Recently in Opportunities Category

Invasive Species Workshops and Volunteer Opportunities

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Master Volunteers & Natural Resource Professionals,

The New Year has come and gone, it's now time to think about late winter programs and volunteer opportunities. Please consider attending one of our upcoming Forest Pest First Detector (FPFD) workshops or helping with one (or more) of the EAB or Oriental bittersweet surveys.

Forest Pest First Detector workshops are for anyone who wants the latest in-depth information about new invasive pests that affect Minnesota's landscape trees, shelterbelts and urban and rural forests. Past attendees include Master Volunteers (Woodland Advisors, Master Gardeners, Master Naturalists, Tree Care Advisors, etc.), tree care professionals, forestry professionals, natural resource professions who work with trees, environmental educators, MN Conservation Corps participants, land and home owners and many others.

Others may want to attend to become part of the award-winning Minnesota Forest Pest First Detector volunteer program to help the public find new invasive species affecting Minnesota's trees and forests or as a refresher for those already active as Forest Pest First Detectors. Current Forest Pest First Detector volunteers are welcome but not required to attend.

You do not need to become a First Detector Volunteer to attend. If you want to become a First Detector volunteer, visit our website for additional information about what you need to do before attending the workshop.

2015 Forest Pest First Detector Workshops - Registration open!

Thursday, February 19, 2015
Hutchinson Event Center, McCormick Rm, 1005 Highway 15 S, Plaza 15, Hutchinson, MN 55350
To register click here for Hutchinson.

Thursday, February 26, 2015
Douglas County Public Works, Conference Room, 526 Willow Drive, Alexandria, MN 56308
To register, click here for Alexandria.

Tuesday, March 3, 2015
Cloquet Forestry Center, Stine Conference Room, 175 University Road, Cloquet, MN 55720
To register click here for Cloquet

Wednesday, March 4, 2015
MNDOT Training & Conference Center, Rm 4, 1900 County Road I West, Shoreview, MN 55126
To register click here for Shoreview.

EAB & Oriental Bittersweet Volunteer Survey Opportunities

Come learn how to identify emerald ash borer or Oriental bittersweet (OB) and help the MDA and the UMN Extension collect presences and absences data about these troublesome invasive species.

Some knowledge of trees and forest invasive species is helpful, likely participants include Forest Pest First Detectors, Master Naturalist, Master Gardeners, Tree Care Advisors and natural resource professionals.

These events are free; participants will be expected to participate in the survey. The survey will likely included walking outside in winter and traveling in teams or small groups along survey routes. Participants should come dressed for the weather. Lunch will be provided.

Survey events will begin at 9:00 AM and are likely to end about 3:30 PM. Specific meeting locations will be emailed in advance of each survey. General locations and specific dates are provided below.

These survey activities are funded by the US Farm Bill via the MDA.
March 3, EAB Survey, Lebanon Hills Visitor Center, 860 Cliff Road, Eagan, MN 55123
March 5, EAB Survey, Tarsillas House & Cafe, 112 North Main Street, Stewartville, MN 55976
March 9, OB Survey, Luxton Recreation Center, Prospect Park, 112 Williams Avenue SE, Minneapolis, MN, 55414
March 10, OB Survey, Rochester Recreation Center Activity, 21 Elton Hills Dr. NW, Rochester, MN
March 11, OB Survey, Brownsville Community Center, 104 N 6th St, Brownsville, MN 55919
Click here to register for any or all of these volunteer opportunities.

Hope to see you soon,
Angela Gupta
UMN Extension Forestry Educator

olunteers are needed at Jay Cooke State Park's annual Candlelight Ski and Snowshoe event. This event is part of our current park centennial celebration. It is on Saturday, February 14th. Volunteers are needed for time periods between 1 - 9 pm. We are not asking volunteers to commit to all 8 hours. We have afternoon, evening and late evening shifts. Volunteers are need both outside and indoors for this event. Outdoor activities include setting up the luminaries, lighting them or extinguishing and pick-up. The entire luminary trail is an easy 3-mile trail that can be walked, snowshoed or skied. We assign sections of the trails, so you wouldn't need to do all 3-miles. We also need a photographer both inside and outside anytime during 2 - 9 pm. Photograph the volunteers or participants at the event. Finally, we need an indoor volunteer between 5:30 - 9 pm to help with the beverages and fireplace. You'll keep the cocoa and cider full, make sure there's cups and keep the fireplace going. Interested volunteers should contact me at the information below.

Kristine Hiller
Park Naturalist
Jay Cooke State Park
780 Hwy. 210
Carlton, MN 55718
218-384-4610 x. 227

Hi Folks!

We are starting to think about the upcoming Duluth Boat, Sports, Travel, and RV show (Feb 18-22). Join the fun and help prevent AIS spread at the same time!

For folks who have not hosted with us before, it is a great networking opportunity to learn about invasive species or share your knowledge and experiences with others. Folks behind the booth get to work together and learn what other agencies, organizations, and individuals are doing in addition to greeting people who visit the booth. Last year we had folks from six organizations band together. Cook County Invasive Team, Lake County SWCD, Lake Superior Marine Museum Association, Minnesota DNR, Minnesota Master Naturalists and Minnesota Sea Grant all contributed their time and knowledge to the Stop Aquatic Hitchhikers! campaign.

· Here is the scheduler (no more than 2 folks per shift):
· Here is a link to the show: Duluth Boat, Sport, Travel, RV Show - Visitor Home

For you folks who like lots of advanced notice, please note that we will also have a booth at the Arrowhead Home and Builders Show (April 8-12). We would love to see you there, too!

Please feel free to send this email to folks you think might be interested in helping. More details about each event to come...

Kind regards,

Marte Kitson

Marte Kitson
AIS Education Specialist | Sea Grant Program |
31 W. College Street
University of Minnesota Duluth | | 218-726-8305


POSITION: Subaru/Leave No Trace Traveling Trainer Regional Team

SALARY: Living stipend, health insurance stipend, limited monthly salary and all travel expenses, a vehicle, and basic gear for life on the road.

CLOSING DATE: January 20th, 2015 or until position is filled.


Resumes for both team members
Joint Cover Letter - 2 page maximum
30 second - 1 minute creative video introducing yourselves
Please be prepared to provide 3 references upon request
EMAIL TO: | subject: Traveling Trainer Search - 2015

-No calls please.
-Pre-paired teams only apply. We will not place individuals into a team.
-U.S Residents Only
-No Pets Allowed
For more information about the Subaru/Leave No Trace Traveling Trainer Program and the Leave No Trace Center for Outdoor Ethics, visit

The Leave No Trace Center for Outdoor Ethics is an equal opportunity employer.

Mar 3 Project Art for Nature Call for Artists

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Visual artists and illustrators with a focus on nature and conservation of natural areas & native species.

Seeking applicants for the next 3-year cycle. 2015-2018

Revised Application Deadline
March 3, 2015
Applications available at
For application materials, information, or to view artworks of current and past members:

We welcome your queries!
Please put "PAN Application Question" in subject line.

About Project Art for Nature:
Founded in 2001, Project Art for Nature brings together artists with a passion for protecting and restoring
nature. Each artist chooses natural area(s) to visit throughout the cycle, and creates artwork related to their site(s)
to exhibit in PAN's end-of-cycle show, and other optional show opportunities throughout the cycle.

Now seeking new artists for its fifth cycle, Project Art for Nature invites applications from artists who work
• in any hand-created media, styles, and processes;
• in 2, 3 or 4 dimensions;
• pictorially, abstractly or conceptually;
• at macro, micro or process level: focusing on
-species or landscapes,
-individuals or ecosystems, or
-natural processes (e.g., evolution, decomposition, migration.)
The artists of Project Art for Nature work independently and collaboratively to mount exhibits with impact.

For more details on the commitments involved in Project Art for Nature, please visit our website

Feb 6 PlayCleanGo Volunteer Opportunity

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This is a reminder that we are looking for volunteers with a basic understanding of terrestrial invasive species to help staff the PlayCleanGo booths at up-coming Sports Shows. The next show is in St Cloud starting on 2/6. We still have three positions to fill, one on Saturday and two on Sunday. The next show after that will be in Fargo starting 3/5. We cover the entrance fees for all volunteers.

Susan Burks
MNDNR Forestry / Invasive Spp. Prog. Coord.
500 Lafayette Rd / St Paul, MN 55155
651-259-5251 (office) / 651-296-5954 (fax)

For those of you who have participated in past events with PlayCleanGo: Stop Invasive Species In Your Tracks (PCG), thank you so much. The campaign is growing by leaps and bounds largely due to your participation. We now have 70 public and private organizations partnering with us in our outreach and education campaign. Most recently the North American Invasive Species Management Association (NAISMA) adopted PCG as their national campaign. Way to go PCG!!

Past PCG volunteers have reported having a great time talking to visitors about invasive species and the simple steps folks can take while recreating to prevent the accidental spread of terrestrial invasive species. This is to announce that we have more volunteer opportunities this winter! Between now and the next PlayCleanGo Day in June 2015, we have five sports show around the state. I invite you to participate by visiting the doodle links below and picking shifts that work for you. Be sure to hit 'save' once you check your preferred time slot. Each participant will receive a free ticket to the show (for each day you sign up). Plan to stay the day to check out the show before or after your shift. I have as much fun talking to the other vendors as I do the visitors, dreaming about that next vacation or that camp shirt I just have to have. It's also a great opportunity to enroll other PCG partners. I've had other vendors sign-up and hang our PCG poster in their own booth for the duration of the show. How rewarding is that! So come join us for the fun and help protect our precious natural resources.

The shifts range from 4 to 5.5 hrs long depending on show hours. For all but the Outdoor Adventure Expo, PCG will be sharing the booth space with the Stop Aquatic Hitchhikers outreach campaign. As such there will be at least one person with knowledge about aquatic invasives on duty for each shift. PCG volunteers are expected to have a basic understanding of invasive species and be familiar with the top four or five terrestrial invasive species threatening the state's natural resources. Talking points will be shared with the volunteers before each event and a folder of references will be at the booth to help with specific visitor questions. Each volunteer will receive a ticket to the show and a PCG tote bag to carry all of your goodies home with you. If you have any questions, feel free to give me a call. The available sports shows are as follows:

St Cloud Sports Show February 6-8, 2015 at the River's Edge Conference Ctr in St Cloud

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

Feb 27 Watershed Intership

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The Sauk River Watershed District is seeking a temporary, seasonal intern to assist in lake and stream monitoring, education, best management practices, as well as other activities within the Sauk River Watershed District. This is a great opportunity for people interested in water resources to learn more about streams and lakes in Central Minnesota.

• Assist staff in collecting water samples and data on lakes and streams
• Transport and install water monitoring equipment
• Assist with shoreline plantings for BMP's
• Assist with inspections and project maintenance
• Assist with the many educational programs offered by the SRWD
• Prepare newsletters and brochures
• Attend/Participate in meetings, conferences, workshops and festivals about water quality practices and education
• Work with water monitoring data
• Assist staff with seasonal projects

Qualifications: Applicant must have a valid driver's license, capable of lifting 70 pounds, possesses excellent written and verbal skills, and have experience with Microsoft Office. Being able to learn quickly and able to work independently as well as with a team. Preference will be given to candidates studying environmental related subjects, junior or senior year of secondary education, and those with monitoring experience.

Benefits: Receive training and skill development. Gain relevant, hands on experience in the environmental world. Develop contacts from different agencies for the future, and have an enjoyable, educational summer job! $10.00/hour

Resumes should be postmarked by February 27, 2015. Interview dates are set for the week of March 23, 2015. Interns will work about 40 hours a week with flexible employment dates; beginning around May and ending September.

For additional information contact Adam at 320-352-2231.

To apply, send resume to:
Sauk River Watershed District
Education Coordinator
524 Fourth Street South
Sauk Centre, MN 56378

Naturalist Internships Available

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Summer Naturalist Corps Internships posted!

There are positions at Itasca, Lake Bemidji and Lake Carlos State Parks in NW MN, as well as other locations around the state!

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


Apr 11 Garden Expo 2015

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UMN Extension Crow Wing County Master Gardeners
Ready, Set, Grow! Garden Expo 2015
Saturday, April 11th, 2015 from 8:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.
Central Lakes College - Brainerd Campus
501 West College Drive, Brainerd

Cost: $30. The registration fee will include morning / afternoon refreshments
and a boxed lunch. There will be vendors, exhibitors, silent auction and door

This Horticulture Day offers a total of 26 different classes!

Visit for registration details and class offerings.
Classes fill fast so register early.

Your completed registration form must be accompanied with payment.

Space will be limited so register early!

Volunteer Safety Instructors

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Volunteer Safety Instructors (Metro and Central MN, NW, NE, and Southern MN)
Consider becoming a Certified Volunteer Safety Instructor in Firearms, Bowhunter Education, Snowmobile, ATV, or Wildlife Species!

Pass on a love for your sport by teaching youth and adults the ethics and safety you would expect from those you meet in the field. During the instructor training, applicants will learn about policy and procedures, teaching concepts, use of training aids and youth classroom training techniques.

Check current certified volunteer instructor classes or sign up for our instructor e-mail list to receive notification of any additional instructor training sessions.
All new instructor applicants and instructors seeking recertification must meet the requirements of being at least 18 years old and passing a Bureau of Criminal Apprehension (BCA) background check. All applicants for any of the DNR safety programs must also complete the forms online and attend a volunteer instructor training course. There is no fee to attend.

If you are interested in becoming a DNR Certified Volunteer Safety Instructor, the process begins online: Get started now! And check out upcoming safety instructor courses.

Zebra Mussel Monitoring Program

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Zebra Mussel Monitoring Program (NE, NW, Southern, Metro area and Central MN)
Zebra mussels are spreading to lakes and rivers in the Midwest. These small invasive mussels attach to hard surfaces in lakes and rivers killing native mussels, limiting recreational activities, clogging water supply pipes, and competing with larval fish for food. You can provide important help tracking their distribution in Minnesota by spending a few minutes monitoring the lake or river where you live without any specialized equipment. Early detection for zebra mussels is important in protecting your property and Minnesota's water resources.

Learn more on how you can monitor for zebra mussels.

Volunteer LoonWatcher Survey

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Volunteer LoonWatcher Survey (NE, NW, Southern, Metro area and Central MN)
Volunteers that live on lakes or regularly visit lakes can participate in the Minnesota Volunteer LoonWatcher Survey as a volunteer "loon watcher". Loon watchers report on their lake at the end of the season providing information on nesting success, number of loons observed, interesting occurrences and problems that may negatively affect the loons. Anyone with an interest in loons can join this program and choose a lake to report on. Some volunteers have been in this program for many years.

For more information about the Minnesota Volunteer Loon Survey contact Kevin Woizeschke at or 218-833-8729.

Lake Level Minnesota Volunteering

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Lake Level Minnesota volunteering...
doing your level best! (NE, NW, Southern, Metro area and Central MN)
Whether it is floods, droughts, or just a normal year, lake level fluctuations (or the lack of them) are important to document. Lake levels are recorded on a regular basis, thanks to the efforts of volunteer observers. These volunteers are joining with the Minnesota Department of natural Resources to create permanent, credible, public lake level records.

Find out more about the Lake Level Minnesota program and Check lake levels with the LakeFinder

Adopt-a-River Program

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Adopt-a-River Program (NE, NW, Southern, Metro area and Central MN)
The Adopt-a-River program encourages Minnesota volunteers to "adopt" a section of a lake, river, wetland, ditch or ravine to ensure its long-term health through annual cleanups. Get involved!

State Natural Areas Assistance

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State Natural Areas Assistance (Metro and Central MN, NW, NE, and Southern MN)
State scientific and natural areas (SNA) are the premier state lands displaying examples of native prairies, old growth forests, geological features and habitat for rare and endangered species. The state natural areas program needs volunteers to work on projects at natural areas throughout the state. Projects are typically carried out on Saturdays from 10:00 AM to 2:00 PM, unless otherwise noted, many weekends throughout the year. Activities include prairie and woodland seed collection, planting seedlings, removal of exotic species, pulling buckthorn, and cutting and burning brush such as sumac.

These activities and other events posted on the SNA Program Events Calendar.

Historic Files Consolidation

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Historic Files Consolidation (Metro Area and Central MN)
Assist with sorting and scanning historical program files into an electronic format. This project will make historic records more accessible to internal staff as well as external stakeholders. The paper files involved may include any of the following: information on various local units of governments' regulations of water bodies, watershed district information, historical information, technical reports, photographs, meeting reports, policy information, or information on specific water bodies.

Volunteers with entry-level computer and typing skills are needed. Training will be provided. This work must be done at the DNR Central Region Headquarters, 1200 Warner Road, Saint Paul, MN 55106, anytime from 9 AM - 3 PM, Monday through Friday. Hours are flexible and any amount of time is acceptable, although preference will be given to those who can commit more time per day or more time overall. For more information contact Lindsey Peterson, Ecological and Water Resources, St Paul, at 651-259-5771 or email

Make 100 Tree Cookies

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Make 100 Tree Cookies (Metro and Central MN, NW, NE, and Southern MN)

Project Learning Tree (PLT) program is a natural resources education program for teachers across Minnesota. PLT needs volunteers to create "tree cookies" as teaching aides for teachers to use with their students. Tree cookies are slices of branches or trunks that show the rings of a tree. They are used to teach children how trees and other woody plants grow, environmental factors affecting tree growth, tree identification, and more. Teachers often don't have the time or capability to make these so volunteer help is greatly appreciated!

Slice the branches or trunk into half-inch thick, wafer-shaped "cookies" that are between three to six inches in diameter. Sand the surfaces until the rings appear. Finish the surfaces with clear varnish. "Interesting" cookies with easily readable rings are preferred (e.g. cookies that show history of disease, disturbance, or other story).

Labeling cookie species and location harvested is optional, but appreciated. This project can be done individually or with a group (scouts, 4-H, FFA, Kiwanis, etc.) You must provide your own tree or woody plant material, saws, sander, oven, varnish, and labor.

Tree Cookies - How to Make Your Own

When finished contact Laura Duffey, Project Learning Tree Coordinator, at 651-259-5263 or email to arrange for delivery to site and to get Minnesota DNR recognition! 100 cookies are enough for about three classes. So the more you can make, the better! They will be used!

Share your Best Shots

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Share Your Best Shots (Metro Area and Central MN, NW MN, NE MN, Southern MN)
Expand your outdoor photography! The DNR Parks and Trails Outreach section is looking for beautiful and scenic photos of Minnesota State Parks and Trails. Volunteers that are willing to share their photos of recreating in a Minnesota state park or trail will help expand the current DNR photo library and provide updated photos for publications, advertisements, the website and social media. Your photos have a chance of making it into print!

Here's all you have to do:
• Take high-resolution (300 dpi) digital images of recreation opportunities in Minnesota State Parks and Trails.
• Upload photos to the DNR photo uploader to share your best shots!

Volunteers must have access to a digital camera that takes high-resolution images, Internet accessibility to upload the photos and be familiar with Minnesota State Parks and Trails. The time commitment for this project would vary depending on how involved the volunteer would like to be. The bulk of the time would be spent traveling to a Minnesota State Park or Trail, taking photos and then uploading them to the DNR public photo site.

For more information, contact Claire Gahler, Communications Project Specialist, Parks and Trails Division, St Paul at 651-259-5647 or email

Geocaching Wrap-up Volunteers Needed

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Geocaching Wrap-up (Metro Area and Central MN)
A Geocaching Avian Adventure Bird Cache (or treasure box of trinkets and collectible Bird Cards) was hidden in every one of Minnesota's 76 state park and recreation areas, as well as on one state trail. Over the last two years, people were challenged to locate the Bird Cache using a hand-held GPS (global positioning system) unit. Now that this geocaching program has ended, Minnesota Parks and Trails would like to evaluate what worked and what didn't, and collect some statistics on participation. This is where you come in!

Volunteers will be going through the geocaching logbooks for all the parks and trails. Specifically, you will be counting the number of entries in the logbook as well as using sticky notes/flags to mark pages with any interesting notes visitors may have entered talking about their visit to the park/trail or their geocaching experience.

There are approximately 200 logbooks to go through. A minimum of 2 hours is desired and up to 6 volunteers may come in to work on this at one time! So grab your friends and come into the DNR Central Office, 500 Lafayette Rd N, St Paul, any day, Monday - Friday, between the hours of 9 AM to 4 PM. To sign up contact Rebecca Oestreich, Parks and Trails Division, at 651-259-5612 or email


Volunteer to be part of the Nerstrand Big Woods State Park Team (Metro Area and Central MN, Southern MN)

The following three volunteer positions work with park staff and are designed to enhance and enrich visitors' experiences at the park.

1. Monitor ski trails and report trail conditions:
Monitoring duties include removing small branches and sticks off the trail and reporting the need for larger branch removal. Volunteers must have their own X-Country skis and be able to ski 4-6 miles of trail.

2. Roving Naturalist - 6 weekends beginning March 27 - May 3:
Volunteer for 2 to 4 hour shifts to assist guests with wildflower identification of MN Dwarf Trout Lily on the boardwalk. Training and scheduling will begin in early March. Volunteers need to be able to walk ½ mile to the trail location and boardwalk.

3. Winter photography:
Photographer needs own digital camera and an understanding of winter photography and basic photo composition.

Background and experience in each area are helpful, however, a love of nature and a willingness to expand your personal knowledge and share that with park guests are the most essential qualifications to being a team player!

For more info on any of these positions contact Elaine Feikema, Park Manager, 9700 170 Street East, Nerstrand, MN 55053 at 507-333-4840 or email

Gooseberry Falls Candlelight Ski, Snowshoe, Hiking Event - Feb. 21 (Northeastern MN)
Enjoy a unique winter outdoor experience as you help with the preparations for Gooseberry Falls State Park's Annual Candlelight Event, Saturday February 21, 2015 near Two Harbors. This event is very popular and attracts hundreds of visitors to the park, but could not be offered without the assistance of volunteers! We plan to have cross-country ski loops, snowshoe and hiking trails (depending on weather conditions), all of which need to have candle illumination.

The event includes several miles of ski, snowshoe and hiking trail, plus hot beverages by the fire in the Visitor Center. A MN Ski pass is required for skiers and can be purchased at the park. The event may be cancelled for cold or icy conditions.

Volunteer Duties:
• Set out and light luminaries before and/or extinguish and pick up after the event (luminaries are a candle in a cup or bag placed beside the trail). We will split into teams to cover all trails and match volunteer abilities - children are welcome to help (families will work together).
• Other tasks available include tending the bonfire or setting up special luminary displays.
• Setup starts at 4:00 PM (arrive at Visitor Center by 3:45 PM for instructions).
• Bring something to share at the Volunteer potluck (after setup), then take your family out to enjoy the trails or sit by the fire in the Visitor Center!
• Takedown will begin at 8:15 PM - if you want to help with this part of the evening, you're invited to arrive early for the potluck! We're usually finished by 9:30 PM.

Volunteer for the entire evening or for a minimum time commitment of 2 hours. Please request your preferred task/time. Training will be provided. This would be a great group activity as upwards of 30+ volunteers are needed for this event! The more, the merrier!!!

All volunteers need the physical ability to travel over challenging terrain and be comfortable working in cold conditions. Bring skis to work on ski trails or snowshoes for snowshoe trail. Please dress for weather conditions and bring a backpack to carry supplies. Headlamps are also essential!!

For more information, contact Audrey Butts, Park Manager, Gooseberry Falls State Park, 3206 Hwy 61, Two Harbors, MN 55616 at 218-834-3855 x 222 or email

Rice Lake State Park Candlelight Ski/Hike/Snowshoe Event - Feb. 14 (Southern MN)
Enjoy the crisp winter weather by taking part in the preparations for the Rice Lake State Park Candlelight Ski, Hike and Snowshoe Event on Saturday February 14, 2015.

Volunteer Duties: Up to 10 volunteers will set out candles, light them, hike/ski the trail relighting candles and pick them back up at the end of the evening. Set up time and lighting of candles is from about 2 - 6 PM, maintaining the candles is from 6 - 9 PM, and tear down will be from 9 - 10 PM. Training will be provided. Volunteer for the entire evening or just one of these times. Please request your preferred task and time. Any length of shift is appreciated. Training will be provided. Older kids are welcome to volunteer with parents - families will work together.

Volunteers must be comfortable working in the outdoor environment being physically able and wearing warm winter clothing as appropriate. If you have available, bring a backpack to make it easier to carry candle materials. Dress for cold weather.

Rice Lake State Park is located at 8485 Rose Street, Owatonna, MN 55060, just 7 miles east of Owatonna. From Hwy 35, take exit 42A. Follow the signs to Rose Street. Go east on Rose Street to the park.

For more information contact Sandi Gatlin, Park Technician, at 507-455-5871 or email

Gateway State Trail 4th Annual Candlelight Event - February 14th (Metro Area and Central MN)
Volunteers will help with the preparations for the 4th Annual Candlelight Hike Event on the Gateway State Trail, Saturday February 14th, 2015. The event will begin in Maplewood at the intersection of White Bear Avenue and the Gateway State Trail near the Maplewood Community Center.

Duties: Up to 10 volunteers will set out candles, light them, hike the trail relighting candles or pick them back up at the end of the evening. Set up time is from about 3 to 4:30 p.m., lighting and relighting the candles is from about 4:30 to 7:30 p.m., and pick up will be from about 8 to 9:00 pm. Volunteers are also needed to assist with serving refreshments, overseeing a bonfire, and cleanup from the event.

Volunteer for the entire evening or just one of the times. Please request your preferred task/time. Any length of shift is appreciated. Training will be provided. Older kids are welcome to volunteer with parents - families will work together.

Volunteers must be comfortable working in the outdoor environment, i.e. being physically able, and wearing warm winter clothing as needed, etc. Backpacks are also helpful for carrying candle materials. Dress appropriately for cold weather.

For more information contact Jess Schein, Assistant Area Supervisor, Gateway State Trail, St Paul, at 651-259-5774 or email

Candlelight Ski/Snowshoe Event at Nerstrand Big Woods State Park - February 7 (Metro Area and Central MN, Southern MN)

Join us in creating a magical night of cross country skiing or snowshoeing (or walking, if there is no snow) on trails lit by the warm glow of luminaries! Volunteers are needed to assist with setting out luminaries along the 5 kilometers of ski trails, lighting the candles, and picking them up at the end of the evening. Help is needed on Saturday, February 7, 2015, between the hours of 4:30 - 9:30 PM. Up to 15 volunteers are needed for this event. This would be a great group activity! The event itself runs from 5:30 - 8:30 PM. Snowshoes are available to rent.

Volunteers need to be comfortable in dark, forested situations and physically able to work 2 - 3 hours outside in the cold weather. Listen for the barred owl at dusk and other winter night sounds. Hot beverages will warm your fingers and toes when you return to the Visitor Center!
Directions to Nerstrand Big Woods State Park: Take I-35 to State Highway 19 east into Northfield. Go south on State Highway 3, east on State Highway 246, then turn right onto County Road 29.
For more information, contact Elaine Feikema, Park Manager, 9700 170 Street East, Nerstrand, MN 55053 at 507-333-4840 or email

Split Rock Lighthouse Candlelight Snowshoe & Hike Event - Feb. 7 (Northeastern MN)
Enjoy the beautiful winter scenery at the annual candlelight snowshoe and hike event at Split Rock Lighthouse State Park in Two Harbors on Saturday, February 7, 2015. Put on your snowshoes or boots and trek along the shoreline to listen to the waves crash; or head into the woods and see the snow sparkle in the candlelight. Refreshments will be provided at the Trail Center, where visitors can warm up around a fire, roast marshmallows or enjoy a hot drink. This event is not possible without the commitment of volunteers. Experience the park in a unique outdoors setting that is not usually available on trails at night!

Volunteers are needed for the following duties:

Trail Crews: We need people to place candleholders along the trails, light candles, patrol the trails throughout the event and collect the candles and holders at the conclusion of the event. These folks will be working outside for 1 - 2 hours, so need to dress accordingly for the cold weather. All of these volunteers need to be in good physical condition, able snowshoe or walk 3 - 4 miles and help people have fun!

This is a one-day event on Saturday, February 7. The event itself runs from 6:00 - 8:30 PM, but set up volunteers are needed starting at 3:30 PM. Volunteers that can help for the whole event should be available from 3:30 PM - 10:00 PM, otherwise sign up for a few hours at the beginning or end. Volunteer registration will begin at 3:30 PM, trail setup will be from 3:30 - 5:00 PM, lighting will take place 4:30 - 6:00 PM and takedown will be 8:30 - 10:00 PM. Approximately 10 - 15 volunteers are needed for the day. Training will be provided. This would be a great individual or small group activity!

For more information or to volunteer, contact Dean Holm, Operations Supervisor, Split Rock Lighthouse State Park, 3755 Split Rock Lighthouse Rd, Two Harbors, MN 55616 at 218-595-7621 or email

Split Rock Lighthouse State Park is located at 3755 Split Rock Lighthouse Rd, Two Harbors, MN 55616, about 20 miles northeast of Two Harbors on MN Hwy 61.

PlayCleanGo Events at Sports Shows: January - March (Metro Area and Central MN, NW MN)

Support the outreach and education campaign "PlayCleanGo: Stop Invasive Species In Your Tracks" by assisting staff in the booth at one or more of the sports shows listed below. Help educate recreationists about invasive species and the simple steps they can take to avoid accidently spreading terrestrial invasive species. By changing at-risk public behavior, the campaign's goal is to protect the state's natural resources.

• January 8 - 11, 2015: Minnesota Sportsmen's Show, River Center, 175 W. Kellogg Blvd, St Paul
• February 6 - 8, 2015: St. Cloud Sportsmen's Show, River's Edge Convention Center, 10 South 4th Ave., St. Cloud
• March 5 - 8, 2015: Red River Valley Sportsmen's Show, Fargodome, 1800 University Dr. North, Fargo, North Dakota
• March 25 - 29, 2015: Northwestern Sportsmen's Show, Minneapolis Convention Center, 1301 2nd Ave. South, Minneapolis

Volunteer Duties at Sports Show Events:
 Read over the talking points shared before the show.
 Arrive for your assigned shift on time. Shifts are 4 - 5.5 hours.
 Restock any of the materials that have run low (supplies will be under the table).
 Pick up and dispose of any trash.
 Be open, accessible and friendly.
 Engage show visitors and talk to them about the importance of stopping the spread of invasive species and action steps folks can take to help protect our natural resources.
 Pass out boot brushes and handouts as needed.
 Answer visitor questions to the best of your ability (as time allows, refer to the reference folder under the table).

Volunteer Qualifications Desired:
Volunteers must have a basic understanding of invasive species prevention and management, and be familiar with at least four or five of the worst terrestrial invasive species. Among them are the emerald ash borer, gypsy moths, common and glossy buckthorn, garlic mustard, spotted knapweed, common tansy, wild parsnip, Japanese beetle, Asian longhorned beetle, and European earthworms. The term "invasive" is reserved for the most aggressive nonnative species capable of changing site or living conditions for the worse where they establish.

Volunteers will receive a free ticket to the show for each day they sign up to help.

Click on the link(s) below to sign up for a 4 to 5.5 hour shift as per the following online Doodle polls:

• MN Sportsmen's Show, January 8-11, 2015 at the River Center in St Paul

• St Cloud Sportsmen's Show, February 6-8, 2015 at the River's Edge Conference Center in St Cloud

• Red River Valley Sportsmen's Show, March 5-8, 2015 at the Fargodome in Fargo, ND

• NW Sports Show March 25-29, 2015 at the Minneapolis Convention Center in Minneapolis

Contact Susan Burks, Forestry Invasive Species Program Coordinator, 500 Lafayette Rd, St Paul, MN 55155 at 651-259-5251 or email for more information.

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