Whitewater State Park Interpretive Program Sampler
Following is a list of some programs offered by Whitewater State Parks Interpretive Services this winter. All require reservations. Stop at the visitor center, or call (507) 932-3007 extension 7 for reservations, exact times and additional information. There is no charge for most of these programs, but state park vehicle permits are required. Permits, available at all state park offices, cost $7 for a daily, $25 for a regular annual and $12 for a handicap annual. All activities begin at the Whitewater Valley Visitor Center (Park Office) unless otherwise noted.
Saturday 12/6/03 Afternoon Caving Field Trip
Want to explore a small wild cave? This is your chance! After an introductory slide show we'll drive to the cave, then walk, crawl and slither into its passageways. Find out how caves form and how they relate to groundwater concerns. Participants need to provide their own transportation, bring flashlights and wear clothes they don't mind getting dirty.
Thursday 1/1/04 Morning and /or Afternoon Whitewater River Valley
Christmas Bird Count
Join us on the Whitewater Valley's 8th annual Christmas Bird count!
Explore the area's winter wonderland on foot and/or by car as you document wintering birds. Anyone interested in birds is encouraged to attend. Hot beverages and treats will be available by the wood fire in the visitor center. Presenter: Julie McCormick.
Saturday 1/3/04 Afternoon Winter Trout Fishing
Trout fishing in winter provides some of the highest quality trout fishing available in the Blufflands. Angling in winter is different than summer. Streams are different and so are trout. Join DNR fisheries personnel and winter fishing experts for this activity that will provide you with an understanding of trout streams in winter. (Participants will not be fishing during the activity.)
Saturday 1/24/04 Afternoon Historic Ice Cutting Demonstration
A century ago, before rural electrification and refrigerators, ice was cut each winter to cool iceboxes the coming year. After ice was cut, it was stored in icehouses insulated by sawdust. Discover this piece of the area's past as ice is cut and moved off Whitewater State Park's beach. Authentic tools such as ice saws and tongs will be used. Want to give it a try? Presenter: Garry Barvels.
Friday 2/6/04 Evening Moonlight Snowshoeing
Explore the quiet beauty of a winter night in the Whitewater River Valley. Under a nearly full moon, snowshoeing is a special treat! Short readings from Thoreau, Frost, and Leopold will be read by moonlight.
Participants are encouraged to bring their own favorite poem or short story about this beautiful season of winter. Snowshoes are provided.
Hot drinks and cookies will follow the outing. If snow depth does not allow using snowshoes, the activity will be done on foot.
Saturday 2/21/04 Afternoon Bird Banding
Want an up close encounter with birds? If so, join guest presenter Quarry Hill Nature Center teacher/director Greg Munson at Whitewater State Park's bird feeding station. A fine mist net will be used to capture birds as they fly to and from the feeders. With luck, program participants will have the opportunity to hold and release captured birds after they have been studied and banded with an aluminum tag. Find out how this scientific tool helps wildlife researchers learn more about bird populations and their natural history, including where they go and how long they live. Find out what has been learned about the birds at Whitewater's feeding station!
Saturday 3/6/04 Evening Moonlight Snowshoeing
See program description above.
3/13/04 Morning Eagle Field Trip
Celebrate the return of the bald eagle! March is the National Eagle Center in Wabasha's "Soar with the Eagles" month with many scheduled activities. This field trip from Wabasha, led by Whitewater's Naturalist, will visit many eagle hot spots. Dozens, if not hundreds of eagles will be seen, as well as an active nest. The activity will conclude with a live eagle presentation at the National Eagle Center. Want to get your picture taken next to a bald eagle? Fee $5/person.
Saturday 3/20/04 Afternoon It's Maple Syrup Making Time for the Whole Family
Join the Park Naturalist in Whitewater State Park's sugar bush! This demonstration will introduce the long history of maple syrup and sugar making, as well as the equipment and procedures used. Participants will tap trees, gather and boil sap, and best of all; taste pure maple syrup!
How does a maple sundae sound?
Saturday 3/27/04 Afternoon It's Maple Syrup Making Time for the Whole Family
See description above.