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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.  

  • Refuge Rambles

    Saturdays and Sundays
    10:00 - 11:00 a.m.
    1:00 - 2:00 p.m.
    Bloomington Education and Visitor Center 
    Join refuge staff for weekend walks exploring trails and observing the natural world. Enjoy the solitude of the Minnesota River valley tucked into the midst of our busy urban landscape. Explore prairie, forest, and wetland habitats and discover the diverse plants and animals that depend on the refuge for survival. All ages welcome.

    Refuge Staff 

  • Ranger Patio Talks

    Saturdays and Sundays
    11:30 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.
    Bloomington Education and Visitor Center
    Refuge Ranger

  • Beat the Heat: Sunday Film Series

    Sundays through August 28
    1:00 - 2:30 p.m.
    Bloomington Education and Visitor Center, Auditorium or Classroom A
    Come inside on Sunday afternoons to enjoy a comfortable hour of films featuring refuge favorites. There's something for everyone with weekly themes, prize-winning documentaries, and great footage. Films may be checked out from the refuge's Resource Center for FREE! Recommended for all ages.
    July 10
    Turtle Planet (53 min.)
    July 17
    Sturgeon: Ancient Survivors of the Deep (60 min.)
    July 24
    Bluebirds Up Close (60 min.)
    July 31
    Penguin World (45 min.)
    Polar Ecology: Predators and Prey (22 min.)
    August 7
    Jane Goodall: A Life in the Wild (28 min.)
    Our Planet Earth (23 min.)
    August 14
    Strange Creatures of the Night (60 min.)
    August 21 
    The Shape of Things (60 min.)
    August 28
    One Thousand Cranes (60 min.)

  • 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. 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

  • Community Fishing Days

    Saturday, July 16
    10:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.
    Sunset Pond in Burnsville
    Parking lot is located on the SE corner of the pond
    We will be hosting a series of Community Fishing Days this summer! Refuge staff and volunteers will be present to mentor and provide fishing poles and artificial bait! Please note, Minnesota fishing regulations apply and all participants 16 and over will need to purchase a fishing license prior to participating.
    Questions? Contact Debbie Koenigs at deborah_koenings@fws.gov or 952/858-0715.

  • Come Play in Nature!

    Come Play in Nature!

    Saturday, July 23
    10am-2pm
    Bloomington Education and Visitor Center
    Join us for a day of play on a pop up nature play scape at the Minnesota Valley National Wildlife Refuge. We are inviting all ages to join in activities to help create ideas for two new play areas being designed at the refuge!

    It is a free event with fun activities like building habitats, playing on a big down tree, and a photo booth. Bring a picnic and take advantage of all the refuge has to offer with family activity packs, floor puzzles, bird watching, and walking trails! You might even meet George the turkey!

  • Nesting Birds of Minnesota Valley NWR

    Sunday, July 24
    8:00 - 10:00 am 
    Bass Ponds
    Over 100 species of birds have been observed nesting at the Minnesota Valley National Wildlife Refuge. Join us on a walk at the Bass Ponds, where we will search for some of the species that nest there. Here are a few of the species that nest in this area that we may see during the walk, Trumpeter Swan, Wood Duck, Bald Eagle, Yellow Warbler, Red-bellied Woodpecker, Cliff and Barn Swallows and Song Sparrow. Learn some of the techniques used to document a nesting species on the refuge. Bring along your binoculars, favorite field guide and dress appropriately for the weather.
    Craig Mandel, Volunteer Refuge Naturalist

  • Community Fishing Days

    Saturday, August 6
    10:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.
    Centennial Lake in Edina
    Parking is available off of France Avenue; fishing will be on the NW corner (behind Pinstripes)
    We will be hosting a series of Community Fishing Days this summer! Refuge staff and volunteers will be present to mentor and provide fishing poles and artificial bait! Please note, Minnesota fishing regulations apply and all participants 16 and over will need to purchase a fishing license prior to participating.
    Questions? Contact Debbie Koenigs at deborah_koenings@fws.gov or 952/858-0715.

  • 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

  • Community Fishing Days

    Saturday, August 20
    10:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.
    Bass Ponds Trailhead
    2501 86th Street East, Bloomington, MN 55425
    Fishing will be at Hogback Ridge and Youth Fishing Ponds
    We will be hosting a series of Community Fishing Days this summer! Refuge staff and volunteers will be present to mentor and provide fishing poles and artificial bait! Please note, Minnesota fishing regulations apply and all participants 16 and over will need to purchase a fishing license prior to participating.
    Questions? Contact Debbie Koenigs at deborah_koenings@fws.gov or 952/858-0715.

  • Monarch Festival

    Saturday, September 10
    Watch our website for details.

  • National Public Lands Day

    Saturday, September 24
    Watch our website for details.

Last Updated: Jul 15, 2016
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