Syrup season

Fort Snelling State Park

1-3 p.m. Saturday

• Learn about maple trees and the long-standing traditions that produce maple syrup. Tap a tree, collect sap, and then boil it down to make syrup. Meet at the Thomas Savage Visitor Center, which is 2 miles from the park entrance. (612-279-3550; mndnr.gov/fortsnelling)

 

Wild River State Park

1-2:30 p.m. Saturday

•Learn the tree tapping process and how to collect sap. The sap will not be processed. Two locations will be visited, so plan to use your vehicle. (651-583-2125; mndnr.gov/wildriver)

 

French Regional Park

1-4 p.m. Sunday

• Drop in anytime to see the process. Cost is $6.

 

Eastman Nature Center

1-4 p.m. Sunday

Discover maple syruping history and techniques. Taste the final product. The program is free.

 

Baker Near-Wilderness Settlement

3-5 p.m. Sunday

Learn to identify a maple tree and help tap a tree. Learn how an evaporator boils sap into syrup and taste-test real maple syrup. Cost is $6. Call 763-559-6799 to reserve a spot. (Details on all of the programs are at threeriversparks.org)

Scent tracking

Blue Mounds State Park

1-2 p.m. Saturday

 

See how animals use scent to track prey and/or find their way home. Meet at the picnic grounds. (1-507-283-6050; mndnr.gov/bluemounds)

Nature journaling

Whitewater State Park

9-10 a.m. Saturday

 

Lake City artist Joanne Klees will show children how to observe nature and record in their new journals. Adults are welcomed to join a nature journal session with Klees from 1-3 p.m. Bring a journal from home and pens and pencils. (1-507-312-2300; mndnr.gov/whitewater)

Winter landscaping

William O’Brien State Park

1:30-3 p.m. Saturday

 

The winter landscape tells a fascinating story if we learn to read its language. What signs do animals leave behind as they go about their daily activities? What animals are even active in the winter? Bring your own snowshoes or borrow ours for free. Be prepared to walk up to 1 mile. The program, for ages 8 to adult, has limited space. Reserve your spot by emailing Sean.Hoppes@state.mn.us or by calling Hoppes at 651-433-0500, ext. 227. (mndnr.gov/obrien)

Plein-air art

Whitewater State Park

1-3 p.m. Saturday

 

Red Wing artist Heidi Bacon will demonstrate the process— the act of painting outdoors — and the method she uses from beginning to end as she paints a scene from the park. Public interaction is welcome and encouraged. (1-507-312-2300, mndnr.gov/whitewater)

Walk with a naturalist

Silverwood Park

1:30-2:30 p.m. Saturday

 

Watch and listen for birds and other wildlife. Bring binoculars if you have them. (763-694-7707, threeriversparks.org)