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Whitewater State Park programs (06/22/2011)

June 27-July 4, 2011

IN THE EVENT OF A STATE GOVERNMENT SHUTDOWN, STATE PARKS WILL BE CLOSED, AND INTERPRETIVE PROGRAMS WILL BE CANCELLED UNTIL THE SHUTDOWN IS OVER.

All programs begin at the Whitewater Valley Visitor Center (Park Office) unless otherwise noted.

Monday, June 27

1-2p.m. Camouflage Walk – Some animals blend in so well with the forest that you won’t even see them unless you’re very observant. On this walk, we’ll look for model animals that are hidden ahead of time. As we walk we’ll learn about animals that live in Whitewater State Park and their adaptations for staying hidden. Meet at the beach.

Tuesday, June 28

1-2p.m. Fish Printing - “Gyotaku” is the name for the ancient Japanese art of making prints of fish on paper. This method was also used by anglers who practiced catch and release fishing before cameras. Come try your hand at this art form while learning more about the fish that live in Southeast Minnesota. You’ll get to make a fish print postcard to bring home. Meet at the beach.

Wednesday, June 29

1-2p.m. Frogs and Toads - From early spring through summer the songs of Bluffland frogs and toads add to our outdoor experiences. From huge bullfrogs on the Mississippi to gray tree frogs high in the trees, this is an interesting and diverse lot. Join us at the beach as we make a frog chorus ourselves, make a frog craft, and search for frogs and toads.

Thursday, June 30

1-2p.m. Snakes at the Beach - Water snakes live at the beach. What other snakes live in the park? Sixteen of Minnesota’s seventeen kinds of snakes live in the Blufflands. Stop by anytime during this period to see live fox snakes and talk with a Whitewater State Park Naturalist. Bring a camera for a picture of your loved one with a snake! Meet at the beach.

6:30-8:30p.m. Bird Banding Demonstration - Want an up close encounter with birds? If so, join Rochester area bird banders, led by Greg Munson, for this exciting activity! A fine mist net will be used to capture birds visiting the visitor center feeding station. Dozens will likely be caught. Program participants will have the opportunity to handle and release birds after they have been studied, observed 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 Whitewater’s birds! These demonstrations will take place at this time every Thursday evening and Sunday afternoons from 12:30 to 2:30 through summer!

Friday, July 1

1-2p.m. Mini Monsters at the Beach - Many small creatures live in Whitewater’s cold water streams and at the beach. Get wet and wild as we use nets 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 life in the beach pool? Meet at the beach.

3-4p.m. Camouflage Walk – Some animals blend in so well with the forest that you won’t even see them unless you’re very observant. On this walk, we’ll look for model animals that are hidden ahead of time. As we walk we’ll learn about animals that live in Whitewater State Park and their adaptations for staying hidden.

8-9p.m. Music in the Park: Chris Kendall, Singer-Songwriter - Enjoy an evening concert by an accomplished local artist at the visitor center’s outdoor amphitheater! Chris Kendall is a prolific local singer-songwriter who tells stories through his lyrics. Many of his songs describe the people, rivers, bluffs, farms and nature of Southeastern Minnesota. He has recently finished a second album CD that will be for sale at the concert. In case of inclement weather, the concert will take place indoors.

Saturday, July 2

Morning Archery in the Park - Ever wanted to try archery but just haven’t had the time or access to equipment? Join us for an introductory program to learn the basic skills and safety information that will help you become comfortable using a bow and possibly help you develop a lifetime interest in one of the safest sports around. All equipment will be provided. Children under age 15 must be accompanied by an adult. Group size is limited. Call (507) 932-3007 extension 0, or stop at the visitor center, for reservations.

12:30-1:30p.m. Nature Scavenger Hunt - Hey kids! Do you like scavenger hunts and playing games? Want to get to know the wildlife of Whitewater State Park? If so, grab your parents and join us for some family fun!

2:30-3:30p.m. Make Your Own Walking Stick - Join us for a real hands-on activity making your own walking stick. We will transform buckthorn, an invasive species, into a practical tool you can take home with you. We’ll also learn how you can stop the spread of other invasive hitch-hikers when you’re hiking, fishing, and recreating at Whitewater State Park!

7-8p.m. A Pond Full of Frogs - From early spring through summer the songs of Bluffland frogs and toads add to our outdoor experiences. From huge bullfrogs on the Mississippi to gray tree frogs high in the trees, this is an interesting and diverse lot. Singing this summer are spring peepers, chorus frogs and American toads. Join us as we make a frog chorus ourselves and get to know the frogs of the area!

Sunday, July 3

10:30a.m.-12:00p.m. I Can (Trout) Fish! - Yes you can! You can trout fish right here in Whitewater State Park! Join us at the South Picnic Area for a fun time fishing. Rods, reels, and tackle will be provided at this activity designed to introduce trout fishing to inexperienced anglers, families and youth groups. Youngsters must be accompanied by an adult. Bring your own bait; worms often work best. Fishing licenses and trout stamps are not required when fishing during the activity. This program will be offered at Whitewater every Sunday morning through summer.

12:30-2:30p.m. Bird Banding Demonstration – See Thursday’s description.

2-3p.m. Dragonflies - Dragonflies have been soaring the skies on planet Earth for millions of years and once had wingspans up to several feet wide. Meet at the beach to learn more about these amazing insects. We’ll play a game, explore the shoreline for dragonfly nymphs and even make a craft you can take home! Wear shoes that can get wet!

Early evening Tracking and Plaster Cast Making - Did you make casts of animal tracks as a youngster? Whether you did or not, there’s a good chance your kids would love to. Besides finding out about Whitewater wildlife and the clues they leave, your kids will get a souvenir of their Whitewater visit! Group size is limited. Call (507) 932-3007 extension 0, or stop at the visitor center, for reservations. Meet at the beach.

8-9p.m. Mystery Animal Slideshow - 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.

Monday, July 4

9-11a.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? Fossil cards, to display your collection, will be distributed. Bring transportation, as the site is nine miles from the park.

11a.m.-12p.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. See a live fox snake. Bring a camera for a picture of your loved one with a fox snake around their neck!

1-2p.m. Beavers at the Beach - Beavers are back in Whitewater State Park, and they’ve been spotted at the beach! We’ll dress a ‘volunteer’ youngster up as a beaver, showing their many fascinating adaptations. Then everyone will meet “Bob” the beaver puppet, make their own beaver puppet, and hear a beaver story. Finally, we will explore the area for signs of beavers. Meet at the beach.

All of these activities 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. See the touch screen exhibit with its introduction to the park and flood video. In addition, a number of other nature and history related videos are available for free viewing in the visitor center. The Elba Fire Tower is open for the season! The park staff hopes you enjoy the spectacular Bluffland resources of Whitewater State Park!

 

 

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