Saturday May 20
10:30-11:30 a.m. Sessions
Snakes, Turtles and Salamanders: Manage Your Land for the Coolest Creepy Crawlies
Misi Stine, Master Naturalist Volunteer and Instructor
When considering land management practices, how do you decide what species to manage for? This session will take a deeper dive to learn more about reptile and amphibian species that can be found on your land, and the best practices to support continued abundance of these ecologically important, and cool creatures.
Misi Stine has worked with reptiles and amphibians and in environmental education for more than 20 years. Misi has served in a variety of roles, including: as an educator and on the board of the Minnesota Herpetological Society, outreach director for the International Wolf Center, volunteer educator for the Wildlife Science Center, facilitating Project Wild and Project Learning Tree, and as a Master Naturalist Volunteer and Instructor.
Low activity level
Both Feet in the Stream: a Collaborative Study Among Volunteer Naturalists Uncovers Hidden Features in a Local Creek
Molly Fuentes, Jake Wiebe and Gracie Mertes
With the collaborate creekside efforts of Minnesota Master Naturalists, scientists uncovered a unique relationship between freshwater mussels and fish in an important watershed and tributary to the Mississippi River. In this presentation, we’ll share our findings, recount some lessons learned while wading through a local creek, and discuss the growing trend of partnering with local volunteers to collect and analyze scientific data. We’ll also dive into what makes a healthy creek, share our favorite macroinvertebrates, and talk about some of the ways you can participate in freshwater science in your own neighborhood.
Molly is a Minnesota Master Naturalist and long-time adventurer and advocate of earth’s natural spaces. Her love for natural spaces has spanned from tidepools in Northern California to Midwest creek-beds, and she’s kept her snorkel close at hand all the way.
Jake supports community-led conservation as a Minnesota Master Naturalist and environmental educator. From whale watching to beekeeping, he’s enjoyed the opportunity to contribute to research in many areas. You’ll find him slowing up a nature walk to check out cute bumblebees and spot squirrel dreys.
Gracie Mertes, University of Minnesota
low-moderate activity level
Great Smartphone Photography
Day-to-day, we regularly run into situations that would make great photos, if only we had a camera to capture the moment.... Fortunately, most of us have smartphones with us that have cameras of high enough quality to take pictures for social media, screen backgrounds, or to print smaller photos. This session will cover the features and limitations of cell phone cameras, guidelines for composition and editing options on our phones to enhance the photos we take. An iPhone will be used as an example, knowing that most smartphones today have equal capabilities.
Interpreting MN Outdoor ESL
Lucas Rapisarda and Britt Forsberg
Low activitiy level
We Belong to the Earth: A Conversation about Natural Burial
Alicia Waters, Anne Archbold. and Zac Willette Land Conservation Natural Burial Project
11:45 a.m.-12:45 p.m. Sessions
Fruits & Nuts for the Backyard Community
Low-moderate activity level
Minnesota Plant Watch- Tracking Rare Native Plants
Deanna Leigh, Minnesota DNR and Angela Miner, University of Minnesota Landscape Arboretum - MN PlantWatch Program
Low activity level
Spreading the Word - Pollinator Education Toolkits
Elaine Evans and Elise Bernstein
Pollinator Education Toolkits are versatile, portable, educational toolkit was created by pollinator experts at the University of Minnesota Bee Lab and Monarch Joint Venture. These kits provide science-based pollinator education through games and interactive features. The kits include instructions for education and outreach leaders. The content of the kit can be modified to benefit audiences with varying levels of pollinator knowledge. Kits are available for check out or purchase. Users will come away with a new appreciation for pollinators as well as new ways to help them.
Light Pollution: Why it matters
Caitlin Johnson, Starry Skies North
Minnesota Conservation Dogs: Meet the DNR's Furriest Officer
Lt. Phillip Mohs and Mack the German Shepherd/Belgian Malinois
The MN DNR has been utilizing canines to locate and detect aquatic invasive species for over a decade. LT Phil Mohs will discuss the current mission of the MN DNR Canine Program--particularly in how the department slows the spread of aquatic invasive species with the help of their canine officers. He will be accompanied with his canine partner--K9 Mack. K9 Mack is a 3 year old German Shepherd/Belgian Malinois mix that is trained to detect zebra mussels as well as wildlife, firearms and ammunition. Phil is the West Metro District Supervisor and the DNR K9 Program Coordinator. Phil’s passion for working dogs started while he was a military working dog handler in the US Army. Phil and Mack will give a demonstration on how they work to sniff out zebra mussels across the state.
12:45 - 1:45 p.m. - Lunch & Self-Guided Arboretum Exploration Time
2 - 4:00 p.m. Sessions
Bumble Bee Atlas - Part 1 (2 pm) & Part 2 (3 pm)
Elaine Evans and Elise Bernstein
The Midwest Bumble Bee Survey is looking for people willing to walk among flower patches, collecting data, and photographing bumble bees. These data are crucial to informing conservation and recovery plans for threatened and endangered bumble bee species. This workshop will train you to ID common bumble bees, safely handle and photograph bees, and record data. We’ll also answer all your burning questions about bumble bees. After this workshop, you can adopt a grid cell, choose your survey location, and help document bumble bee populations this summer!
Green Heron Pond Tour
Take an Educational Walking Tour with Arboretum Experts Sarah Rademacher and Danielle Ungurian
Tour the Bog with an Arboretum expert. Green Heron Pond is one of the southernmost glacial potholes - an area where a large chunk of glacial ice remained (probably under the ground surface for many years) before it finally melted. A portion of the pond contains a small bog. The unusual aspect of this particular bog (a bog is a wetland type that accumulates acidic peat, a deposit of dead plant material) is that it still harbors living (peat) moss. Sphagnum needs a low pH to grow and the pH of soils on the Arboretum grounds is 7.5-8.0 (sphagnum needs 5.0 or under). How it has survived for thousands of years is one of life's perplexing questions!
First created over 40 years ago, the trail around Green Heron Pond rapidly became a well-loved favorite for generations of Arboretum visitors. The pond, its adjacent marsh and bog represent three naturally occurring ecosystems in Minnesota that are part of the state's geologic and landscape heritage. Just a half-mile long, the bog trail passes through the most diverse ecotypes of any Arboretum hike. Oak woods, maple woods and the mosaic of intermingled wetlands along the boardwalk offer rich rewards for birders, school groups and families. In fact, it's an “off the beaten track” nature experience that's easily accessible to the gardens and parking.
The boardwalk was closed for renovation in 2009. Now it’s back in service and better than ever with 100 new pilings - some to a depth of 60 feet. New interpretive signs will tell the stories of its green heron namesake and other wild residents, the lady's slipper orchids at the boardwalk entry and the tamarack bog, shrub swamp and cattail marsh that line the way. In the middle of this remnant glacial bog, it was fascinating to discover trees actually growing on a 10-12-ft thick mat of old roots, with open water beneath them. Visitors can enjoy the bog through the seasons from spring's yellow marsh marigolds to the golden tamaracks in fall.
Moderate activity level
Dayton Woodland Wildflower Tour
Take an Educational Walking Tour with Arboretum Experts Anne Gunness, Matt Schuth and Rich Gjertson
Tour this springtime woodland gem with an Arboretum expert. Opened in 1960, the Wildflower Woodland Garden is a showcase for the increasingly endangered native plants of the Upper Midwest. Among the many native blooms are the Dwarf Trout Lily, the Virginia Bluebell, the Trillium, the Cardinal Flower and the Minnesota state flower: the Showy Lady Slipper. Visitors of the Arboretum can also find more orchids blooming in the Wildflower Garden than any other public outdoor garden in Minnesota.
Moderate activity level
Bennett-Johnson Prairie Tour
Take an Educational Walking Tour with Arboretum Expert Jake Lavigne
Tour the Bennett-Johnson Prairie with an Arboretum expert. Established in 1965, was established to present plants that existed on the tallgrass prairies of central Minnesota before the days of settlement. Indian grass and big and little bluestem are the dominant grasses of the prairie, which is sprinkled with blooms from spring to late fall.
A south-facing slope contains many plants including goldenrod, heliopsis, asters and golden Alexander. A marshy section contains red-osier dogwood, cattails and phragmites, a tall stately grass. Pasque flowers, prairie smoke and downy gentian bloom in a mesic area.
To accomplish what natural prairie fires did years ago, the prairie is periodically control-burned in the spring to prevent the growth of large trees, shrubs and unwanted weeds. In the prairie, one can sense the majesty of the land's natural beauty.
Moderate-high activity level, walking to priairie location
Bee Identification at the Tashjian Bee and Pollinator Discovery Center and Farm at the Arb Tour
Britt Forsberg, University of Minnesota Extension Educator
Self-guided tour of the Farm at the Arb and Pollinator Discovery Center Exhibits
Explore the Farm at the Arb before the pollinator class session. Home to the historic Red Barn and Tashjian Bee and Pollinator Discovery Center, Burton and Virginia Myers Center, the Arboretum’s Farm at the Arb connects people with the food they eat through interpretive exhibits highlighting Minnesota-grown crops, fruits and vegetables. Extension Educator Britt Forsberg will be onsite with examples of bees found in Minnesota.
Moderate activity level, bus transportation to location
Andersen Library Tour (2 p.m. & 3 p.m.)
A Behind the Scenes Tour
The Andersen Horticultural Library is a unique and inviting destination open to the public. A reading and reference library specializing in horticulture, plant sciences and natural history, its rich collections include a trove of art in the form of vintage seed catalogs, botanical wall charts, 19th-century wildflower paintings and rare books of exquisite bird and flower images from the past 500 years. Limit 8 per session time.
Low activity level
5:00 p.m - 8:30 p.m. DInner, Activities
9 a.m. - 8:30 p.m. Exhibitor Fair - located in Snyder Building Lobby
6:30 p.m Pop Up Activites
Tricks of the Trail
Learn to be an Effective Trail
Andrea Lorek Strauss, Extension Educator, MN Master Naturalist program
Look for and Identify Bees on
Nearby Plants (moderate activity)
Britt Forsberg, Extension Educator, MN Master Naturalist program
Trees from Seeds
Learn about Seed Propagation
Plant a Tree to Take Home (low activity)
Gary Wyatt, UMN Extension Educator, Forestry
Mammals of MN
Learn to ID 30 Most Common
Mammals by Specimen, Skin, Scat and Skull
John Loegering, UMN Crookston
What’s Cookin’? - Learn About Foraging Common
Plants of Minnesota (low activity)
Amy Rager, UMN Extension Educator, Fish Wildlife & Conservation
Wetland and Aquatic Plant ID
Learn to Distinguish Natives from Invasives (moderate activity)
Megan Weber, Extension Educator, Aquatic Invasive Species