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Public Programs

The Prairie in the Fall

Photo by Scott Sharkey

Registration is required for events marked with an asterisk (*).  Programs and events may be cancelled due to inclement weather.  For more information, call 952-854-5900.  

  • Bird Watching Trek

    Saturday, February 6
    8:00 a.m. -10:00 a.m.
    Bass Ponds
    Join us for a winter season bird walk. Trumpeter Swans, a mix of ducks, Rough-legged Hawks, Bald Eagles and Northern Shrikes are a few of the species that have overwintered on the Refuge. Bring along your binoculars, favorite field guide and dress appropriately for the weather as we search for these and other overwintering species of birds on the Refuge.
    Craig Mandel, Volunteer Refuge Naturalist

  • Mid-Winter Photo Hike

    Saturday, February 6
    8:00-10:00 a.m.
    Lyndale Avenue/Russell A. Sorensen Landing, 11135 LyndaleAve.South, Bloomington MN
    Don't let the mid-winter blues get you down! Winter is a great time to get out with your camera and capture some great images. From this location we will have some great river views and if we are lucky maybe even spot some wildlife. We will meet in the parking lot and then follow the trail looking for some interesting photo opportunities. With some luck we may even have some fresh snow. Make sure to dress warm. I like to tell people to dress like it is 20 degrees colder that the actual air temp.
    Don Tredinnick and Peter Berman, Volunteer Refuge Naturalists

  • Bird Language

    Saturday, February 6
    9:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.
    Bloomington Education and Visitor Center (Classroom A)
    Join us as we gather on the slopes of the Minnesota River Valley to explore what the birds are telling us about our surroundings. We will split the time between the classroom and outdoors. Bring a notebook, pencils, and something to sit on outdoors. To register, visit: http://www.mntracking.org/ *
    Donnie Phyillaier, Volunteer Refuge Naturalist

  • Patio Talk

    Saturday, February 6
    11:30 – 11:45 a.m.
    Bloomington Education and Visitor Center
    Refuge Ranger

  • Planet Earth Filmfest

    Saturday, February 6
    1:30 – 3:30 p.m.
    Bloomington Education and Visitor Center (Auditorium)
    Episodes 11 & 12: Ocean Deep and Saving Species
    High definition footage, fascinating creatures, and dramatic narration by Richard Attenborough create one of the most exciting portraits of our planet.

  • Patio Talk

    Saturday, February 13
    11:30 – 11:45 a.m.
    Bloomington Education and Visitor Center
    Refuge Ranger

  • Nature Tech/Digiscoping with Sharon Stiteler

    Saturday, February 13
    1:00 – 3:00 p.m.
    Bloomington Education and Visitor Center (Auditorium)
    Join NPS Ranger Sharon Stiteler to learn about apps for your smartphone that can enhance your experience outdoors. There are apps that will help you identify birds, butterflies and mammals as well as help you choose the best place to look for them. We’ll even cover photography using your phone and a spotting scope. Bring your phones and unlock some of the secret powers your phone carries to give you a great day outdoors. The program will start with a brief presentation then move along to testing out photography at the feeders. If you have a spotting scope, bring it along.
    Sharon Stiteler, Park Ranger

  • Planet Earth Filmfest

    Saturday, February 13
    1:30 – 3:30 p.m.
    Bloomington Education and Visitor Center (Classroom A)
    Episodes 13 & 14: Into the Wilderness and Living Together
    High definition footage, fascinating creatures, and dramatic narration by Richard Attenborough create one of the most exciting portraits of our planet.

  • Patio Talk

    Saturday, February 20
    11:30 – 11:45 a.m.
    Bloomington Education and Visitor Center
    Refuge Ranger

  • Film: After the Birds Learned to Fly

    Saturday, February 20
    1:30 – 3:30 p.m.
    Bloomington Education and Visitor Center (Auditorium)
    In June 2015, as part of the Twin Cities Urban Bird Festival, PlaceBase Productions and refuge volunteers performed Birdwatching Theatre on the paths of the Minnesota Valley National Wildlife Refuge. The performers visited four flocks of Refuge birds and observed their behavior through the eyes and imagination of an eight year old birdwatcher. Over the course of this theatrical journey audiences explored the history of the refuge, the history of the South Loop Community in Bloomington, and the lives and behaviors of over 25 of the Refuge’s feathered residents. Prepare for laughter, music, dancing, and luxurious costumes in this original, jaw-dropping, community-driven performance available on film in the comfort of our auditorium.

  • Bird Watching Trek

    Monday, February 22
    8:00 a.m. -10:00 a.m.
    Bass Ponds
    Join us for a winter season bird walk. Trumpeter Swans, a mix of Ducs, Rough-legged Hawks, Bald Eagles and Northern Shrikes are a few of the species that have overwintered on the Refuge. Bring along your binoculars, favorite field guide and dress appropriately for the weather as we search for these and other overwintering species of birds on the Refuge.
    Craig Mandel, Volunteer Refuge Naturalist

  • Bird Watching Trek

    Saturday, February 27
    8:00 a.m. -10:00 a.m.
    Wilkie Unit
    Join us for a winter season bird walk. Trumpeter Swans, a mix of Ducs, Rough-legged Hawks, Bald Eagles and Northern Shrikes are a few of the species that have overwintered on the Refuge. Bring along your binoculars, favorite field guide and dress appropriately for the weather as we search for these and other overwintering species of birds on the Refuge.
    Craig Mandel, Volunteer Refuge Naturalist

  • Patio Talk

    Saturday, February 27
    11:30 – 11:45 a.m.
    Bloomington Education and Visitor Center
    Refuge Ranger

  • Family Snowshoe Hike

    Saturday, February 27
    1:00 – 2:30 p.m.
    Bloomington Education and Visitor Center and Hillside Trail
    Discover a fun new way to explore outside in winter! We will learn a bit about snowshoes, then strap them on and wind our way down into the river valley, looking for animal tracks as we go. Recommended for families with children ages 8 and up. Snowshoes are provided at no cost.
    Judy Geck, Refuge Ranger

  • Battle for Bats: Surviving White-Nose Syndrome

    Saturday, February 27
    2:30 – 3:30 p.m.
    Bloomington Education and Visitor Center (Auditorium)
    Bats are captivating animals and are also a vital part of our ecosystem. Learn how beneficial bats are as pollinators and insect eaters, and discover how scientists are working together to stop a deadly disease, White-Nose Syndrome, from spreading and killing these valuable mammals. Find out how to protect and enhance bat habitat in your own community by installing a bat house.

  • Aldo Leopold Weekend

    Friday and Saturday, March 4 and 5
    Bloomington Education and Visitor Center
    Stay tuned for more details and activities during this fun-filled weekend.
    Refuge Rangers and Volunteer Refuge Naturalists

  • Nature Tech/Digiscoping with Sharon Stiteler

    Saturday, March 26
    1:00 – 3:00 p.m.
    Bloomington Education and Visitor Center (Auditorium)
    Join NPS Ranger Sharon Stiteler to learn about apps for your smartphone that can enhance your experience outdoors. There are apps that will help you identify birds, butterflies and mammals as well as help you choose the best place to look for them. We’ll even cover photography using your phone and a spotting scope. Bring your phones and unlock some of the secret powers your phone carries to give you a great day outdoors. The program will start with a brief presentation then move along to testing out photography at the feeders. If you have a spotting scope, bring it along.
    Sharon Stiteler, Park Ranger

Last Updated: Feb 03, 2016
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