Cliff Fen Park Splash Pad Opens This Weekend

Many of our favorite splashpads and wading pools don’t open until after Memorial Day, however we learned one of them will open this weekend.

We love the Cliff Fen Park Splash Pad – located in Burnsville, but not far from Bloomington and Apple Valley.  It’s a  2,000 square foot splash pad with 12-15 water features.

The splash pad at Cliff Fen Park will open this Saturday, May 18. Admittedly, this weekend is looking pretty rainy, but the splash pad season will begin regardless of weather. You can find additional information as well as directions here.

The water feature at Nicollet Commons Park is undergoing maintenance, but will hopefully be open Memorial Day weekend.

Learn about Burnsville’s parks, facilities and amenities at here.

What’s your favorite place to go when the summer heat is here?

Mississippi Paddle Share Program

With warmer weather coming up, we wanted to remind you all about the Mississippi Paddle Share program.  We learned about it last year and have hopes our schedule will work to try it it out this summer.  Last summer it rained on the day we were going to go.

We don’t own our own boat and although we have access to a canoe, it’s not convenient for our family of four.  Last summer we spend a day kayaking in southern MN and really enjoyed it, I shared our experience here.

If, like us you don’t own your own kayak but have done it before, the Mississippi Paddle Share Program is something you may want to check out.  You can choose to rent a single-person or tandem kayak.  There are five different places you can choose from:

  • Coon Rapids Dam Regional Park to North Mississippi Regional Park
  • River Park to North Mississippi Regional Park
  • North Mississippi Regional Park to Boom Island Park
  • Lowry Avenue Bridge to Boom Island Park
  • Hidden Falls Regional Park (North Entrance) to Harriet Island Regional Park

More information on the availability, price and hours of the program can be found here.  *Most of the reservations start the end of May.

 

 

Minnesota Valley National Wildlife Refuge Bird Walk at Bloomington Visitor Center

 

Are you over winter yet and screaming for spring to arrive…AGAIN?  Lucky for us this weekend is supposed to warm up again! Celebrate by heading out and enjoying nature.

Perhaps you would like some learning and education while you venture out?  The Bird Walk at Bloomington Visitor Center takes place Sunday, May 12th from 8-10:30.  The free event is led by a naturalist and if you’ve never been to the Minnesota Valley National Wildlife Refuge, check out my previous blog post here. 

A little more information about the event on Sunday:

Learn about some of the 220 species that stop during their migration south.

Birders of all levels are welcome to join! Bring along binoculars, and a field guide if you have one. Please dress for the weather, as the walks will be outside for the duration.

Meet at the Bloomington Education and Visitor Center at 3815 American Blvd East, Bloomington, MN 55425

Walks led by Refuge volunteer naturalist Craig Mandel

 

 

Whitewater State Park’s 100th Anniversary Celebration

Source: Minnesota Department of Natural Resources

There’s another Minnesota state park celebrating 100 years this year – Whitewater State Park in Winona County. Whitewater holds a special place in my heart as it was the destination for our church youth group’s weekend trip each winter. I loved it there!

Source: Minnesota Department of Natural Resources

Celebration events are planned throughout the summer, including one happening this weekend. Check the calendar for a full list of events including historical hikes, canoe paddles, live music, and much more. Some highlights include:

Whitewater State Park is located at 19041 Highway 74 in Altura (south-eastern Minnesota).

Source: Minnesota Department of Natural Resources

Bird Walk at Rapids Lake Unit near Carver

Spring is the perfect time to grab your binoculars and do some bird watching.  The Bird Walk at Rapids Lake Unit near Carver takes place Tuesday morning from 8-10:30.  It’s a free event and you’ll learn about more than 220 different species.

Do you have a favorite park or nature area that’s perfect for bird watching this time of year?

Additional Information about the event:

Join us for a bird walk at the Rapids Lake unit of Minnesota Valley National Wildlife Refuge. Learn about some of the 220 species that stop during their migration south.

Birders of all levels are welcome to join! Bring along binoculars, and a field guide if you have one. Please dress for the weather, as the walks will be outside for the duration.

Meet at the Rapids Lake Education Center at:
15865 Rapids Lake Rd, Carver, MN 55315

Walks led by Refuge volunteer naturalist Craig Mandel

Arbor Day Walk and Green Fair in Eden Prairie

Arbor Day Walk and Green Fair in Eden Prairie

The upcoming Arbor Day Walk and Green Fair in Eden Prairie is coming up this Saturday, May 4th. A chance to celebrate spring, hopefully we can put winter and the snow behind us.  The event takes place at Round Lake Park and is free, no admission required.   Some of the activities taking place from 9-noon include:

  • Free seedlings
  • Concessions
  • Family Activities
  • Story Stroll
  • Tree Health Information
  • Native Plant Vendors and Information
  • Pop-up Library
  • Renewable Energy Information

Arbor Day Walk and Green Fair

Additionally you can also watch the Minnesota Society of Arboriculture Tree Climbing Championship at Round Lake Park:
Saturday, May 4, from 8 a.m.–4 p.m.
Sunday, May 5, from 10 a.m.–4 p.m.

 

Kids Fishing Clinic

Next Saturday (May 4th) is a free Kids Fishing Clinic.  No registration required just show up, the clinic is from 9-12 at the East Coon Rapids Dam Regional Park.  With so many lakes in Minnesota, knowing how to fish is a great skill to have.  More information can be found here on the Anoka County Website.

Saturday, May 4, 2019

Bring the family and learn how to fish, be safe near the water, cast, identify fish and enjoy a free lunch. All participants and chaperones will receive a hot dog and chip lunch. Kids will also receive a goody bag of fishing related gear. All equipment is provided. No pre-registration required.

Migration Celebration at Springbrook Nature Center

A Minnesota spring day can be warm and sunny or rainy and cloudy.  Whatever Saturday brings, the Migration Celebration at the Springbrook Nature Center will be fun.

The celebration is a chance to learn about birds with plenty of fun for all ages.  The event is free and takes place from 9-12 this Saturday, April 27th.

A few more details about the Migrations Celebration:

Minnesotans will be greeted by a symphony of songs this spring as migrating birds return from their winter homes. Join Springbrook Nature Center as we welcome back our winged neighbors! Bring the whole family and use your senses to explore bird bio-facts, learn about incredible bird adaptations and enjoy an educational program featuring LIVE BIRDS from the University of Minnesota Raptor Center. Event is free and open to the public.

Sibley State Park’s 100th Anniversary Celebration

Source: Minnesota Department of Natural Resources

If you haven’t visited Sibley State Park in Kandiyohi County yet, it’s time to add it to your list! This popular destination was designated a state park 100 years ago today on April 23rd, 1919.

Source: Minnesota Department of Natural Resources

Celebration events are planned throughout the summer. Check the calendar for a full list of events including historical hikes, canoe paddles, live music, and much more. Some highlights include:

Sibley State Park is located at 800 Sibley Park Road Northeast in New London (west-central Minnesota).

Source: Minnesota Department of Natural Resources

Free National Park Service Annual Pass for All 4th Grade Students

Do you have a child in fourth grade this school year? (I do!) If so, you’ll want to know about the Every Kid in a Park program that offers a FREE annual pass to all National Park Service Federal Lands and Waters for 4th graders and their families. You can explore dozens of places across the country with no entry cost to you!

Voyageurs National Park (Minnesota)

You’ll need to sign up your fourth grader HERE to get the free pass. It will get your fourth grader and accompanying family free entrance fees to National Parks across the nation, including the five we have in Minnesota:

Visit the Every Kid in a Park website for more details and information.