July 9-16, 2012
Following is a list of programs offered by Whitewater State Parks Interpretive Services. Stop at the visitor center, call (507) 932-3007 extension 226 or email firstname.lastname@example.org for additional information. There is no charge for these programs, but state park vehicle permits are required. Permits, available at all state park offices, cost $5 for a daily, $25 for a regular annual and $12 for a handicap annual. Activities begin at the Whitewater Valley Visitor Center (Park Office) unless otherwise noted.
Monday, July 9, 1-2pm
Nature Time at the Beach – Rocks Rock!
Hey kids, do you enjoy finding neat rocks? Then join us for a short hike as we play Rock Bingo and learn about the different processes that formed the rocks of Whitewater State Park. We will end our program by making a Pet Rock you can keep! Wear shoes that can get wet. Meet at the beach.
Tuesday, July 10, 1-2pm
Nature Time at the Beach – Mini Monsters
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.
Wednesday, July 11, 1-2pm
Nature Time at the Beach – Fun with Minnesota State Symbols
Have fun learning about Minnesota’s state symbols through games
and hands-on activities. Meet at the beach.
Thursday, July 12, 1-2pm
Nature Time at the Beach - 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!
Thursday, July 12, 6:30-8pm
Bird Banding Demonstration
Join Rochester area bird banders 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!
Friday, July 13, 1-2pm
Nature Time at the Beach – Snakes
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 a live rat snake and fox snake 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.
Friday, July 13, 8-9pm
Frogs and Toads
Fourteen different species of frogs and toads live in Minnesota. Find out which ones are found in Winona County and learn more about these amazing amphibians. Join us as we visit the amphibians in the visitor center’s pond. We will see frogs, toads and tadpoles. What kinds are found in Whitewater State Park? How are they doing? Can you sing like a frog? As part of this family activity we will make a chorus of the frogs found in this area!
Saturday, July 14, 8:30-10am
Morning Bird Walk
If you’re interested in birds, this activity is for you! Join Park Naturalist Dave Palmquist on this leisurely stroll to see Whitewater’s birds. Binoculars and maps of birding hot spots will be available.
Saturday, July 14, 10am – 12pm
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.
Saturday, July 14, 1-2pm
Program held off-site! Live Rattlesnake
Of the seventeen snakes that are native to Minnesota, the timber rattlesnake is the only potentially harmful species. Shy and elusive, most of us will never encounter a wild rattlesnake. Join a Whitewater State Park naturalist at Beaver Creek Valley State Park to learn about this remarkable creature and the various threats to their survival. You will get an up close encounter with a live rattlesnake.
Saturday, July 14, 1-3pm
Whitewater’s CCC Camp
The programs of Franklin D. Roosevelt and the New Deal not only addressed the economic disaster of the Great Depression, but made lasting contributions to American society. Whitewater State Park would not be what it is today without the contributions of the Civilian Conservation Corps and Works Progress Administration. Learn about Whitewater’s CCC and WPA camp and how the projects implemented by the young men in these camps continue to provide invaluable recreational opportunities and facilities at Whitewater State Park.
Saturday, July 14, 4-5pm
What soars the skies over the Whitewater River Valley in search of smelly dead animals, vomits on predators when threatened and urinates on itself to cool off? It’s everyone’s favorite bird of course: the Turkey Vulture. Join a naturalist at the Nature Store amphitheater to learn about these amazing birds. We’ll take a short hike to watch live vultures feeding on road-kill we’ve placed for viewing.
Saturday, July 14, 8:30-10pm
Raccoons and owls and Luna moths, oh my! Join us for a sensory-filled hike exploring Whitewater State Park at night. We’ll start with a presentation at the Visitor Center then head out to listen and look for creatures of the dark. Bring your own flashlights.
Sunday, July 15, 10:30am-Noon
I Can Trout Fish
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 this catch and release activity. This program will be offered at Whitewater every Sunday through Labor Day weekend.
Sunday, July 15, 12: 30-2pm
Bird Banding Demonstration
See Thursday, July 12th description.
Sunday, July 14, 3-5pm
Bring your own bluegrass instrument or just your voice and join us behind the Visitor Center for a campfire Jam-Along. Visitors are welcome to come listen too!
Monday, July 16, 1-2pm
Nature Time at the Beach – Kids Bird Walk
Hey kids, do you want to learn about the birds of Whitewater State Park? Join a naturalist at the beach for a short hike to find hidden birds in the forest. You will learn some of the calls of our most common birds and how to attract them to your own backyard. Wear shoes for the hike.