1 Flatwater Kayaking Essentials for Women
French Regional Park, July 13, 9 a.m.-noon Learn about water safety, proper paddling form, stroke techniques and more during this beginners-only primer on Medicine Lake. $50. 763-964-7750 or www.threeriversparks.org.
2 Family Rafting
Coon Rapids Dam Regional Park, July 13, 9:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. Take a kid-friendly, naturalist-led tour of the Mississippi via a giant rubber raft. The tour includes plenty of time to stop and explore the river’s many sandbars, islands and beaches. $30. 763-559-6700 or www.threeriversparks.org.
3 Nature Hike
Minneopa State Park, July 13, 1-2:30 p.m. This mile-long hike covers some serious terrain: The steep, uneven and wet trail conditions — plus narration by a staff naturalist — will cure any two-dimensional thinking about the Minnesota River flood plains. 507-384-8890 or www.mndnr.gov.
4 Tagging Monarchs Whitewater State Park, July 13, 3 p.m. Following a brief lecture on butterflies, attendees are invited to help researchers catch, tag and release the park’s population of monarch butterflies. 507-932-3007 or www.mndnr.gov.
5 Mitakuye Owasin (All are my Relatives)
Fort Snelling State Park, July 17, 2-3 p.m. This guided natural history walk focuses on Dakota culture and history: the spiritual significance of the confluence of the Mississippi and Minnesota rivers, plus some basic Dakota vocabulary. 612-725-2389 or www.mndnr.gov.