overview. From invasive "flying" carp to bacterial contamination, from eagles to swimmability, Trevor and Lark, the report's principal authors, will highlight the most important trends and emerging issues facing the river today as well as potential solutions. Learn more and sign up via the event page.

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Thursday, April 16 -- 6:00-9:00 pm
Minneapolis Institute of Arts

Take action and get creative with FMR at Minneapolis Institute of Art's Third Thursday: Nature of Nature on April 16. Enjoy food and drink while advocating for a healthy river and channeling your inner Banksy with a fun stenciling project. Admission is free and open to the public.

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Saturday, April 18 -- 8:00 a.m.-4:00 p.m.
Carpenter Nature Center, Hastings

Celebrate the arrival of spring by learning about our region's many bird species. Enjoy classes, talks, bird banding demonstrations, guided bird trips in the Hastings area, and a special kids-only birding competition. Capacity is limited and RSVPs required. Learn more on the event page.

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Saturday, April 25 -- 9:00-11:30 a.m.
South Creek, Lakeville

Help clean up South Creek! This creek feeds the Vermillion River, a cold prairie river flowing through the heart of Dakota County and an important tributary of the Mississippi River.

Volunteers will meet at Cross of Christ Community Church. Lots and fields surrounding the church lead right up to South Creek, providing plenty of clean-up options. You can pick up trash from the parking lot and other hard surfaces, venture into the grassy areas leading up to the stream, or put on your waterproof boots to pick up litter in the marshy area next to the creek. Volunteers with waders are also needed to clean up stream-side. A few pairs of waders are also available on a first-come, first-served basis. Learn more on the event page.

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Saturday, April 25 -- 9:30 a.m.-noon

Join this Earth Day tradition in the Minneapolis River Gorge! People come from throughout the local river corridor neighborhoods and metro area to contribute to the health and vitality of the Mississippi River Watershed. All ages are welcome and all supplies provided, including lunch. We'll meet at two sites along the parkway and bluff-top. Pick whichever works better for you -- the oak savanna at East 36th Street and West River Parkway, or the maple basswood forest at 44th and the parkway. No registration is required and complete details and directions are available on the event page. We look forward to seeing you at the first River Gorge Stewards event of the season!

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Tuesday, May 5 -- 6:00-7:30 p.m.
Wellstone Center, West Side, St. Paul

Using a rain barrel is one of the simplest, high-impact ways to save water, save money and help protect our watershed. Join FMR and Coca-Cola at the Wellstone Center to learn about watershed-friendly home and garden practices and build your own ready-to-install rain barrel. The $40 registration fee covers all supplies, including the barrel and conversion kit.

Supplies are limited and early registration is suggested as these workshops have been filling quickly. Learn more and sign up via the event page.

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Wednesday, May 6 -- 6:00-8:00 p.m.
Pine Bend Bluffs Scientific & Natural Area, Inver Grove Heights

In addition to stunning river valley views Pine Bend Scientific and Natural Area provides vital habitat for many birds who rely on the Mississippi River flyway. Come join this award-winning regional restoration project. At the end of this two-hour volunteer event, participants will be certified to return to this protected area to complete additional invasive species removal work this spring. Learn more on the event page, or sign up now with Amy at or 651-222-2193 x31.

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Saturday, May 9 -- 8:30-10:00 a.m.
Willowbrook Fish Hatchery, East Side St. Paul

Tucked below St. Paul's iconic Indian Mounds Park, Willowbrook Fish Hatchery is a little-known patch of wilderness in the city. Join longtime local bird enthusiast Joshua Davis and FMR staff for a casual bird walk in this floodplain natural area near the Mississippi River. Learn more and sign up via the event page, or sign up now with Amy at or 651-222-2193 x31.

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Saturday, May 9 -- 9:00-11:00 a.m.
Vermillion River Aquatic Management Area, Empire Township, Dakota County

Join us in the oak woodlands bordering the Vermillion River, a cold prairie stream in the heart of Dakota County and a major tributary of the Mississippi River. Volunteers will be helping to remove invasive species in an Aquatic Management Area, a special type of preserve for shoreline property. With creek, lake and river shores being developed throughout the state, the AMA program helps Minnesota preserve public access as well as critical fish and wildlife habitat. Learn more and sign up via the event page, or sign up now with Amy at or 651-222-2193 x31.

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Tuesday, May 19 -- 6:00-8:00 pm
Crosby Park, Mississippi River Gorge, St. Paul

Enjoy a spring evening near the confluence of the Minnesota and Mississippi rivers helping to protect a striking array of native spring wildflowers -- Dutchman's breeches, trout lily, and Jack-in-the-pulpit to name a few. Volunteers will be trained to remove the invasive species garlic mustard before taking the "Pledge to Pull" -- pledging to return to the area and independently remove the garlic mustard and protect the native wildflowers at times convenient for them. This opportunity was created for those looking to contribute more than a couple hours, but needing to set their own volunteer schedule. Trained participants may team up with a buddy from the event or return to the area with family and friends to complete pledged hours. Capacity is limited and preregistration required. Learn more on the pledge kickoff page, or sign up now with Amy at or 651-222-2193 x31.

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Mid-April through mid-October
City of St. Paul

If you're looking for a great service outing that is educational, active, outdoors and provides a significant community benefit, consider storm drain stenciling. It's just one and a half to three hours in length, and can be set at a time and St. Paul location convenient for your group. Reservations are now being taken for outings through October 2014. Learn more on the stenciling event page or go straight to our stenciling, cleanup and presentation request form!

Read more »

For current event listings and more information on the events listed above, please visit our events calendar page at

Working Title: Forestry Program Coordinator
University Job Classification: 8316A2, Extension Program Associate 2

The Extension Center for Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources--Extension Forestry Team seeks a Forestry Program Coordinator. This individual will work closely with Forestry Extension Educators and Specialists to coordinate events, maintain and develop informational resources, and lead communication efforts. A Bachelor's degree and strong written and verbal communication skills with two years of related experience are required.

Coordinating the program's activities includes each of the following responsibilities, with the amount of time available for each responsibility dependent upon the Program Coordinator's percentage of time as well as the demands of the Extension Forestry Team. This 100% position will be based on the St. Paul Campus of the University of Minnesota.

Program Coordination- 40%
● Lead the planning and organization of large conferences and workshops sponsored by
UMN Extension oriented to private forest landowners, natural resource managers, and
● Use digital communication technologies to market and deliver Extension Forestry
● Contribute and participate in Extension Forestry team meetings with regular program and communication updates.
● Collaborate with Extension Forestry partners (e.g., MN Department of Natural
Resources, MN Department of Agriculture, Minnesota Forestry Association, UMN
Department of Forest Resources, Sustainable Forests Education Cooperative, Minnesota Logger Education Program) to help advance program goals.
● Provide logistical support for UMN Extension Forestry programming (e.g., conference
and workshop registration and set-up).
● Provide support for the delivery of web-based educational programming, including
● Follow and implement University of Minnesota Extension policies and practices.

Communications - 40%
● Develop a communications and marketing plan for the Extension Forestry program.
● Lead the delivery of Extension Forestry communications, including monthly email
newsletters and social media.
● Work with Extension Forestry Team members to coordinate educational content for
targeted audiences.
● Maintain the Extension Forestry events calendar.
● Address questions and requests for information (e.g., website comments and emails)
through working with Specialists and Educators.
● Collaborate with Specialists and Educators on content delivery and maintenance of the
MyMinnesotaWoods website.
● Collaborate with UMN Extension personnel for delivering new educational materials
(digital and print).
● Build relationships with Extension Forestry audiences (private forest landowners, natural resource professionals, loggers) to help advance program team goals.
● Communicate the value, impacts and outcomes of the Extension Forestry program with
local stakeholders and media.

Database Development and Maintenance - 10%
● Collaborate with UMN partners to improve and refine the delivery of the MN
Stewardship Plan Preparer database.
● Compile program evaluation data for annual reporting of Extension Forestry activities.
● Develop and maintain a database of forest landowners throughout MN.
● Collect and ensure entry of data for program reporting.

Fiscal Responsibility - 10%
● Provide financial guidance on Extension Forestry Team programs.
● Assist Specialists and Educators in the development of proposals and grants.
● Manage program team revenue to enhance educational programming.
● Ensure all fiscal policies are followed.

Required Qualifications:
Bachelor's degree required. Two years of experience coordinating events and educational activities or related experience. Demonstrated excellence in written and verbal communications.
Ability to work evenings and weekends, as needed. Access to reliable transportation for job related travel. Experience with word processing, e-mail, and Internet browsers.

Preferred qualifications:
Bachelor's degree in forestry, natural resource management, communications, natural resource education, or a related field. Experience working with culturally and economically diverse audiences. Education and experience in digital and print communications. Experience and knowledge of issues related to forest ecosystem health, invasive species, agroforestry, and/or urban natural resources. Organizational and time management skills with attention to detail. If you have experience in coordinating educational programming, please describe the role/duties, organization, start & end dates, and average hours per week in your resume or cover letter.

The University of Minnesota is an equal opportunity educator and employer

Summer Itasca State Park Outdoor Kids Programs

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Outdoor Kids is a naturalist lead program series designed for children.
It is a chance for kids of all ages to explore nature at their leisure and have
fun at Itasca while hanging out at the swimming beach or playground.
Connect with nature in the outdoors. This program series allows kids
to investigate nature through hands-on activities. Many of the programs
focus on life around the lake.

2015 Outdoor kids_ Summer (1).pdf

Itasca State Park Event Day Volunteer Opportunities

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Happy Spring Volunteers!

We hope you have had a great winter! We wanted to share with you upcoming volunteer opportunities and event days at Itasca State Park for 2015.
I have attached some volunteer opportunities as well as the park event days.

Let Connie or I know if you have any questions or if you are interested in any of these opportunities.

Thank you for your help! Sandra

Sandra Lichter, Park Naturalist
Itasca State Park
36750 Main Park Drive
Park Rapids, MN 56470
(218) 699-7252

Itasca State Park Event Day
Volunteer Opportunities

PlayCleanGo Day! (ongoing display)
Saturday, June 13, 2015 from 11-3 p.m.
Meet at the Jacob V. Brower Visitor Center
Stop by PlayCleanGo booth at the Jacob V. Brower Visitor Center and learn how you
can help prevent the spread of terrestrial invasive species and protect our beautiful
Minnesota natural resources. Stop invasive species in your tracks! Visit for as little or as
long as you like. To learn more, go to: .

Volunteers Needed: help with set up, manning booth and visiting with park visitors about
terrestrial invasives, help with take down.

Wet and Wild Mississippi River Day
Thursday, July 9, 2015 from 11:30-1:30 p.m.
Meet around the Mary Gibbs Mississippi Headwaters Center
Come explore and discover the infant Mississippi River at a variety of information and
activity stations. Learn about wildlife, plants, and people that make the river home.
Many activities for all ages at the family friendly event!
Volunteers Needed: help with various activity stations
Time needed: 11-2 p.m.

Smokey Bear Day at Itasca!
Thursday, July 23, 2015 from 11:30-1:30 p.m.
Meet at the Jacob V. Brower Visitor Center
Smokey Bear along with Minnesota Department of Natural Resources fire fighters will
be sharing fire facts at Itasca's Smokey Bear Day. At your own pace, learn about
Minnesota's forests and how fire affects the forest, check out fire trucks and equipment,
try getting into a fire shelter, make a variety of forest crafts, and much more. Don't forget
to have your picture taken with Smokey Bear! This family friendly event will have many
activities for all ages!
Volunteers Needed: help with various activity stations
Time needed: 11-2 p.m.

Explore Bow Hunting
Friday, July 31, 2015 from 9:45- 3 p.m.
Rain date: Friday, August 7, 2015 from 9:45-3 p.m.
Meet in the back lot of the Indian Mounds/North Picnic Grounds Parking Area
Volunteers Needed: Lunch help: set up, cook hot dogs, serve lunch, clean up from
lunch. Time needed: 10:45 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

7th Annual Itasca's Forests! Day
Thursday, August 6, 2015 from 11:30-1:30 p.m.
Meet at the Mary Gibbs Mississippi Headwaters Center (under the porch at the
Mary Gibbs Center if raining.)
Discover the wonders of Itasca's forests! Join staff from Minnesota DNR Forestry and
Itasca State Park as you learn all about trees! Learn how to identify trees, discover
forest insect pests and disease, explore the care and management of trees, and make
leaf art! Many more stations and activities for all ages during this family friendly event!
Volunteers Needed: help with various activity stations
Time needed: 11-2 p.m.

8th Annual Autumn Harvest Festival: Lantern Lit Hike and Activities
Saturday, September 26, 2015 from 6-8:30 p.m.
Meet at the Jacob V. Brower Visitor Center
"Exploring Itasca's Birds" is the theme of this year's lantern lit hike. Guides with lanterns
will lead you down the kerosene lantern-lit trail to meet characters that will share stories
about special birds that call Itasca home during this family-friendly evening hike. Group
hikes will last about 30 minutes, departing every ten minutes from the Jacob V. Brower
Visitor Center. Registration for hikes begins at 6 p.m. The first hike leaves at 6:30 p.m.
and the last hike will begin at 8:10 p.m. Suitable for all ages! Children must be
accompanied by an adult. Other activities will be ongoing, including music and a variety
of children's activities.
Volunteers Needed: help with various activity stations and hike leaders
Time needed: 5:30-8:45 p.m.

Happy Spring Volunteers!

We hope you have had a great winter! We wanted to share with you upcoming volunteer opportunities and event days at Itasca State Park for 2015.
I have attached some volunteer opportunities as well as the park event days.

Let Connie or I know if you have any questions or if you are interested in any of these opportunities.

Thank you for your help! Sandra

Sandra Lichter, Park Naturalist
Itasca State Park
36750 Main Park Drive
Park Rapids, MN 56470
(218) 699-7252

Itasca State Park Interpretive
Volunteer Opportunities 2015
1. Park Event Days--year round
See attached list.
2. Program prep assistance--year round
Assist naturalists with preparation for programs. Might include making copies,
cutting out items, making props, painting, etc. If interested, contact the park
naturalists to let you know if you are interested. Days can vary as projects arrive.
Naturalists will contact interested volunteers in advance of the programs.
3. Outdoor Kids, volunteer assistant
Assist naturalist corps on educational outdoor kids programs at swim beach. See
attached sheet for dates and topics. Work includes helping children with crafts,
and activities.
4. CCC Honor Roll computer data entry
Update and enter data in Microsoft Access. Update report form layout in
Microsoft Access. Volunteer must be proficient in Microsoft Access. Contact park
naturalists if interested

Tree Inventory Volunteers - City of Hastings

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The Forestry Department will partner with Tree Trust to provide training for the volunteers at their facility which is located at 920 West 10th Street, Hastings, MN 55033. Interested volunteers should contact the City Forester, Paul Mahoney, by email or a phone call. or 651-480-6177

Volunteer to monitor water quality

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Who: Residents of northern St. Louis county and Lake County. People interested in getting involved with their watershed and learning more about water quality.

What: Volunteer to monitor water quality alongside an intern. Receive training and support from SWCD staff.

When: May - September, once a month. Training to take place in April - Early May

Where: Northern St. Louis county and Lake county (Vermilion River, Cloquet River, and Rainy River watersheds)

Lakes: Thomas, Sullivan, Sand, Indian, Little Stone, Bassett, Big Bear, Johnson, Little Johnson, Spring, Gabrielson, West Robinson, Armstrong, Astrid, Winchester, Susan, Ban, Kjostad, Marion

How to sign up: Contact Emily Nelson at Lake County SWCD

We are looking for people in northern St. Louis county and Lake county who are interested in getting involved with their watersheds to volunteer in water quality monitoring. Volunteers will be a part of the MPCA's surface water assessment grant (SWAG) monitoring program, and will work alongside a water quality intern. They will receive training and support from Lake County SWCD staff. They will learn to collect water samples, measure water quality parameters such as pH and conductivity, and assess water clarity. Mileage and the use of a personal boat will be reimbursed.

Monitoring will take place on lakes once per month, May through September. Training will take place in April and early May. If you're interested and would like more information, contact Emily Nelson at or (651)249-5868

Ospreys in the Twin Cities and need for volunteers

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Osprey season has officially begun with the first report of a sighting in the southern suburbs so I am posting my annual plea for new nests or sightings to be reported to the Twin Cities Metro Osprey Watch. We have an informative page on Facebook, have a blog at or you can email us at Last year we had 101 occupied nests in the eight county metro area. There were 89 nests where eggs were laid and
126 chicks survived to fledging age. We are always in need of help monitoring all these nests, so if you are interested in getting involved and watching a nest thru the breeding season, contact us! We are happy to answer questions about ospreys in the Twin Cities Metro area! Thanks.

The Minnesota Wetland Professionals Association is looking for Master Naturalist Volunteers to assist or lead our new mini courses that we are developing in the fields of hydrology, wetland vegetation identification, and soil sampling. We would prefer someone who has WDCP Certification, but it is not required. The fieldtrips will be held simultaneously at a yet to be determined location in Duluth, Mankato and in the Twin Cities Metro Area, preferably in a Wildlife Management Area, Park, or SNA. The courses would be held from 9-11am on a Saturday in the months of May, July, and September. Groups will be limited to 10 people. If there is enough interest we will consider holding another class 2 weeks later. We are considering these basic courses to attract new members and to help current members practice their wetland delineation skills. The skills would include the following:

Hydrology (May):
Pointing out hydrology indicators and features in the chosen area.
Teaching how to flag and GPS a wetland correctly.
Discussion and Q&A session on why hydrology is or is not present.

Vegetation (July):
Focus will be narrowed to wildflowers, grasses, and/or sedges this year. We will pick one when the date gets closer.
Learn how to use several field guides.
Go on a 1/2 hour walk to ID plants.
Lay out a vegetation survey plot and ID all items within the plot.
Practice filling out data form vegetation section.
Move to an upland section and search for flowers and trees to ID.

Soils (September):
Use a soil proble/auger on various wetland, upland, and questionable areas in between.
Look for hydric soils and use a Munsell book to ID soils.
Offer help texturizing and coloring soils both wet and dry samples.
Practice filling out data forms.

The WPA will take care of setting up the date, time, and location of the courses and obtain permission to be in the areas and dig soil samples. The WPA will bring all necessary equipment, but would appreciate if the MNat Volunteers brought additional field guides (for flowers, trees and grasses), shovels, and Munsell books if they have them. At least 1 WPA Board Member will be present at each location to collect fees, assist the instructor and answer questions about the WPA.

If you would like to volunteer please send your contact information including email address to the following people. Please indicate your area of expertise. Since these courses will be credit driven, we will request an attachment stating your qualifications and experience in the area in which you wish to volunteer.

Metro Area:

Alison Hruby

Mankato Area:

Nick McCabe

Duluth Area:

Ethan Harvey

Please specify "Mini Courses" in the Subject Line of the email so they know what this is regarding.

May 30 Request for Volunteers for WaterFest 2015

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Volunteers are being sought to help at WaterFest. There is a link at our website below to volunteer (or exhibit).

Contact: Debbie Meister, 651.968.7130

WaterFest 2015
Saturday, May 30, 2015
11 AM - 4 PM (rain or shine)
Lake Phalen Park, St. Paul
North of Phalen Dr. & Wheelock Pkwy

"A Water Wonderland" is the theme of this year's 16th annual WaterFest--a free celebration of our clean lakes offering fun and an opportunity for outdoor hands-on learning about clean water, wildlife, and land and water conservation. Experience the lake with Voyageur canoe rides, fishing lessons and canoes, kayaks, stand-up paddleboards and paddleboats for check out. Enjoy other activities including a fishing contest, geocaching, climbing walls, jump castle, obstacle course, native plant give-away, Water Arcade, live animals, water games, landscaping, watershed and art exhibits, music, lakeside yoga and lots more!

This event is sponsored by the Ramsey-Washington Metro Watershed District, cities of Saint Paul, Maplewood, Roseville, Little Canada, Oakdale, Shoreview, Landfall and North Saint Paul, Ramsey County and other partners. For more information:

Volunteer to monitor wetlands

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Hennepin County is looking for people with an interest in protecting our natural resources to help monitor wetlands this summer through the Wetland Health Evaluation Program (WHEP). No experience is needed - all the training and equipment is provided! Learn more and apply:

Join or continue a Nature's Notebook Campaign in 2015

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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. If you joined one of these last year, we'd love to have you stick with us!

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: If you participated in one or more of these campaigns last year, we have kept you on the list, so no need to sign up again 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

7 Ways to Volunteer in St. Paul This Spring

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Environmental Volunteers

For every event:
Bring a water bottle.
Bathrooms are usually limited.
Dress for the weather.
Suggested attire: long pants and closed-toe shoes.
Event leaders will be in safety vests.
Leave valuables at home. There is no safe place to store them in the park, and storing in your car is not a safe option.
Sign in.

Information about upcoming volunteer events and current opportunities with
Saint Paul Natural Resources, a section of Saint Paul Parks and Recreation.
All events are family-friendly and great for individuals, friends and small groups.

With all the beautiful weather this week, it sure is easy to think spring! Here are seven (7) different ways to volunteer in your parks this spring. Don't worry, there will be many opportunities this spring, summer and fall. We are just getting started.

1. Citywide Spring Cleanup
Sat, Apr 18 | 9-11:30 am | Parks and neighborhoods in Saint Paul

Join forces with family, friends and neighbors to clean up the trash that has recently become exposed due to the melting snow.

Participating is easy! Register, and then drop by your selected Cleanup Site any time between 9:00 and 11:30 a.m. on Saturday, April 18th, to pick up bags, gloves and snacks and meet your neighbors and community members. Then head out and clean up your park or neighborhood of choice. More information here.


All ages, individuals and groups are welcome. No experience necessary.

2. Spring Planting in Lilydale
Sat, May 9| 9-11:30 am | Lilydale Regional Park - meet at boat launch

Plant trees and shrubs to restore one of Saint Paul's beautiful riverside gems - Lilydale Regional Park! Join us, the National Park Service and Mississippi River Fund for an Arbor Month celebration along the floodplain of the Mississippi River. Volunteers will plant over 1,000 native trees and shrubs and take time to enjoy and learn about some of the Parks' feathered inhabitants on a guided bird walk.


All ages, individuals and groups are welcome. No experience necessary.

3. Restoration Supervisor
Restoration Supervisor volunteers work closely with staff to help improve and maintain areas of high ecological significance in Saint Paul. They assist staff with supervising volunteers during large habitat restoration events, and may also lead small volunteer events in the absence of staff.

Combine your passions to care for our land and to share your knowledge by leading garlic mustard pulls, burdock cleanups or planting events. Click here for more information and to apply.

4. EcoSteward
EcoStewards are individuals and small groups who are dedicated to preserving, protecting and restoring natural areas and vital ecosystems. They will adopt a parcel of land in the Como Woodland Outdoor Classroom in Como Regional Park.

This is a good fit for a volunteer who needs a flexible schedule. Care for your parcel of land on your own time. Click here for more information and to apply.

5. Garden Steward
Garden Stewards are individuals and groups who care for the many gardens in Saint Paul by planting, weeding, mulching and providing general garden maintenance.

We provide gloves, mulch buckets, knee pads, trowels and safety vests. Click here for more information and to apply.

Several openings available downtown and one opening in Como.

6. Group Volunteer Projects
Help prepare or clean up gardens, improve and maintain natural areas or pick up trash in our parks, while working together as a team. We have several large-scale, one-time volunteer projects each month during the growing season (April through October). Saint Paul Natural Resources will tailor a private volunteer project for your group to work together

Projects must be requested at least THREE weeks prior to the requested date(s).

Click here for more information and to apply.

7. Waterfest 2015
Sat, May 30| 11 am-4 pm| Phalen Regional Park

Join the Ramsey-Washington Metro Watershed District and Saint Paul Parks & Rec for a free celebration of our clean lakes offering fun on and around the water with Voyageur canoes, boats, water games, live animals, climbing walls, music and much more! Click here more info or to volunteer.

May 30 Burnsville Native Plant Market

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Burnsville Native Plant Market

When: Saturday, May 30th 9am - 1pm

Where: Parking lot across the street from Burnsville City Hall, 100 Civic Center Parkway

Who: Open to everyone

Event Description: Native wildflowers, ferns and grasses will be available for sale from multiple vendors. Cash or check only. Event will occur rain or shine. More event information available at

Project Get Outdoors Board Vacancies

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Project Get Outdoors, Inc. is seeking 2 - 3 candidates to fill board vacancies. The organization works to help Minnesota communities connect children to nature learning and outdoor exploration during the out-of-school hours. More information about Project GO Brochure.pdf and Project GO Board Member PD 5 12 14.pdfcan be found on the attachments.

Please share this information with anyone who may be interested. This is a great opportunity for MN Master Naturalist volunteers and retired teachers!

DNR Spring Volunteer Opportunities

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All of the newest DNR volunteer opportunities are NOW posted on our website including the annual MN Loon Monitoring Program and Frog & Toad Calling Survey!

Check them out and others to see how YOU might get involved this spring!

Sharp-tailed Grouse Research

Enjoy the morning courtship ritual of the sharp-tailed grouse up-close and personal this spring! Volunteers will monitor sharp-tailed grouse traps from viewing blinds on dancing grounds in the early morning hours. Two to four volunteers are needed each day to assist a research biologist and technician with removing grouse from traps, handling grouse, and applying radio collars. Collared birds will become part of an ongoing research study examining the nesting and brood rearing habitat of the sharp-tailed grouse.

Volunteers are needed during the mating season from April through mid-May in the early morning from approximately 1 hour before sunrise to 3 hours after sunrise. Volunteers need to be available for the duration of the morning. Trapping will occur daily including some weekends near Palisade, MN and at the Sax-Zim Bog located near Meadowlands, MN. Transportation is available from Grand Rapids to study sites with DNR staff.

Volunteers working towards or possessing a Bachelor's Degree in wildlife or natural resources are preferred, but not required. Experience handling or trapping avian species is also desirable, but not required. All volunteers must be able to sit quietly and still in small spaces for long periods of time in cold weather. Any other training will be provided.

For more information contact Lindsey Shartell, Forest Habitat Biologist, 1201 E. Hwy 2, Grand Rapids, MN 55744 at 218-999-7932 or email

Search for the Rare Dwarf Trout Lily in Southern MN

Interested in wildflowers? If so, use this interest to assist the DNR to search for, and collect data on the Minnesota Dwarf Trout Lily, a Federally Endangered spring wild flower, endemic to a few forest rivers in southeastern Minnesota. This is part of an annual monitoring effort at selected sites in Goodhue, Rice, and Steele Counties approximately 1 - 2 hours south of the Twin Cities. Volunteers work as part of a crew of 3 - 7 people supervised by DNR staff or experienced volunteers to search previously documented areas, flag, and count plants. No independent volunteer opportunities are available for rare plant monitoring.

People of any background with an interest in wildflowers are welcome. Volunteers will need to be able to spot a flower bud the size of a grain of rice five feet in front of them, while working with an organized team to systematically survey an area. Some sites may also include rough, very steep terrain that volunteers must be able to walk/climb, as well as crossing small streams and rivers. Training in identifying the lily and search methods will be provided in the field at the beginning of each workday.

Work will be conducted sometime between April 20 and May 12 (dependent on flower development). A full day's commitment is required. For more information and/or to get on a mailing list with more specific details as the survey dates approach, contact Derek Anderson, Botanist/Plant Ecologist, St Paul, at 651-259-5071 or email

Share your Outdoor Passion at Lake Carlos State Park

Sculpted by ancient glaciers, Lake Carlos State Park contains a tamarack bog, marshes, woodland ponds, and lakes. Come visit and get involved as a volunteer in a variety of recreational activities scheduled for this spring and summer.

School Groups: Help run or instruct one of the multiple stations set up for school groups to visit during the months of April - early June (variable weekdays). Topics vary from geology, wetland ecology, mammals, to history. Props and outlines for instruction will be provided for 1-2 volunteers.

Fishing Frenzy Fridays: Promote fishing and caring for our water resources by working with children and/or families to teach the basic skills of fishing including safety, line casting, knot tying, baiting hooks, and taking fish off the hook, as well as identifying fish species and their habitats. One to two volunteers will help instruct and oversee a small group of participants during shoreline fishing scheduled for Fridays during the summer, June 12 through August 28, 2015.

National Get Outdoors Day, Saturday, June 13: This nationwide initiative is focused on getting people outdoors. On this day we have multiple events going on to help people find something they like to do outdoors like geocaching, paddle boarding, canoeing, hiking, and so on. Volunteer duties may include things like giving directions to different areas in the park, teaching geocaching, helping out in the visitor center with greeting people and answering other questions they have.

Wood Working and Other Projects: Help is needed with the planning, cutting, and assembly of several program items from April-August. Volunteer duties may include Measuring, cutting, the construction of items like traveling desks, tree cookies, lantern boxes, bird feeder kits, and more. Skills and experience in construction and wood working is desired.

For more information contact Ben Eckhoff, Naturalist, Lake Carlos State Park, 2601 County Road 38 NE, Carlos, MN 56319 at (320) 852-7471 or email

Apr 18 Outdoor Family Expo

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OUTDOOR FAMILY EXPO: All ages, from beginner to experienced

AT THE MAPLEWOOD COMMUNITY CENTER, 2100 White Bear Ave N, Maplewood, MN 55109

Saturday, April 18

Time: 10:00am-1:00 pm


Imagine blue sky, splashing in the lakes and playing under a leafy green canopy! Learn the tips and tricks for enjoying the outdoors, and discover all that Minnesota has to offer. Studies show that being outdoors is good for your health and contributes to positive attitudes! Get connected to all the resources you need - there will be learning stations for all ages from examining live fish and tying jigs, to trying out binoculars, setting up a tent, nature play, info on hiking and biking and outdoor summer sports and recreation in Maplewood! Learn about weather and safety, wildlife watching, and summer camps, plus enjoy snacks, freebies and meeting a live porcupine! There will be a suite of outdoor vendors on hand to share their expertise, and newest trends in outdoor gear.

June 13 Brush Stacking

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Brush Stacking
Volunteers: 150, Supervisors: 16
Carver Park Reserve, Victoria
Saturday, June 13, 8:30am-12:30pm

Join Great River Greening for this project kick-off event to help restore oak woodlands at Carver Park Reserve in the west Metro. Known for its vast diversity of wildlife, Carver Park Reserve is struggling with buckthorn, an invasive shrub which threatens new tree growth and crowds out native shrubs, flowers, and grasses. Help us haul and stack buckthorn to ensure that biodiversity continues to thrive at this beautiful site!

Partners and Funders: Three Rivers Park District, Minnesota Environment and Natural Resources Trust Fund, Minnesota Outdoor Heritage Fund.

Please join us as we continue our efforts to restore critical lands and waters throughout the state! Individuals of all ages, families, and community and corporate groups of any size are welcome. Volunteers are needed for restoration activities, set-up and registration, leading work units as a volunteer supervisor, taking photos, lunch, and clean-up.
Register Today:

May 30 Planting and Celebration!

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Planting and Celebration!
Volunteers: 125, Supervisors: 20
Trout Brook Nature Sanctuary, Saint Paul
Saturday, May 30, 8:30am-12:30pm

Plant trees, shrubs, and grasses along the brook as we continue the transformation
of this neglected former railroad site into a 42-acre nature sanctuary! Once completed, Trout Brook Nature Sanctuary will provide prairie, savanna, maple-basswood forest, wetlands, recreational trails, and stormwater management--all right in the heart of the city!

After the event, starting at 12:30pm at Trout Brook, join Greening in celebrating our 20th
Anniversary of restoring land, water and wonder throughout (and beyond) the Twin Cities!

Partners and Funders: City of Saint Paul, Saint Paul Parks and Recreation, Minnesota Environment and Natural Resources Trust Fund, Minnesota Outdoor Heritage Fund, Mortenson Family Foundation, Fairmount Santrol, 3M Foundation

Please join us as we continue our efforts to restore critical lands and waters throughout the state! Individuals of all ages, families, and community and corporate groups of any size are welcome. Volunteers are needed for restoration activities, set-up and registration, leading work units as a volunteer supervisor, taking photos, lunch, and clean-up.
Register Today:

May 16 Rain Garden Plantings

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Rain Garden Plantings
Volunteers: 30, Supervisors: 6
Payne-Phalen Neighborhood, Saint Paul
Saturday, May 16, 8:30am-12:00pm

Help plant 46 boulevard rain gardens in the northern part of the Paryne-Phalen neighborhood in Saint Paul! Great River Greening staff and volunteers will assist residents in planting boulevard rain gardens to improve water quality in our lakes and the Mississippi River through a partnership of the City of Saint Paul Public Works and Capitol Region Watershed District. Lunch not provided for this event.

Partners and Funders: Capitol Region Watershed District, City of Saint Paul Public Works.

Please join us as we continue our efforts to restore critical lands and waters throughout the state! Individuals of all ages, families, and community and corporate groups of any size are welcome. Volunteers are needed for restoration activities, set-up and registration, leading work units as a volunteer supervisor, taking photos, lunch, and clean-up.
Register Today:

May 16 Buckthorn Blast

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Buckthorn Blast
Volunteers: 100, Supervisors: 16
Katherine Abbott Park, Mahtomedi
Saturday, May 16, 8:30am-12:30pm

Be a part of the effort to restore a metro area gem! Great River Greening and volunteers have worked at this site for the past year, hauling out buckthorn and other invasive woody species. Help us complete the buckthorn removal at the park. Volunteers will be doing a mix of cutting and stacking.

Partners and Funders: City of Mahtomedi, Minnesota Environment and Natural Resources Trust Fund.

Please join us as we continue our efforts to restore critical lands and waters throughout the state! Individuals of all ages, families, and community and corporate groups of any size are welcome. Volunteers are needed for restoration activities, set-up and registration, leading work units as a volunteer supervisor, taking photos, lunch, and clean-up.
Register Today:

Apr 24 Arbor Day Tree Planting

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Arbor Day Tree Planting
Volunteers: 150, Supervisors: 18
South Washington Conservation Corridor, Woodbury
Friday, April 24, 12:00-4:00pm

Plant trees with Great River Greening in the South Washington Conservation Corridor! This 80-acre parcel is part of a larger greenway in the watershed providing critical native habitat and stormwater management, and will be the site of future recreational trails.

Partners and Funders: South Washington Watershed District, Minnesota Environment and Natural Resources Trust Fund.

Please join us as we continue our efforts to restore critical lands and waters throughout the state! Individuals of all ages, families, and community and corporate groups of any size are welcome. Volunteers are needed for restoration activities, set-up and registration, leading work units as a volunteer supervisor, taking photos, lunch, and clean-up.
Register Today:

Invasive Plant Patrol - Ramsey Conservation District

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Invasive Plant Patrol
Early Detection / Citizen Science Program

How can you prevent buckthorn-like takeovers of new invasive plants in Ramsey County?
Volunteer! Hike, mark and report plants for removal!
Your findings contribute to a national invasive species database!

Choose from these FREE Saturday Training programs (note registration info):
• March 28, Shoreview City Hall (email
• April 11, Maplewood Nature Center (call 651-249-2170)
• April 25, Tamarack Nature Center (call 651-407-5350 x119)
All trainings are scheduled for 10:00 am - 2:00 pm

For more information: go to Ramsey County Cooperative Weed management Area on Facebook

Climate Minnesota:Local Stories, Community Solutions
The Will Steger Foundation is excited to launch Climate Minnesota: Local Stories, Community Solutions, a two-year project funded through the Minnesota Environment and Natural Resources Trust Fund. Climate Minnesota responds to the urgent need to increase climate literacy and promote sustainable behavior change among Minnesotans by sharing the knowledge of local experts and the stories of individuals impacted by climate change. The project builds on the power of media for sharing stories and the importance of personal contact to reach a broader, more diverse audience.

Opportunities for Involvement
We are looking for individuals or organizations to contribute through the following opportunities:

Submit Your Climate Story
Storytelling is a powerful way to communicate on climate change, especially when told from a personal perspective. As Minnesotans we are actually seeing the impacts now and they are affecting us in very real and direct ways. Share your personal climate change story in a blog, podcast or on our storytelling panel at a convening. For more information on how to submit your climate story as a blog or podcast please visit our Climate Storytelling Collection or email

Attend a Local Convening
For a full listing of all twelve-public convenings, please visit All convenings are free and open to the public.

Lead a Climate Action Team
We are developing climate action teams in each of our twelve convening locations. Climate action teams will represent a specific demographic, organization, or cause. Climate action team examples include neighborhood groups, student clubs, faith communities, educators, municipal leaders, native communities, farmers, and business owners/non-profits. A climate action team leader will bring together individuals interested in working towards a common solution and that can attend the convening as a group. For more information, please contact

Support Local Solutions
As a business, organization or non-profit you may be able to offer support for a local and specific solution for your community. For more information, please contact

Resource Fair Tables
A Resource Fair will be held in each community, during the half hour leading up to the public convening. Resource Fair tables will feature local resources that are aimed to build community, as well as direct or indirect solutions to climate change. The Resource Fair will accommodate approximately 8-10 tables. For more information, please contact

Volunteer opportunities are available for all twelve-statewide public convenings. For more information, please contact

University of Minnesota Insect Collection

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Have You Been to the University of Minnesota Insect Collection Lately?

Would you like to spend some time there?

It's a very cool place!

You will see some amazing things!

And... It's nice and warm in the winter!

WE NEED HELP sorting 2.2 million macro invertebrate specimens that the University of
Minnesota received from the USGS so it can be used for scientific research. You do not need to be an expert at anything to do this. We will train you!

At the rate we are going now, it will take decades to complete. WE NEED VOLUNTEERS
WHO CAN PUT IN SOME TIME ON THIS!!! The U of M Insect Collection is open normal
business hours Monday-Friday.

Let's "Git-R-Done!"

University of Minnesota
Hodson Hall
1980 Folwell Ave
Falcon Heights, MN 55108


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