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 9:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m. 

    September - May:  Wednesday-Sunday from 9:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m. 

    The Rapids Lake Education Center is closed during the summer and open to school groups September through May.

  • Macro and Flower Photography Lecture & Photo Hike

    Saturday, June 23  

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

    By late June the refuge is full of flowers, butterflies, and all sorts of interesting subjects. We will begin with a lecture on macro and flower photography. Don will provide a variety of tips and share some of his techniques. After the lecture, we will go out and photography some wildflowers around the refuge. 

    Bring bug spray, sturdy footwear and wear long pants to ward off ticks.  

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

  • Bat Science Night

    Friday, July 13  

    7:30 p.m. – 10:00 p.m.
    Bloomington Education and Visitor Center
    3815 American Blvd. East, Bloomington, MN 

    Friday the 13th is for bats! Join us to experience high-tech bat monitoring technology, possibly see LIVE bats caught and released, and get all your batty questions answered by experts. Bat chats inside followed by surveying activities outside after dusk. Bring mosquito repellent and a flashlight or head lamp. 

    For questions please call 952-854-5900

  • Minnesota Bat Festival

    Saturday, July 14 

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

    Come celebrate the unique role that bats play in our world at the 2nd annual Minnesota Bat Festival! Discover why bats are important to us all. Explore techniques you can use in your own backyard to help the environment, bats and other wildlife.  You will never look at bats the same way again! 

    Event includes:  
    • LIVE bat programs
    • Bat House Building
    • Bat tracking
    • Wildlife Gardening
    • Bat Yoga 
    • Bat Crafts
    • Bat Cave Exploration
    • Batty Science
    • Interactive displays
    This event is free and open to the public. Questions? Please call 952-854-5900.
    Help us share the Minnesota Bat Festival, click here for the event flyer.

  • Program: Bird Language

    Saturday, June 2
    Saturday, July 7
    Saturday, August 4
    Saturday, September 8

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

    Led by Jonathon Poppele and Donnie Phyillaier, Volunteer Refuge Naturalists

  • Outing: Bird Watching Treks at Bass Ponds

    Saturday, June 2
    Monday, June 11
    Saturday, June 23
    Monday, June 25
    Sunday, July 1
    Monday, July 2
    Saturday, July 21
    Monday, July 23

    8-10 a.m. 
    Bass Ponds Trailhead

    Join refuge naturalist Craig Mandel for a bird walk around the Bass Ponds to 
    learn about the birds that nest on the refuge. Learn about the different types of habitats at the refuge that support over 100 species of nesting birds.  Some of the species we may see include Trumpeter Swan, Bald Eagle, Wood Duck and Yellow Warbler. Bird watchers of all skill levels are welcome join. Bring along your binoculars, favorite field guide and dress appropriately for the weather. 

    The Bass Ponds Trailhead is located at 2501 86th St. East, 55425. Just south of the Mall of America; follow 24th Street/Old Shakopee Rd south past the Mall, turn east on 86th Street, and turn left at the Bass Ponds sign at the stoplight.

  • 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 

  • 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. 

  • 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