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Outdoor briefs


Hummingbird expert will share tips

The Hiawatha Valley chapter of Red Wing Audubon will sponsori the program "Attracting Hummingbirds to Your Garden" at 7 p.m. Tuesday July 16. The public event will be at the Izaak Walton clubhouse.

Red Wing resident Donald Mitchell will be giving a presentation about strategies for turning your yard into a hummingbird haven.

In addition to providing specific recommendations of plants that work to attract hummingbirds to your garden, he will also provide insights regarding hummingbird biology that will help you understand why some ideas for attracting these birds work while others fail.

Mitchell is a federally permitted hummingbird bander and attracts hundreds of hummingbirds annually to his garden near the Mississippi River.

Hike at night at River Bend

30 p.m. Monday July 22. Participants will learn about nocturnal animals and take a hike on River Bend's trails experiencing what life is like in the summer after the sun goes down, while keeping a sharp eye out for the night life that inhabits the woods, prairies, and ponds.

Night Hike is free for members and $2 for individuals or $6 for a family for non-members. The program is open to people ages 10 and older.

Preregistration is required. Visit or call 507.332.7151.

River Bend Nature Center is located along Highway 60 between Kenyon and Faribault.


DNR will dedicate rare wetland

30 p.m., followed by a 45-minute site tour led by biologists. Participants should come with waterproof footwear, drinking water and bug repellent.

Located a few hundred yards east of Interstate 35W, just off 95th Avenue, the 63-acre site represents one of the state's rarest types of wetlands, a rich fen, where layers of peat and slightly acidic groundwater create the conditions needed by unusual plants such as cross-leaved milkwort, twisted yellow-eyed grass and the tubercled rein-orchid.

To reach the site from I-35W, take the 95th Avenue exit and travel about a third of a mile east to the Blaine Preserve Business Park, 3787 95th Ave. N.E., where free parking will be available for the dedication. Activities will take place at the site on the opposite side of the street.


Natural Heritage Conservation oversees endangered resources

The program charged with caring for Wisconsin's endangered resources, nongame animals and state natural areas is taking on a new name and organizational structure to better reflect and carry out its mission. As of July 1, the Bureau of Endangered Resources officially became the Bureau of Natural Heritage Conservation within the Department of Natural Resources.

The name change is the most visible of several changes resulting from discussions with staff and DNR and external partners over the last six months to develop a blueprint for the future, said Erin Crain, who took over in October 2012 as bureau director.

"We wanted a name and structure that would better reflect and support our mission to work with citizens to preserve the special places and species that make Wisconsin, Wisconsin," Crain said.

Natural Heritage Conservation staff work with citizens, private landowners and businesses to track, assess and manage nongame species; provide regulatory protection to endangered and threatened species; manage State Natural Areas to preserve the best remnants of Wisconsin's original landscapes; and consult with other DNR partners and private landowners to help them manage their land to help maintain Wisconsin's unique plants and animals and special places.