Saturday September 28 dawned a rainy gloomy day. Nonetheless, 105 Minnesota Master Naturalist Volunteers showed up in the rain and cold to perform conservation service projects on public lands. Four sites around the state hosted volunteers: Minnesota Valley Wildlife Refuge-Bloomington, Cold Water Spring-Fort Snelling, Vermillion State Park-Soudan, and Itasca State Park-Park Rapids.
Each location had a different task, and focus for the volunteer service project. Projects included: worm surveys in the north woods of Vermillion State Park, Minnesota's newest state park, woody invasive removal at Minnesota Valley, and native garden upkeep at Cold Water Spring. Volunteers at Itasca State Park worked with a group of U of M undergraduate students from Extension Specialist, John Loegering's class at Crookston to bud cap over 6000 trees in three and a half hours. Cold Water Spring planted 110 trees and 200 shrubs were added to the landscape.
In all, the volunteers provided an impressive total of 1930 hours at a value of $42,730.00 (independentsector.org). All volunteers received a free t-shirt and lunch for participating in the day. Sponsors included, National Park Service, US Fish & Wild Service, Minnesota State Parks, Minnesota Department of Natural Resources and University of Minnesota Extension.
Visit www.minnesotamasternaturalist.org to learn more about the Minnesota Master Naturalist Program. Visit www.publiclandsday.org to learn more about National Public Lands Day.