1 Tundra swan field trip
Whitewater State Park, Nov. 17, 10 a.m.-noon
Thousands of migrating tundra swans stop at the Upper Mississippi National Wildlife and Fish Refuge en route to Chesapeake Bay every November. Join a naturalist for a short presentation, then follow a caravan of cars to Weaver Bottoms for an up-close glimpse of the birds. Binoculars provided. More information: 507-932-3007 or www.mndnr.gov.
2 Squirreling around
Eastman Nature Center, Nov. 16, 10-11:30 a.m.,
Do you enjoy watching squirrels chase one another up trees? Or have you battled squirrel invasions in the attic? Either way, you'll learn a lot from this all-ages educational program, designed to expound upon the many amazing qualities of this ubiquitous Minnesota creature. $5. More information: www.threerivers parks.org.
3 Urban winter birds
North Mississippi Regional Park, Nov. 16, 10 a.m.-noon
Learn about the many birds wintering in Minnesota. From the warmth of Kroening Interpretive Center, eventgoers can observe birds in action at an adjacent feeding station while a naturalist helps identify various species. Ages 14-plus. $5. Reservation required; 763-559-6700 or www.threeriversparks .org.
4 Fitness and phenology
Gooseberry Falls State Park, Nov. 21, 10:30-11:30 a.m.
Join a naturalist for a 1-mile hike so brisk it's sure to double as workout. The group will make brief stops along the way to witness seasonal plant and animal cycles in the park. Trekkers are invited to convene in the park's visitors center for a post-hike toast with warm beverages. 218-834-3855 or www.mndnr.gov.
5 Forever wild book club
Lebanon Hills Regional Park, Nov. 21, 6:30–8 p.m.
Meet at the visitors center to discuss "A Sand County Almanac," a collection of outdoor essays by University of Wisconsin-Madison professor and noted conservationist Aldo Leopold in 1948. The book is regarded as one of the most influential of the environmental movement. Ages 16-plus. More information: www.dakota county.us/parks.