Fire-building

Richardson Nature Center

2-3:30 p.m. Saturday

Head to Hyland Lake Park in Bloomington to discover how to build the perfect fire, how to pick the best wood and other tips. Try a "one-match challenge" and celebrate success by roasting s'mores. Children 17 years and younger must be accompanied by a registered adult. Reservations recommended. (763-694-7676, threeriversparks.org)

Birding trek

Bass Ponds Trailhead, Minn. Valley Wildlife Refuge

8-10:30 a.m. Saturday

Birders of all skill levels are welcome. Bring binoculars and dress for the weather. (fws.gov, 952-854-5900)

About eBird and banding

Lowry Nature Center

1-3 p.m. Saturday

Head to Carver Park Reserve in Victoria to discover how eBird, a documenting tool for birders, can record birds you find, plan future birding adventures, and help scientists collect valuable data. Go on a short hike (time permitting) and learn how to join the Minnesota Young Birders Club. Cost is $5 and free to Minnesota Young Birders Club members. This program is for ages 13-18. Also at Lowry on Saturday: bird banding from 9 a.m.-noon. See how birds are carefully trapped, tagged, studied and released. (763-694-7650, threeriversparks.org).

Nature walk

Fort Snelling State Park

1-2 p.m. Saturday

Fort Snelling State Park is situated in the middle of the metro area with busy highways, railroads, high-use river systems and an international airport. It is also the most visited state park in Minnesota by hikers, bikers, skiers and motorists. Despite high human recreation, wildlife thrives with ease. Join the naturalist on a walk and learn about the plants and animals that coexist. Meet at the Thomas C. Savage Visitor Center. (612-725-2724, mndnr.gov)

Photo club

Tamarack Nature Center

10 a.m.-2 p.m. Saturday

This free club meets the third Saturday of each month in White Bear Township. Learn techniques and how to master equipment. 3M Camera Club members lead meetings. (parks.co.ramsey.mn.us, 651-407-5350)

Abandoned 'homes'

Fort Snelling State Park

1-2 p.m. Sunday

Join the naturalist for a hike to search for the vacated homes of summer residents at the park. Learn how birds and other animals construct and furnish their haunts. Meet at the Thomas C. Savage Visitor Center. (612-725-2724, mndnr.gov)