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.

    Both visitor and education centers are closed on all federal holidays, as well as Christmas Eve and New Year's Eve.  Hours are subject to change due to weather-related or other periodic closures.  Federal holidays include:

     

    • New Year's Day (January 1)
    • Birthday of Martin Luther King, Jr. (Third Monday in January)
    • Birthday of George Washington (Third Monday in February)
    • Memorial Day (Last Monday in May)
    • Independence Day (July 4)
    • Labor Day (First Monday in September)
    • Columbus/Indigenous People's Day (Second Monday in October)
    • Veteran's Day (November 11)
    • Thanksgiving Day (Fourth Thursday in November)
    • Christmas Day (December 25)

     

  • Outings: Bird Walks at Bass Ponds

    Multiple Dates:

    2018:

    Sunday, November 18; Sunday, December 1; Saturday, December 8

    2019:

    Saturday, January 5; Monday, January 28; Sunday, March 3; Saturday, March 16; Monday, March 18; Saturday, March 23; Sunday, March 31; Monday, April 1; Monday, April 29; Sunday, May 5; Saturday, June 1

    These outings run from 8:00 a.m. – 10:30 a.m., and take place at the Bass Ponds Trails at the Longmeadow Lake Unit of Minnesota Valley National Wildlife Refuge:

    2501 86th Street East, Bloomington, MN 55425

    Join us for a bird walk at the Bass Ponds trails of the Longmeadow Lake unit of Minnesota Valley National Wildlife Refuge. Learn about some of the 220 species that stop during their migration south! 

    Birders of all levels are welcome to join! Bring along binoculars, and a field guide if you have one. Please dress for the weather, as the walks will be outside for the duration.

    Meet at the Bass Ponds trailhead:

    2501 86th St. E, Bloomington, MN 55425

    Walks led by Refuge volunteer naturalist Craig Mandel

  • *Workshops: Bird Language

    Multiple dates (First Saturday of the month, unless otherwise noted): 

    Saturday,  Saturday, December 1; Saturday January 5 (2019)

    9:15 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.
    Bloomington Education and Visitor Center, Classroom A
    3815 American Blvd. East, Bloomington, MN  

    Want to learn more about birds and their behavior?  Wonder what they're chirping about, or why they suddenly fall silent?  Join Volunteer Refuge Naturalists Jonathon Poppele and Donnie Phyllaier for this special workshop series to learn more!

    Workshops meet at the Bloomington Education and Visitor Center indoors for discussion, and will head outside for observations and more learning.  Bring a notebook, pencils, and something to sit on outdoors.  Be sure to dress for the weather!

    Registration encouraged via http://www.mntracking.org, or via Facebook.

  • Outing: Bird Walk at Wilkie Unit

    Monday, December 10, 2018

    8:00 a.m. – 10:30 a.m., and will take place at the Wilkie Unit of Minnesota Valley National Wildlife Refuge:

    7701 County Road 101 East, Shakopee, MN

    Join us for a bird walk at the Wilkie Unit trails of Minnesota Valley National Wildlife Refuge. Learn about some of the 220 species that stop during their migration south! 

    Birders of all levels are welcome to join! Bring along binoculars, and a field guide if you have one. Please dress for the weather, as the walks will be outside for the duration.

    Meet at the trailhead parking:

    7701 County Road 101 East, Shakopee, MN

    Led by Refuge volunteer naturalist Craig Mandel

  • Workshops: Tech Nature

    Multiple dates:

    Saturday, December 15, 2018; Saturday, January 12, 2019; Saturday, February 16, 2019

    1:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m.
    Bloomington Education and Visitor Center, Auditorium

    3815 American Blvd. East, Bloomington, MN

    There are a multitude of apps available for smartphones and tablets specifically created for enjoying nature or engaging in citizen science projects.  If you're wondering what they are, and how to use them, join U.S. Park Service Park Ranger, and local bird expert "Birdchick", Sharon Stiteler to learn together.  

    Bring your smartphone or tablet, and dress for venturing outdoors to try things out.

    Registration encouraged via Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/events/308216793292413/