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Itasca State Park Programs Update

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June 26-July 7, 2009

June 25, 2009

Friday, June 26

Nature Snapshots: "Dog's" of Itasca

Friday, June 26, 11:30-1 p.m.

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Meet along the footpath to the Mississippi Headwaters (under the porch of the Mary Gibbs Mississippi Headwaters Center if raining.)

Gray wolves, Coyotes, and Red Fox, Oh My! What is the difference between a wolf and its smaller cousin the coyote? And just how soft is the bushy tail of a red fox? Take a quick peek into the lives of three Canidae (Dog) family members roaming the pine forests of Itasca. This 10-minute mini-talk is ongoing from 11:30 am to 1:00 pm.

Curious Kids: Everybody Needs a Home

Friday, June 26, 1:30-2 p.m.

Meet at Wegmann's Store, located by the Picnic Grounds

Which animal cuts down trees for his house? Which one digs out dirt from underground? Kids, come learn about different animals and their homes here in Itasca. We will explore a variety of shapes and sizes of homes from mammals to insects. Note: An adult must accompany children.

Saturday, June 27

Pioneer Farmers Tour

Saturday, June 27, 10 am-Noon

Tour begins at the showgrounds.* The showground is located 1/4 mile east of the North Entrance to Itasca State Park on Hwy 200. (*Tour leaves from the Wallingford's General Store promptly at 10 am)

Get a feel for the early community of Lake Itasca at the Lake Itasca Region Pioneer Farmers Showgrounds (LIRPF). Explore the replica 1937 Wallingford's Store; tour the restored country Schoolhouse; explore the century-old log house; study old time logging at the Logging Museum and at the Logging Equipment display. Watch the fully operational historic Hemmerich sawmill. Bob and Marlys Bilden, LIRPF volunteers, will guide you.

Jr. Naturalist: In Search of the Great Pond Critters

Saturday, June 27, 3:30-4:15 pm

Meet at Wegmann's Store, located by the Picnic Grounds

Kids, get your thinking caps on as we will look for clues to discover the great pond critters! Are they big, small, furry or scaly? We'll search high and low to find what's lurking in and around the pond. Note: An adult must accompany children.

A Walk in the Woods- Exploring Itasca's Wildflowers

Saturday, June 27, 7-7:45 p.m.

Meet at Forest Inn

It's a beautiful time to be in the woods! Join a park naturalist for an evening walk searching for some of the early summer wildflowers blooming along the trail.

Sunday, June 28

The Old Timer's Cabin

Sunday, June 28, 2-4 p.m.

Held at the Old Timer's Cabin, located along the boardwalk below Douglas Lodge

Using only 4 massive logs to make one wall, the Old Timer's cabin, also known as the Honeymooner's Cabin, has become a popular attraction with park visitors. Learn more about this Civilian Conservation Corps constructed building. The park naturalist will have the cabin open for you to tour at your leisure between 2 and 4 p.m..

Music Under the Pines: Alabaster Falls

Sunday, June 28, 7-9 pm

Meet inside Forest Inn, across from Douglas Lodge

Enjoy the folk-grass sounds of this local trio. Julie and Bill Kaiser (formerly of Hickory Wind) and Paul Jones will combine their talents for this enjoyable concert. The talent of Bill and Paul on guitar and Julie's rich voice make for an enjoyable evening. Concert is free! Seating is limited. (There will be a brief intermission during this concert.)

Monday, June 29

Headwaters History Walk

Monday, June 29, 10:30-11:30 a.m.

Meet by the Lakeside Museum in the picnic grounds, below Wegmann's Store

Join the naturalist as we discover the various people that have called the Headwaters area home. From Woodland period Indians, fur traders to pioneers, stops, including Wegmann's Store and the Indian burial area, will highlight Itasca's rich human history! Tour concludes at the Headwaters of the Mississippi River.

Nature Snapshots: Easy Tree ID

Monday, June 29, 12:30 - 2 p.m.

Meet along the footpath to the Mississippi Headwaters (under the porch of the Mary Gibbs Mississippi Headwaters Center if raining.)

Can you tell the difference between a White pine and a Red Pine? Or how do you identify a pine from a spruce? Find the naturalist along the pathway to the Headwaters to learn how to identify Itasca's common trees. This 10-minute mini-talk is ongoing from 12:30 to 2 p.m.

Tuesday, June 30

Jr. Naturalist: Boat Building on the Mississippi

Tuesday, June 30, 1:30-2:15 pm

Meet at the Mary Gibbs Mississippi Headwaters Center Plaza

Kids, come explore the many boats that have cruised down the Mississippi River, then take your turn at building your own miniature boat out of a variety of natural materials such as bark and pines. Bring your water shoes along for after you build the boats then we will race them down the beginning of the Mississippi. Note: An adult must accompany children.

Wednesday, July 1

Oooh, Aaaah, Orchids! Talk and Walk

Wednesday, July 1, 1-2 pm

Meet in the classroom of the Jacob V. Brower Visitor Center

Learn about the variety of orchids that can be found in the northland during this slide show followed by a short walk outside to look for any blooming Showy Lady's Slippers. Availability of blooming flowers and location is dependent on weather and browsing by wildlife.

Mink, Weasels and More! Campfire

Wednesday, July 1, 7-7:30 pm

Meet in Bear Paw Campground (along the bike path below the little log pumphouse) Canceled if raining.

Bring your blanket or lawn chair and join the naturalist for a discussion on the common weasels members found in Itasca. From the musky smelling mink to the short-tailed weasel that turns white in winter. You might be surprised who some of the "cousins" to these critters. Note: be sure to bring a lawn chair or blanket, no other seating is provided.

Thursday, July 2

Itasca History Bike Tour

Thursday, July 2, 10:30 to 11:30 a.m.

Meet along the bike trail by the bike and boat rental.

Get on your bike and pedal your way through some of Itasca's early history. This bike tour makes stops and tells stories at Itasca's Pioneer Cemetery, Wegmann's Cabin, the Indian Mounds, and the Mississippi Headwaters. Note: If you are renting a bicycle, please rent your bike before the 10:30 a.m. start time.

Nature Discovery Walk: Flowers and Trees

Wednesday, July 2, 3:30-4:15 pm

Meet outside Forest Inn

From the delicate Canada anemone to the towering Red pine, discover the variety of plants and trees that make up the forest of Itasca during this walk around the Douglas Lodge area.

Music Under the Pines: Bill and Kate Isles

Thursday, July 2, 7-9 pm

Meet outside at the Lakeside Amphitheater, located below the Wegmann Store (at the Jacob V. Brower Visitor Center if raining.)

Bring your blanket or lawn chair to relax on and come out for an evening of entertainment overlooking the shores of Lake Itasca as Duluth's own Bill and Kate Isles perform their original music. Winner of the 2001 Minnesota Folk Festival New Folk Songwriter Contest, Bill's style, performed on guitar, are poetic reflections of life experiences we can all relate to.

Friday, July 3

Curious Kids: Tree ID Rubbing Booklets

Friday, July 3, 1:30-2 p.m.

Meet at the grass lawn (north side by the swimming beach playground)

Kids, join the naturalist as you make your own tree identification booklet. Make rubbings of a variety of leaves, and then go on a short walk to see if you can identify some of the common trees. Note: An adult must accompany children.

Wolves, Coyotes and Fox ! Campfire

Friday, July 3, 7-7:30 pm

Meet at the Lakeside Amphitheater, located below Wegmann's Store in the Picnic Grounds (held in the Jacob V. Brower Visitor Center if raining.)

Bring your blanket or lawn chair and join the naturalist for a discussion on the canine members found in Itasca. From the large gray wolf to the cunning little fox. Note: be sure to bring a lawn chair or blanket, no other seating is provided.

Saturday, July 4

Happy Independence Day! We hope you enjoy your time with your family as we celebrate our Nation's birthday! There are no interpretive programs today.

Sunday, July 5

Nature Snapshots: Black Bears

Sunday, July 5, 1-2:30 pm

Meet along the footpath to the Mississippi Headwaters (under the porch of the Mary Gibbs Mississippi Headwaters Center if raining.)

Find the naturalist along the footpath to the Mississippi Headwaters to learn more about Minnesota's largest carnivore, the Black bear. This 10-minute mini-talk is ongoing from 1-2:30 p.m.

Civilian Conservation Corps, Evening Stroll

Sunday, July 5, 7-7:30 pm

Meet outside Forest Inn

Many of the buildings we enjoy today were constructed in the 1930s by members of the Civilian Conservation Corps. Join the naturalists as you learn about the role of the CCC while touring past some of these buildings. See Forest Inn, the premier VCC building, the 4-Plex, and the Old Timer's Cabin this evening walk around the Douglas Lodge area.

Tuesday, July 7

Jr. Naturalist: What's Cookin' at the Campfire

Tuesday, July 7, from 1:30-2 pm,

Meet at Lakeside Amphitheater, below Wegmann's Store in the picnic grounds.

What to learn some great techniques on starting a campfire as well as learn some fun activities that you can do around your own campfire. Join that naturalist for a fire building, marshmallow roasting, campfire singing good time! Marshmallows are included! Note: An adult must accompany children.

Loons! Campfire

Tuesday, July 7, 7-7:30 pm

Meet in Bear Paw Campground (along the bike path below the little log pumphouse) Canceled if raining.

Bring your blanket or lawn chair and join the naturalist for a discussion on the State Bird of Minnesota, the Common loon.

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