Sherburne National Wildlife Refuge’s Oak Savannah Learning Center hosts for 4th time

Sherburne’s 26th annual Wildlife Festival welcomed 1,250 visitors and families from local communities to their fall event on Sept. 28.

The sunny day celebrated National Public Lands Day, National Wildlife Refuge Week and Urban National Wildlife Refuge Day.

National Public Lands Day, is the largest, single, day of service for University of Minnesota Master Naturalist volunteers.  It is a national day of service all across the United States. Providing local participants an opportunity to join in a much larger day of service.  

Twenty sites statewide, in Minnesota, offer volunteers a chance to choose the type of volunteer service they would like to be involved in.  Projects range from seed collection, invasive species removal, native prairie plantings, bud capping and booth staffing.

This is the fourth year that this event has been hosted at the Oak Savanna Learning Center and the first year with the paved parking lot, which increased accessibility for the event.

Booths and activities: Audubon Center of the North Woods, Turn in Poachers trailer, horse-drawn wagon rides, Native American Education and History, Prairie Seeds and Teas, Native Pollinators, Nature Journaling (Handke), Habitat Management and Fire, Refuge Trails and Discovery Hike, Wildlife Discovery (pelts and animal artifacts), Sherburne NWR Photography Club, National Wild Turkey Federation BB Gun Range, Sherburne County Parks (focus on invasive species and Clean.Play.Go), Sherburne Soil and Water Conservation District, Bats of Minnesota, Aquatic Invertebrate Exploration (dip netting at the dock), Meet the Artist Gary Moss, Friends of Sherburne Silent Auction, Wildlife Science Center Live Animal Presentations.

This event would not be possible without the Friends of Sherburne, whose support ranges from the complimentary cake to the horse-drawn wagon rides to the live animal presentations and booth.

Refuge volunteers and Minnesota Master Naturalist volunteers provided critical assistance staffing booths and interacting with visitors."We couldn’t do it without their assistance and expertise," Sherburne National Wildlife Refuge Visitor Services Specialist Alaina Larkin said.

Partners: Audubon Center of the North Woods, Wildlife Science Center, St Cloud State University American Indian Center, Handke Early Childhood, Sand Dunes Gobblers chapter of the National Wild Turkey Federation, Sherburne County Parks, Sherburne County Soil and Water District, Minnesota/Wisconsin Field Office of Ecological Services.

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