Do This Now: Editor-selected events at state, regional and local parks

  • Updated: February 20, 2014 - 11:32 AM

Photo by Julie Praine, Minnesota Valley National Wildlife Refuge

Photo: JULIE PRAINE • Minnesota Valley National Wildlife Refuge,

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1 Rookery snowshoe hike

Minnesota Valley National Wildlife Refuge, Feb. 22, 9:30 a.m.-2 p.m.

Check out the Twin Cities’ largest rookery, located within the refuge’s Wilkie Unit in Shakopee. This delicate habitat is home to 1,000 nests and more than 100 breeding pairs of great blue herons and great egrets. Reservations required; 952-858-0710. More information: www.fws.gov/refuge/Minne sota_Valley/Events.html.

2 Take a kid ice fishing

Cedar Lake Farm Regional Park, Feb. 22, 10 a.m.-2 p.m.

Here’s a free lesson on ice fishing for children and adults, complete with fishing rods, tackle and all the other necessary equipment. Organizers are even drilling holes in advance. Ages 5-plus. More information: www.threeriversparks.org.

3 Snowshoeing along the St. Croix

Wild River State Park, Feb. 22, noon-2 p.m.

Take a scenic 1-mile hike while a naturalist narrates the various animal tracks found along the way. Snowshoes provided. Ages 8-plus. Registration required; 651-583-2125. More information: www.mndnr.gov.

4 Bird-watching trek

Minnesota Valley National Wildlife Refuge, Feb. 24, 8-10 a.m.

Visit the refuge’s Wilkie Unit, in Shakopee, for a guided hike in search of trumpeter swans, ducks, rough-legged hawks, bald eagles and northern shrikes. The Wilkie Unit is an excellent place to see a variety of winter birds. More information: www.fws.gov/refuge/Minnesota_Valley/Events.html.

5 Dark sky astronomy

Elm Creek Park Reserve, Feb. 27, 7-8:30 p.m.

Join Three Rivers Parks District staffers for an exploration of the night sky during the darkness of a (nearly) new moon, a time when constellations and other celestial bodies are highlighted. $5. Ages 7-plus. More information: www.threeriversparks.org.

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