Again this summer as part of our outreach to our northern membership, the Audubon Chapter of Minneapolis and the Izaak Walton League – Breckenridge Chapter will hold joint meetings on June 23rd, July 28th and August 25th at 7:30 pm. The meetings will be held at the Breckenridge Chapter House located at – 8816 West River Road in Brooklyn Park. Please circle these dates on your calendar.
June 23 – Susan Weller of the Bell Museum will be speaking on the New Bell Museum.
July 28 – TBA
August 25 – Speaker TBA, Springbrook Nature Center construction update and timelines.
Tell a friend and bring a friend.
Tuesday, May 5th, 2015, 7:00 PM at Beth El Synagogue, 5224 W. 26th Street, St. Louis Park 55416 – Bottomland forests are unique habitats found within river floodplains, in wet areas, and along stream corridors. Healthy bottomland forests include a diversity of plants that can survive repeated and extensive flooding. Silver maple, cottonwood, ash, and elm are common tree species, and mast (nut) trees like swamp white oak are also present. This unique composition of trees, shrubs, and understory provides habitat for many species, including rare birds like cerulean warbler and red-shouldered hawk. Even small areas of bottomland forest can be critical to wildlife, especially birds.
Bottomland forests once covered extensive areas of the 2.6 million acre floodplain of the Upper Mississippi River and tributaries. Today, bottomland forests comprise only 303,000 acres within this area. These modern forests are a small portion of pre-settlement floodplain forests due to conversion of land for agriculture, harvesting trees for fuel and lumber, and elevated water levels from the locks and dams. For example, forests along a 63 mile stretch of river covered 71% of the floodplain in 1800, but only 18% by 1989.
Remaining bottomland forests in the Upper Mississippi, including those in Minnesota, are now threatened by invasive reed canary grass which is preventing the natural regeneration of trees and shrubs. Reed canary grass, introduced to prevent erosion along roadways, crowds out native plants and provides poor habitat.
Much of the forest is currently dominated by a single species, silver maple. In many areas these trees will die of old age in the next 50-70 years, and there are currently no seedlings to replace them. Instead, reed canary grass is likely to invade these areas once the trees die. Without aggressive and on-going restoration and management, it is anticipated that significant portions of the floodplain forest will be permanently lost.
Audubon Minnesota has placed a high priority on bottomland forest restoration because it is critical to the health and survival of many species of birds and other wildlife. In this presentation, you will learn more about what bottomland forests are, why they are important, and what Audubon and partners are doing to protect and restore these critical habitats.
Beth El Synagogue’s Inspiring Minds Series proudly presents this event, “An Evening with the Cousteau Family.” Through this majestic evening, these inspiring minds, living and teaching the legacy of their father and grandfather Jacques-Yves Cousteau, Jean-Michel Cousteau and his children Céline and Fabien, will share with us the beauty and diversity of our world’s water, the source of all life on our planet. The goal is that attendees will feel an even stronger desire to protect what, for some, will either be experienced for the first time, or perhaps rediscovered. The Cousteau Family inspires us to recognize that marine conservation is one of the keys to improving our community and our world.
WHEN: Thursday, May 7, 2015 at 7:00 pm
WHERE: Beth El Synagogue, 5225 Barry Street West, St. Louis Park, MN 55416
Register here. It’s $25 for seniors (65+) and $65 general admission.
The Minneapolis Audubon Society offers monthly program meetings except during the months of June, July and August. Programs are held the second Friday of the month at 1 p.m. at Bryant Square Park, 3101 Bryant Av S, Minneapolis (on the SE corner of Bryant Av S & W 31st St). The programs are free and open to the public and refreshments are served. The #4 bus stops right by the building and runs every 15 minutes. For more information, call Sylvia Winkelman at 763.533.8381
Friday, May 8, 2015: “For the Love of Lakes,” Darby Nelson, Aquatic Ecologist, Author and Professor Emeritus. For more information about Darby and his work, visit his website http://www.darbynelson.com/
Help native plants thrive in Roberts Bird Sanctuary & William Berry Woods by joining the Friends of Roberts at a garlic mustard pull this May and June!
Garlic mustard is an invasive plant that aggressively out-competes native plants. The Audubon Chapter of Minneapolis has held volunteer removal events at Roberts Bird Sanctuary and William Berry Woods for the past several years. This year the Friends of Roberts Bird Sanctuary organization is taking the lead and holding several pulls in May and June. Come join them and help the native plants thrive. Bring your own gloves if you want to use gloves; bags are provided. For more information, go to the Friends of Roberts Bird Sanctuary Facebook page by clicking the link: https://www.facebook.com/FriendsOfRobertsBirdSanctuary
Dates & times (RBS = Roberts Bird Sanctuary, WBW = William Berry Woods)
May 06 Wednesday 5:00 – 7:00pm RBS
May 13 Wednesday 5:00 – 7:00pm RBS
May 20 Wednesday 5:00 – 7:00pm RBS
May 24 Sunday 1:00 – 3:00pm RBS
May 27 Wednesday 5:00 – 7:00pm WBW
May 30 Saturday 10:00 – 12:00pm WBW
June 07 Sunday 1:00 – 3:00pm RBS
June 13 Saturday 12:00 – 2:00pm WBW
We will be leading bird walks again at Roberts Bird Sanctuary, every Saturday from April 25th through May 23rd. The walks will start at 8 am at the visitors shelter and we’ll arrange it so people can always leave by 9:00, but we will stay later if there is a lot of activity.
This is Spring migration, so we will be looking for woodland birds on their way north, especially the many species of warblers, but also sparrows, vireos, flycatchers, etc. There are lots of trees throughout the cities, but Roberts is one of the few places with layers of vegetation, so there can be birds that like (and need) the understory, from the common White-throated Sparrows early in the migration to the more uncommon and furtive Mourning and Connecticut Warblers towards the end. And there can be anything from Barred Owls to Wild Turkeys to Great Blue Herons to liven things up. Depending on weather and wind patterns, some days can have few birds, but that is good to observe also, and this year we will be interested to see the effect of the sewer line construction; opening things up a little may even attract some species and make it easier to see birds!
For more information about the walks and other events at Roberts, visit the Friends of Roberts Bird Sanctuary Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/FriendsOfRobertsBirdSanctuary
White-throated Sparrow; photo: www.stlucieaudubon.org
Connecticut Warbler; photo: www.allaboutbirds.org
Purple Martin; photo: www.purplemartin.org
Purple Martin Fest and Nature Expo
The public is warmly welcomed!
When: Saturday June 6th, 2015
Registration at 8am; program from 9am to 4pm
Where: Schroeder Regional Park on Cedar Lake
9201 Ireland Ave NW, Annandale, MN 55302
Key-note speaker Jim Gilbert at 1:00pm. Jim is a consulting naturalist for WCCO radio, co-author of Minnesota Weather Guide Calendars, author of two books on nature in Minnesota and writes a weekly nature column in several newspapers.
Activities, including free children’s activities, exhibitors, and speakers all day long; no admission charge; plenty of free parking. For more information, visit http://cedarlakecc.org/uploads/Martinfest_Nature_Expo_2015.pdf. For questions, call Paul Schutte at 612.968.3034
Landscape Revival – Native Plant Expo and Market
Saturday, June 6, 9:00am- 3:00pm
Cub Foods Community Pavilion, 1201 Larpenteur Ave. W. Roseville, MN 55113
(Cub Foods parking lot at the ntersection of Larpenteur & Fernwood)
Landscape Revival — Native Plant Expo and Market is the spot to shop for Minnesota native plants from 12 local growers in one convenient location. Area conservation organizations will also be on hand to teach gardeners why natives are important and how to create stunning landscapes that benefit wildlife, pollinators and clean water. Choose Minnesota native plants to grow gardens in harmony with nature!
Learn more at http://www.saintpaulaudubon.org/events/2015/06/native-plant-expo-and-market
Sponsored by Saint Paul Audubon, Capitol Region Watershed District, Wild Ones, Blue Thumb and Ramsey-Washington Metro Watershed District.
Burnsville Native Plant Market
When: Saturday, May 30th 9am – 1pm
Where: Parking lot across the street from Burnsville City Hall, 100 Civic Center Parkway
Who: Open to everyone
Event Description: Native wildflowers, ferns and grasses will be available for sale from multiple vendors. Cash or check only. Event will occur rain or shine. More event information available at http://www.ci.burnsville.mn.us/index.aspx?NID=1699
The April 7 program meeting will be held at 7:00 PM at Beth El Synagogue, 5224 W. 26th Street, St. Louis Park 55416. All programs are free and open to everyone.
April’s speaker: Kim Eckert, “Birding Minnesota.” With about 50 years of birding experience throughout the U.S. and Canada, Kim has been guiding birders or teaching bird identification classes for more than 35 of those years. Since the 1980s, he has led tours to places like Newfoundland, Churchill, California, Arizona, Florida, locations in the Great Lakes and Great Plains, and to Texas – a favorite and frequent winter destination.