May 25

Take Flight! Spotting Spring Birds from 8 to 10 a.m. outside Douglas Lodge.

Discover the songs and sights of Minnesota’s spring migratory birds! Join birder and instructor Ron Miller, MD, for a birding walk to discover recently arrived breeding birds as well as species passing through on their northward migration.

Are you new to birding? Don’t worry, birders of all levels are welcome – this program is designed to improve birding knowledge, create field skills through song recognition and have fun watching birds outdoors. Ron, an avid fly fisherman, began birding waiting for the trout to rise and has taught indoor birdwatching classes to beginning and experienced birders for the past several years. Join us and explore local birding hotspots in the park on a beautiful spring morning.

Bring binoculars and bird field guide books. Itasca State Park has a limited number of binoculars to lend. Wear comfortable shoes for walking and appropriate layers for the temperatures. Insect repellant and a hat are useful. Bring snack and water if you need it for this short outing.

 

Historic Sawmill/Pioneer Village Tour: Lake Itasca Region Pioneer Farmers from 10 a.m. to noon.

Tour begins at the Levorsen Building located on the Lake Itasca Region Pioneer Farmers showgrounds. The showground is located on the north side of Itasca State Park. Go out the north entrance to Itasca State Park, entrance is on the east side of the north entrance Road (across from the church and gas station). Tour begins promptly at 10 a.m.

Get a feel for the early 1900s community of Lake Itasca at the Lake Itasca Region Pioneer Farmers Showgrounds (LIRPF). See the Itasca Historic Sawmill. Explore various buildings including a country school, dovetail one-room log house and a logging museum.

 

Science in Nature: Beneath the Waves— The Wonders of the Deep from 1 to 2 p.m. at the Forest Inn, across from Douglas Lodge.

Uncover the mysteries of nature! Join scientists and researchers with the University of Minnesota’s Itasca Biological Station as we explore their discoveries. Are you curious how nature functions? Learn about research from across the country.

Topics vary from forests to water systems and all types of critters to fungus and more! This week we are meeting Jim Cotner, Professor in the Department of Ecology, Evolution and Behavior, who will be sharing information on the mysteries found within our lakes. Join us inside for a brief talk, followed by a walk to a nearby lake.

 

Junior Naturalist: Fancy Feet from 2:30 to 3:15 p.m. Meet at the Jacob V. Brower Visitor Center.

Feet can help you walk, paddle, swim, jump, and more! Kids, come explore the many shapes and sizes of feet and how animals use them to get around.

 

Toadally Frogs, Campfire from 7 to 7:30 p.m. Meet in Bear Paw Campground (the grassy area near the tiny log pump house and campsite #70 near the bike trail). If raining, inside the Jacob V. Brower Visitor Center.

Bring your blanket or chair and sit around the campfire exploring the life of a frog and the sounds they make. Remember to bring s’more fixings for after the campfire talk!

May 26

Itasca’s Wildflower Walk from 2 to 3 p.m. outside Douglas Lodge.

What’s doing the blooming? Join a park naturalist in search of spring wildflowers on this short walk through the Itasca forest. We will search for large flowered trillium, yellow lady slipper orchids, large flowered bellwort and much more! Bring your camera.

 

Itasca’s Evening Under the Pines with Julie and Bill Kaiser from 7 to 9 p.m. Meet at Forest Inn (across from Douglas Lodge).

Step inside historic Forest Inn and enjoy and evening of music from Bill and Julie Kaiser. From the north woods of Minnesota, Bill and Julie’s music has been described as acoustic “folkgrass” with a mix of bluegrass, folk, and original.

 

May 28

Itasca’s Mysteries in History: The Itasca Biological Station from 10 to 11 a.m. Meet at the new Biome Center located on the Itasca Biological Station (along Main Park Drive, watch for signs).

In 1907 the University of Minnesota (U of M) held its first field classes in Itasca State Park. Join us at the Itasca Biological Station and Laboratories for a tour of this historic location. Discover the old and the new! Tour the new Itasca Campus Center before we head out to locate the site of the State Park House, where Mary Gibbs lived in 1903. Learn about current research projects and classes as we visit one of the few 1930s National Youth Administration or NYA constructed buildings in the state as we follow the route of the 1920s era Jefferson Highway as it passed through the field station.

 

May 30

Five Facts in Five Minutes: Mammals of Itasca from 10 a.m. to noon. Meet near the Mississippi Headwaters (under the porch of the Mary Gibbs Mississippi Headwaters Center if rain).

Only have a minute to learn about Itasca State Park? Check out a unique feature at the naturalist station as you visit the Headwaters of the Mississippi River.

 

May 31

Five Facts in Five Minutes: Mammals of Itasca from 10 a.m. to noon near the Mississippi Headwaters (under the porch of the Mary Gibbs Mississippi Headwaters Center if rain).

Only have a minute to learn about Itasca State Park? Check out a unique feature at the naturalist station as you visit the Headwaters of the Mississippi River.

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