JIM GEHRZ • Bloomington/August 29, 2009/1:30 PM A female monarch butterfly clung to golden rod inside a cage at the Richardson Nature Center prior to being tagged and released. Interpretative naturalist Valerie Quiring released the butterfly with a tag that is used to track its migration to Mexico. ORG XMIT: MIN2013070814574767

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Derek Dickinson • Three Rivers Park District,

Derek J. Dickinson • Three Rivers Park District,

Do This Now: Events at state, regional and local parks

  • July 12, 2013 - 7:24 AM

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

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

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

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



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


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