Spring volunteers will get their hands dirty at new and old sites


February 2015

This season, hundreds of volunteers will join us to plant trees on Arbor Day and clear buckthorn from a favorite park in the east metro, and they’ll to continue to create a new nature sanctuary in a heavily urbanized Saint Paul neighborhood. New to our project list this year is an effort to help restore oak woodlands at Carver Park Reserve in the west metro a Three Rivers District parkland, popular as a recreation area and home to a wide variety of wildlife.

Carver Park Reserve is located in Victoria, MN.

Its 3,500 acres of winding trails, rolling wooded terrain and interconnected lakes and marshes support a wide variety of plant and animal populations. Great River Greening is beginning a three-year project to promote healthier growth in 98 acres of the park’s maple-basswood forest and oak woodland. As part of the management plan, volunteers will remove invasive plants that threaten new tree growth and crowd out native shrubs, flowers, and grasses. Prescribed fires and seeding in the area will keep them from returning.

An excellent year-round birding location

Some 250 species of birds can be observed in Carver Park seasonally, including house wrens, northern cardinals, American goldfinches, blue jays, song sparrows, and common yellowthroats. In 1984, Three Rivers Park District began an osprey reintroduction program with six young birds transplanted from northern Minnesota to Carver. Once common in southern Minnesota, these birds had all but disappeared. Osprey may be now be seen at nesting sites from May to July, and the young birds begin fly to in August.

Wetland rich for migration and nesting

The King Waterfowl Sanctuary on Lundsten Lake provides several wildlife watching viewing areas to see both migrating and nesting water birds and waterfowl. Eastern bluebirds and bobolinks can be seen in open areas, red-tailed hawks soaring overhead, and trumpeter swans and migrating white pelicans resting on the water.

Butterfly and hummingbird gardens

In the reconstructed prairie, butterflies and insects can be seen among the coneflowers, asters, and tall grasses.

A place to get lost in…. on purpose

The Lowry Nature Center interpretive area features 250-acres of hiking trails that weave between lakes, tamarack bogs, cattail marshes, and hardwood forests. Volunteers will clear the buckthorn that chokes out a healthy understory that would shelter and feed the beaver, deer, fox, coyote, muskrats, bats, and turkeys that live in the park. Join us for the event and stay to explore all the resources of this beautiful park!

This Carver Park Reserve project is made possible with support from Three Rivers Park District, Minnesota Environment and Natural Resources Trust Fund, Minnesota Outdoor Heritage Fund.