July 30 – August 6, 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 30, 1-2pm
Nature Time at the Beach – Kids Gardening
Learn about the many benefits of growing your own flowers and foods. We’ll play a game and decorate a flower pot to take home. Meet at the beach.
Tuesday, July 31, 1-2pm
Nature Time at the Beach – Beavers
Come learn about the beavers of Whitewater State Park! We’ll dress up a ‘volunteer’ youngster as a beaver, showing their many fascinating adaptations. Then we will explore the area for signs of beavers. Meet at the beach.
Wednesday, August 1, 1-2pm
Nature Time at the Beach – Nature Journals
Hey Kids! Want a chance to be like a real-life scientist? We’ll take a short walk and learn about how scientists use field journals to study nature. Make your own journal to take home!
Thursday, August 2, 1-2pm
Nature Time at the Beach – Incredible Insects
Insects are miniature marvels that have been buzzing, crawling and hopping around planet Earth for millions of years. Come collect, observe and learn about the amazing insects you can find at Whitewater State Park. Meet at the beach.
Thursday, August 2, 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, August 3, 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.
Friday, August 3, 7-8:30pm
Intro to GPS and Geogaching
Want to have some fun discovering how to use a GPS (Global Positioning System) unit? In addition, you’ll find out about the great sport of geocaching. (It’s like a treasure hunt using a GPS unit!) If you have a GPS unit, bring it. If not, you can use one of the park’s! We will go as a group to find the park’s new Avian Adventure geocache.
Saturday, August 4, 10-12pm
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, August 4, 2-3pm
“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.
Saturday, August 4, 4-5:30pm
Ghost Town Cemetery Visit
The town of Beaver was abandoned in 1938 after repeated flooding. This ghost town cemetery holds many stories of pioneers, civil war veterans, Minnesota conservation hero Richard Dorer and others who have lived in the Whitewater Valley. Join us for a cemetery visit and learn some fascinating history about the Whitewater Valley. We’ll end with a reading from Richard Dorer’s book of poems titled, “The Ghost Tree Speaks”. Bring your own transportation as the cemetery is located 5 miles north of the park. We’ll begin at the Visitor Center.
Saturday, August 4, 8:30-10pm
We often hear them calling in the dark of night, but most of us are unfamiliar with the elusive creatures known as owls. At this program, you will learn how to identify the owls of Whitewater State Park by their calls as well as by their appearance and habitat needs. After the presentation, we will go “prowling” for owls using our newly learned owling skills. This program is guaranteed to be a “hoot” for all ages!
Sunday, August 5, 10:30am-12pm
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, August 5, 12:30-2pm
Bird Banding Demonstration
Monday, August 6, 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.