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.  

  • Visitor Center Hours

    Regular hours at the Bloomington Education and Visitor Center are: 

    • June - August: Tuesday-Sunday from 9 a.m. - 4 p.m.  
    • September - May:  Wednesday-Sunday from 9 a.m. - 4 p.m.  

    The Rapids Lake Education Center is closed during the summer and open to the public and school groups starting September 4, Tuesday-Friday 9 a.m.-3 p.m.  

  • 2018 Summer Programs

    Summer Programs, June 8-August 17, 2018

    Bloomington Education and Visitor Center 

    10:00 a.m. Ranger Chats: Programs will be available at the Bloomington Education and Visitor Center. Join rangers for a short talk Thursday-Sunday at 10 a.m.

    1:00 p.m. Guided Walks: Ranger-led walks will leave the visitor center at 1 p.m. on Friday-Sunday (weather permitting, approximately 1/2 mile total distance).  Meet on the back patio near the overlook.  

    There is no need to pre-register for either program, and all are welcome to join. Videos will run in the visitor center on demand throughout the day for those interested, just ask the front desk volunteer. 

  • Landscape Photography Lecture & Photo Hike

    Saturday, August 18 

    9:30 a.m. - 12 p.m. 
    Bloomington Education and Visitor Center

    3815 American Blvd. East, Bloomington, MN

    Landscape photography can be very challenging, but with the right techniques, you can capture some amazing images. We will start off with a lecture providing some tips and techniques to help you capture the scenery around you, followed by a photo hike at Bass Ponds Unit (2501 86th St. East, Bloomington, MN 55425). 

    Bring a tripod, bug spray, and sun screen.  

    Photo programs are led by Don Treddinick, https://www.frozenhiker.com/photo-hikes 

  • *Tales and Trails with L.L. Bean

    Sunday, August 19, 2018
    10 a.m.-12 p.m.
    Bloomington Education and Visitor Center, 3815 American Blvd East, Bloomington, MN

    Bring your little hikers out to learn about about tracking wildlife with professionals from L.L. Bean! We'll read a story and then head out on the trail to discover all the evidence animals leave behind. Recommended for children ages 3-8. 

    Be sure to bring weather-appropriate clothing, water, comfortable footwear, bug spray, sunblock, snacks, hat, water, and personal medications. You may also like to bring sunglasses, binoculars, and a camera.

    To register for this program visit: www.llbean.com/MOA

  • *Outdoor Photography Hike with L.L. Bean

    Wednesday, August 29, 2018
    6-8 p.m.
    Bloomington Education and Visitor Center, 3815 American Blvd East, Bloomington, MN

    Join professionals from L.L. Bean on a photo adventure through the wonders of the outdoors. You'll have plenty of time to practice your camera skills with the experts, learning how to capture that perfect, awe-inspiring shot. So don't miss this opportunity to hike the wildlife refuge while practicing your craft and taking some amazing pictures!

    To register for this program visit: www.llbean.com/MOA

     

  • YIKES! Monarch Predators, Parasites and Diseases

    Friday, September 7
    7-8:30 p.m.
    Bloomington Education and Visitor Center 
    3815 American Blvd East, Bloomington, MN

    We Minnesotan’s love our monarchs! Teachers bring them into the classroom so students can witness the amazing transformation from caterpillar to butterfly. Many of us plant milkweed and native flowers to create Monarch habitat in our neighborhoods. Some of us even collect these wild caterpillars to rear in the “safety” of an enclosure.  Come discover which of these actions are truely helpful, which might be harmful and how to take your monarch conservation actions to the next level.

    Presenters will include experts from Monarch Joint Venture and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

  • Bird Language

    Saturday, September 8
    Saturday, November 3

    9 a.m.–1 p.m.
    Bloomington Education and Visitor Center (Classroom A)
    3815 American Blvd. East, Bloomington, MN   

    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. Dress in layers for the weather as forecast for the day. 

    To register, visit: http://www.mntracking.org/

    Led by Donnie Phyllaier and Jonathon Poppele, Volunteer Refuge Naturalists

  • Minneapolis Monarch Festival

    Saturday, September 8
    10:00 am 4:00 pm
    Lake Nokomis
    49th St and Woodlawn Blvd
    Minneapolis, MN

    Join refuge staff and volunteers at this annual celebration in honor of the monarch butterfly’s amazing 2,300 mile migration from Minnesota to Mexico.  Music, food, dance, hands-on art, native plant sales will again be part of the event. There will also be plenty of opportunities to get up close with monarch butterflies, learn about their habitats and how you can make a difference. This year the festival also features the 2017 Monarch Butterfly Migration Art Shanty! For more information, a schedule of events, and parking suggestions, please visit http://monarchfestival.org.

     

  • Meeting Monarchs (Conocer al monarca)

    September 9 through October 7
    Drop-in during regular Visitor Center Hours

    Bloomington Education and Visitor Center 
    Hours : Tuesday – Sunday 9 a.m.-4 p.m.
    3815 American Blvd. East
    Bloomington, MN 55425

    Join refuge staff and Journey North in tracking the monarch migration this year. Begin your adventure at the front desk for equipment and some brief instruction. Then explore the surrounding prairie with net in hand. Afterward, take in a monarch video or craft your own “make and take” monarch souvenir.  Before you leave, create a monarch to add to our simulated Oyamel roosting tree.

     

    7 de octubre hasta 9 de septiembre
    Durante horas normales del centre para los visitantes 
    Bloomington Education and Visitor Center 
    Hours : Tuesday – Sunday 9 a.m.-4 p.m.
    3815 American Blvd. East
    Bloomington, MN 55425 

    Colaborar con el personal del refugio y Journey North con analizar la gran migración de la monarca. Empezará su aventura con un voluntario del refugio quien va a darle algunos instrucciones y materiales para el trabajo. Despues, explorara la pradera con un red para capturar las mariposas. Por fin, habrá papel de colorar de monarcas para tomar y decorar su hogar.  Antes de salir, va a diseñar el monarca para poner en nuestro árbol de Oyamel (como hay en México).  
     

  • Photographing Fall Colors Lecture & Photo Hike

    Saturday, October 6   

    9:30 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
    Bloomington Education and Visitor Center
    3815 American Blvd. East, Bloomington, MN  

    Fall colors should be peaking as we get into October. The refuge has some fantastic tree-lined views, and lots of bursting milkweed. Depending on conditions, we will either spend time at the bottom of the hill or we may head over to one of the other units.

    Bring lenses for both macro and landscape photography. 

    Photo programs are led by Don Tredinnick,   https://www.frozenhiker.com/photo-hikes  

     

  • Sunset Photo Hike

    Saturday, November 3    

    3:30 p.m. – 5:30 p.m.
    Bloomington Education and Visitor Center
    3815 American Blvd. East, Bloomington, MN  

    Join us for this annual favorite, as we capture the setting sun over the refuge. We'll hike to a perfect location to capture the sun as it sets over the grasses which will be showing their full fall color. As we head down the trail, we will also experiment with capturing sun bursts through the trees, and some long shadow landscapes.

    Bring a tripod to help with long exposures.

    Photo programs are led by Don Tredinnick,   https://www.frozenhiker.com/photo-hikes