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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.  

  • February Art Exhibit: Outdoor Painters of Minnesota

    Outdoor Painters of Minnesota's work is available for viewing in the art gallery at the Bloomington Education and Visitor Center between February 1 - 28, 2017. 

    Founded in 2004, the Outdoor Painters of Minnesota (OPM) is a group of more than 70 artists with a passion for painting directly from nature. OPM meets monthly for the exchange of ideas and the promotion of plein air painting.

    OPM welcomes all who have an interest in painting or sketching outdoors in any medium. For more information or to become a member, click here.

  • Tech Nature with Sharon Stiteler

    Saturday, February 18
    1:00 - 3:30 p.m.
    Bloomington Education and Visitor Center (Auditorium)

    There are a million apps available for smartphones and now there are many apps specifically for enjoying nature or engaging in citizen science projects. Join Ranger Sharon to learn more about how to find and identify wildlife, report your sightings and even take pictures and video all with the amazing smartphone in your pocket.

    Led by NPS Ranger Sharon Stiteler

  • Bird Watching Trek

    Sunday, February 26
    8:00 - 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 over wintered 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.

    Led by Craig Mandel, Volunteer Refuge Naturalist 

  • March and April Art Exhibit: Nancy Dardis

    Nancy Dardis Art Gallery

    Nancy Dardis' Pyrography Exhibit, which includes over 30 pieces of pyrography, will be available for viewing in the art gallery at the Bloomington Education and Visitor Center between March 1-April 30.

    This Bloomington artist has been working in pyrography since 2000 and she works primarily on basswood. Her subjects are studies of wildlife in its natural habitat. The works in this particular exhibit range from owls, eagles and songbirds to deer, wolves and moose.

    In addition, Dardis enjoys doing pet portrait commissions from photographs. She works to capture that special spark or certain cock of the head that makes each pet special.

  • Bird Language*

    Saturday, March 4
    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: 

    Led by Jonathon Poppele and Donnie Phyillaier, Volunteer Refuge Naturalists 

  • Celebrate Citizen Science on Aldo Leopold Weekend!

    Saturday, March 4
    9:00 a.m. - 6 p.m.
    Bloomington Education and Visitor Center 

    Join us at our annual weekend event to find out ways that you can connect to nature by becoming a citizen scientist and learn more about Aldo Leopold's conservation legacy! 

    Event Schedule

    9:00 a.m. - Screening of The Green Fire Film, the first full-length documentary film ever made about legendary conservation thinker Aldo Leopold

    10:00 a.m.- 4:00 p.m. - Hands-on activities, crafts, and a variety of engaging presentations (more details to come!)

    4:00 - 6:00 p.m. - Ranger-led sunset hike

  • Shake Off the Winter Blues Photo Hike

    Saturday, March 11
    9:00 - 11:00 a.m.
    Wilkie Unit

    It is hard to know exactly what type of weather we are going to have in early March. It could be cold and snowy, or spring may be trying to make an early appearance.

    This part of the refuge is the perfect place to see the changing season! We will meet in the parking lot and allow the conditions to determine which route we will take.

    Make sure to dress warm and also wear footwear that can tolerate some muddy conditions.

    Led by Don Tredinnick and Peter Berman, Volunteer Refuge Naturalists

  • Digiscoping with Sharon Stiteler

    Saturday, March 11
    1:00 - 3:30 p.m.
    Bloomington Education and Visitor Center (Auditorium)

    Have you ever tried taking photos with a digital camera and spotting scope? It's a fun way to get wildlife photos using an SLR or smartphone camera. Join Ranger Sharon to learn more about this popular photography technique. You can try it out with her scope or if you have your own equipment, bring it along to get some pointers and tips. The bird feeders at our Bloomington Education and Visitor Center are a great place to practice.

    Led by NPS Ranger Sharon Stiteler

  • Spring Flowers Photo Hike and Lecture

    Saturday, May 6
    9:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.
    Bloomington Education and Visitor Center

    May is an interesting time in Minnesota for flowers. Before the trees leaf out, there are a number of spring ephemerals that bloom. These last only a couple of weeks before they are gone! Our goal will be to try and locate some of these flowers and try a number of different techniques for capturing them.

    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
    -Tips and tricks
    -Locations for photographing flowers

    After the class, we will go out and photograph some of the flowers around the refuge. Please bring bug spray, sturdy footwear, and long pants (we are in prime tick season).

    Led by Don Tredinnick and Peter Berman, Volunteer Refuge Volunteers



Last Updated: Feb 16, 2017
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