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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.  

  • Urban Bird Festival - Film: THE MESSENGER

    Tuesday, May 17
    6:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m.
    Oxboro Library, 8801 Portland Avenue South, Bloomington
    Co-hosted with Audubon Minnesota, this new documentary by award-winning filmmaker Su Rynard chronicles the struggle of songbirds worldwide to survive in turbulent environmental conditions brought about by humans and argues that their demise could signify the crash of the ecosystems globally, akin to the disappearance of honey bees and the melting of the glaciers.
    Bi-lingual Spanish/English

  • Endangered Species Day

    Friday, May 20
    9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.
    Bloomington Education and Visitor Center
    Endangered Species crafts and self-guided activities.

  • Celebrate Urban Bird Festival and Endangered Species Day!

    Saturday, May 21
    9:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m.
    Bloomington Education and Visitor Center
    Celebrate the centennial of the International Migratory Bird Treaty by participating in bird hikes, bird crafts, bird identification and a whole lot more! Family–friendly activities for the bird-curious or bird nerds.

    9:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. Family Birding Activities for All Ages
    Stations to keep everyone busy including crafts, bird-house building, interactive science, and raptor demonstrations
     
    9:00 a.m - 10:30 a.m. Film: THE MESSENGER sponsored by Audubon Minnesota
    This new documentary by award-winning filmmaker Su Rynard, chronicles the struggle of songbirds worldwide to survive in turbulent environmental conditions brought about by humans and argues that their demise could signify the crash of the ecosystems globally, akin to the disappearance of honey bees and the melting of the glaciers.
     
    11:00 a.m - 12:00 pm University of Minnesota Raptor Center Demonstration
    Discover the key features that make raptors unique in this live bird program. Explore common Minnesota Raptors and find out the important roles they play in our environment.  Find out how the Bald Eagle and Peregrine Falcon populations have changed and learn how you can support raptors.
     
    1:00 pm - 2:00 p.m. Bird Language
    Join us as we gather on the slopes of the Minnesota River Valley to explore what the birds are telling us about our surroundings. Learn about observation, journaling and mapping techniques that can be used collaboratively to understand our ecosystem. For more information visit: http://www.mntracking.org/ 
    Jonathan Poppele, Volunteer Refuge Naturalist

    3:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m. Film: THE MESSENGER Introduction by Audubon Minnesota
    This new documentary by award-winning filmmaker Su Rynard, chronicles the struggle of songbirds worldwide to survive in turbulent environmental conditions brought about by humans and argues that their demise could signify the crash of the ecosystems globally, akin to the disappearance of honey bees and the melting of the glaciers.

    5:00 p.m. - 7:00 p.m. Guided Bird Hike with Audubon Minnesota
    Explore your National Wildlife Refuge and discover the joys of birding with Audubon Minnesota.  This early evening hike is prime time to catch a view or hear some of our resident and migrating birds.

     

  • Patio Talk

    Saturday, May 28
    11:30 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.
    Bloomington Education and Visitor Center
    Refuge Ranger

  • Bird Walk

    Saturday, June 4
    8:30 a.m.
    Rapid Lake Education and Visitor Center
    Grassland sparrows, Baltimore Orioles, Rose-breasted Grosbeaks and Eastern Bluebirds can all be found at this Refuge unit in Carver County, south of the town of Carver. We’ll also check out the Minnesota River and see what’s on Rapids Lake. We’ll have extra binoculars and a scope along.
    George Skinner and Anne Hanley, Volunteer Refuge Naturalists

  • Bird Language

    Saturdays, June 4, July 2, August 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

  • Spring Flowers Photo Hike and Lecture

    Saturday, June 4
    9:30 a.m. – 12:00 P.M.
    Bloomington Education and Visitor Center (Auditorium)
    June is a great time of year for flower photography in Minnesota. We will be nearing the end of the spring flowers and starting to get into the summer flowers. We will begin in the classroom with a presentation on flower photography that will help you get some of those “wow” photos. Who knows, you may even get a great shot to share with Mom on Mother's Day.
    Some of the topics to be covered are:

    • 5 types of flower photography
    • Challenges
    • Tips and tricks
    • Locations for photographing flowers

    After the class we will go out and photograph some of the flowers around the refuge. Bring bug spray, sturdy footwear, and long pants (we are in prime tick season).
    Don Tredinnick and Peter Berman, Volunteer Refuge Naturalists

  • Paint Out

    Saturday, June 4
    Details to be announced
    Rapids Lake Education and Visitor Center
    Join the Outdoor Painters of Minnesota for a plein air painting session in the beautiful habitat at Rapids Lake. Paintings will be on display in our Bloomington Education and Visitor Center.
    Outdoor Painters of Minnesota

  • Partner School Student Art Event

    Saturday, June 4
    11:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.
    Bloomington Education and Visitor Center
    Join us for demonstrations by local artists, nature photography hikes, pollinator art activities, and more! Professional artists will be telling their tricks of the trade; including skills in painting, photography, wood-burning and ceramics! Try your hand at all of them and take home your own creations! Our Partner School students will be presenting their pollinator-themed artwork on display in our Gallery during the entire month of June! Meet Federal Duck Stamp winner Chuck Black and bring the whole family for outside art exploration and fun!

    Learn More
  • Patio Talk

    Saturdays June through August
    11:30 a.m.
    Bloomington Education and Visitor Center
    Refuge Ranger

  • Bioblitz

    Saturday, June 25
    Louisville Swamp Unit
    Plant and animal identification, interactive stations, and a celebration of Pollinators! Watch our website for more details.

  • Macros and Monarchs Lecture and Photo Hike

    Saturday, July 16
    10:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.
    Bloomington Education and Visitor Center (Auditorium)
    Join us for a lecture on Monarch butterflies and macro and close-up photography. Learn about the challenges faced by Monarchs along with some tips on how to photograph these amazing butterflies. We will also discuss macro photography and techniques for getting close-up shots using equipment already in your bag.
    The refuge has a butterfly garden where we can work on capturing images of butterflies and also take some macro images of flowers and plants. Basically, we will be looking for flowers, insects, and anything else we can find that has some great detail!
    Bring a camera with a zoom lens, macro equipment (macro lens, closeup filters, extension tubes if you have them) and don't forget the bug spray and sun screen!
    Don Tredinnick and Peter Berman, Volunteer Refuge Naturalists

  • Henderson Hummingbird Hurrah!

    Saturday, August 13
    Henderson, MN
    Watch our website for details.

  • Landscape Photography Lecture and Photo Hike

    Saturday, August 20
    10:00 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.
    Bloomington Education and Visitor Center
    I am bringing my landscape photography lecture to the refuge! I first gave this lecture out at Crex Meadows in 2014 as part of an all day workshop. Since then, I have converted it to a club lecture which has been delivered to a number of camera clubs in the Twin Cities.
    After the lecture we will head over to the Cedar Avenue Bridge Unit (9500 Old Cedar Ave. South, Bloomington MN, 55425)
    Bring a tripod, bug spray and sun screen.
    Don Tredinnick and Peter Berman, Volunteer Refuge Naturalists

  • Monarch Festival

    Saturday, September 10
    Watch our website for details.

  • National Public Lands Day

    Saturday, September 24
    Watch our website for details.

Last Updated: May 16, 2016
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