Upcoming Events › Field trips
Enjoy a Saturday morning hike through parts of the Arboretum to view spring wildflowers including the Grace B. Dayton Wildflower Garden which features native plants of the deciduous woodlands and includes a collection of Minnesota's state flower, the Showy Lady's-slipper. Folks should have the opportunity to see many other spring wildflowers like Bloodroot, Trilliums, Virginia Bluebells, Bellwort, Hepatica, Trout Lilies and more.Find out more »
Lost Valley Prairie is an outstanding example of bedrock bluff prairie. Ridge crests and upper slopes host a diversity of prairie grasses; wildflowers such as puccoon, stiff gentian and prairie smoke. Of special interest are the fire-dependent Hill's thistle, a Minnesota special concern species, and state-threatened rock sandwort known to occur at only a few sites in the state.
The first part of the day from 10AM to noon will be an interpretive hike throughout the SNA to observe the plants and creatures that make this place home. Following the interpretive hike there will be lunch (bring your own) and then folks are encouraged to help with sumac removal for an hour or so.Find out more »
Come and enjoy a weekend in the far reaches of northern Minnesota to Norris Camp to explore parts of the Red Lake WMA. Participants will get to hike for much of Saturday and part of Sunday with an evening program on Saturday as well as a good old-fashioned potluck.Find out more »
Grey Cloud Dunes is situated on two sandy terraces along the Mississippi River offering breathtaking views of the Mississippi river valley. The sandy soil is home to unique plant communities in different habitats such as erosional faces and blowouts. Distinctive species adapted to the dry, sandy environment include little bluestem, penstemon, prairie dropseed, sand reed grass, gramma grass, silky prairie clover, among others. Rare sea-beach needlegrass occurs in several of the blowouts; purple sand grass, on bare sand areas. Louisiana broomrape and Hill's thistles are also found here. North American (blue) racers, an uncommon Minnesota snake, live here.Find out more »
See two gems of the Lower Minnesota River Valley consisting of sloping, calcareous, organic soil wetlands with springs and small, groundwater-fed, marl streams. Fifteen members of the sedge family, including 10 species of Carex, as well as the exquisite white lady's-slipper orchid, are anticipated highlights. Such floristic diversity in the heart of a large metropolitan area is rare. Problems with invasive species (buckthorn, Phragmites, hybrid cattail) will be discussed. Of particular interest will be observing the results of a prescribed burn conducted last spring at Seminary Fen SNA.Find out more »
Come join other MNNPS members for an exploration of the moist cliff areas at Carpenter Nature Center. This is challenging topography, not easily accessed, and not entirely catalogued. Many species of ferns and liverworts are to be found on the cliff faces, including walking fern, fragile fern and bulblet fern. Several unusual woodland sedges are also present, and lily-leaved twayblade should be in bloom along the trail.Find out more »
Digital dragonflies in an analog world? Join us for a different kind of field trip with a focus on dragonflies. We will spend about a half hour in the classroom reviewing dragonflies and then spend about an hour out in the wetland looking for dragonflies, taking their photos when we can get them to pose and netting those that do not want to pose. We will have a projector available so the image will be shown on a very large screen instead of a computer monitor. There is no charge to participate, but pre-registration is required.Find out more »
Come join other MNNPS members for part of a day exploring granite bedrock outcrops found throughout Quarry Park SNA as well as high quality wet meadow, wet prairie, oak woodland, and oak forest. This mix of communities supports rare birds and orchids and forms the most significant remaining example of the granite bedrock outcrop community in central Minnesota.Find out more »
Come and enjoy a shady hike through the forests of Falls Creek SNA for a morning of fern identification with Barb Delaney. Falls Creek SNA is one of the most diverse natural areas remaining in Washington County. Folded and faulted rocks at this site show the largest displacement of any known Paleozoic rocks in Minnesota, revealing Decorah, Platteville, Glenwood, and St. Peter formations. Steep ravines line the intermittently active stream beds.Find out more »
Black Lake Bog SNA, an Interstate Natural Area: A focus on updating and expanding the plant species list for the SN
Black Lake Bog Scientific and Natural Area (SNA) is in rural eastern Pine County, approximately 2.5 hours north of St. Paul and 1 hour south of Duluth. The SNA is part of a larger interstate natural area encompassing more than 3,600 acres in Pine County, MN and Douglas County, WI.
Our focus will be on updating and expanding the plant list for the site, but other activities could focus on insect or bird inventory or taking GPS points of the boundary signs depending on group time and interest. As parking is limited and the site remote, we will likely choose a meeting place along I-35 or Hwy 23 and carpool.Find out more »