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Whitewater State Park activities (07/04/2007)
Naturalist Programs

July 3-7, 2007

Unless noted, all programs begin at the Whitewater Valley Visitor Center (Park Office).

Tuesday, July 3 8-9p.m. Snakes of the Blufflands - Sixteen of Minnesota*s seventeen kinds of snakes live in the Blufflands. Learn how we can live, work and recreate in the Blufflands and still conserve these awesome creatures. A slide show about area snakes and live snake program will be given. A bullsnake and a timber rattlesnake will be on hand, literally! Bring your camera for a picture of a bullsnake wrapped around your loved one*s neck.

Wednesday, July 4

8:30-9:30a.m. Tweets and Treats - Join the Park Naturalist at the visitor center*s feeding station for some good bird watching, treats (hot beverages and cookies) and conversation. The feeding station is the best place in the park to see birds. With the sound system you can hear the birds at the feeding station!

10:30a.m.-12:30p.m. Fossil Field Trip - On this trip you will find, and can keep, fossils of plants and animals that lived here hundreds of millions of years ago. They were on earth long before the dinosaurs! What can they tell us about this area*s past? Cards to display fossils will be distributed. Bring transportation, as we drive ten miles to the fossil site.

2-3p.m. Go in Seine at the Beach * Many small creatures live in Whitewater*s cold water streams and at the beach. Come get wet and wild as we use a seine (net) to search for some of Whitewater*s miniature water monsters! Find out about the interesting critters we share the swimming hole with. How does life in the stream differ from live in the beach pool? Meet at the beach.

***See fireworks at dark around 10p.m. Tuesday July 4 in St. Charles at the high school on Highway 14 east.***

Thursday July 5

10:30a.m.-noon Wildflower Walk * Join former Quarry Hill Nature Center Director, and wildflower expert, Harry Buck on this leisurely walk to witness Whitewater*s early summer wildflowers. Among those that will be seen are compass-plant, leadplant, grey-headed coneflower, harebell, black-eyed susan and many others. Bring transportation, as we drive a short distance to the trailhead.

6-7p.m. Oh Fur Fun! * Bring your family to visitor center to

discover Whitewater*s wildlife past and present. Using mounts, skins, skulls and antlers in this *hands-on* activity we*ll get to know area wildlife and how it has changed. Find out about recent black bear sightings in the park! 8-9p.m. Mystery Animal Slide Show - Join us for Whitewater*s game show. Guess the animals, get points, and win prizes! (Everybody wins!) The whole family will enjoy this unique, participatory slide show on Minnesota*s wildlife.

Friday July 6

Afternoon Tracking and Plaster Cast Making * Remember making plaster casts of animal tracks when you were young? In this activity you can do it again with your kids or grand kids. Each youngster will get a track cast to keep. As group size is limited call the park at 507-932-3007 extension 0, or stop at the visitor center, for reservations and exact time. Meet at the beach.

8-9p.m. Poisonous Plants and Animals of Whitewater * What can *get* you in this park? Where are they found? How can you avoid them? Get to know a few of the plants and animals in Whitewater that can make your visit memorable for the wrong reason! (See what a live timber rattlesnake looks like.)

Saturday July 7 10-11:30a.m. Raspberry Jam Making - Ever had the urge to use some of those abundant wild berries to make your own jams and jellies? In this activity you*ll learn the basics from Minnesota State Fair blue ribbon winner Chuck Kernler and his able assistant Diane Kernler. Samples of the variety of jams and jellies will be available for tasting, and jelly door prizes will be given away! Meet at the Nature Store.

1-2p.m. Electrofishing Demonstration

Electrofishing is a very important tool used by DNR Fisheries. By inspecting captured fish, the species, size, age, and abundance of fish in a given section of stream can be determined. Participants will see how the equipment is used, learn of its role in research and find out how its use is contributing to the Whitewater Watershed Project.

Youngsters get to release the fish! Meet between campsites 89 and 91.

3-4:30p.m. Return of the Bluebird - The eastern bluebird declined 90% in the first half of the 20th century. But now they*re back! Find out what allowed this marvelous comeback. Join Jeri Sadauskis, Whitewater bluebird trail volunteer, on this program and short walk. Participants will likely see bluebird nests, eggs, young and adults.

Even though some fireworks are legal in Minnesota, no fireworks can be used in Minnesota State Parks. Thanks!

These programs are provided free of charge, but state park vehicle permits are required. In addition to attending programs, you are invited to use the park's self-guided interpretive services, including visitor center exhibits and self-guided trails. A number of history and

nature related videos are available for free viewing in the visitor center.

You can help support Minnesota State Parks Interpretive and Resource Management Programs by shopping at the Nature Store. The Nature Store, *

mile south of the visitor center on Highway 74, offers books, post

cards, T-shirts, mugs, wildlife posters, relaxation tapes and much more. The Nature Store will be open 9a.m. to 4:30p.m. every day the week of July 4.

The park's staff hopes you enjoy the Blufflands' resources of

Whitewater State Park!



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