We Friends of Nerstrand Big Woods State Park invite you to join us in our activities.  Check here often for future activities and opportunities for volunteering.

Friends of Nerstrand Big Woods State Park T-Shirts available! See this Poster for details.

    Monarch Butterflies @ Nerstrand Big Woods State Park
    Aug 12 @ 10:00 am – 12:00 pm

    The program will include live caterpillars and other hands-on materials. You will learn about the life cycle, migration, population status, milkweed plants, how to look for signs of monarch activity and what you can do to help the population in your backyard. Following the program we will look for caterpillars and eggs on milkweed plants in the park.

    Monarch Hike at Prairie @ Nerstrand Big Woods State Park Office
    Aug 26 @ 10:00 am – 12:00 pm

    Nerstrand State Park’s restored prairie is a late summer gathering spot for Monarch butterflies filling up with wildflower nectar in preparation for their migration to Mexico. Meet at the park office and then carpool to the prairie for a guided tour with Master Naturalists. Long pants and closed toe shoes are recommended. Will be canceled in case of rain.

    Trees of the Big Woods @ Nerstrand Big Woods State Park
    Sep 16 @ 10:30 am

    Talk by Breanna Wheeler, meet at the park visitor center.

    Annual Meeting – presentation featuring snakes.
    Sep 17 @ 3:15 pm

    Meeting begins at 3:15pm, presentation at 4pm.

    Snakes of Minnesota by Jaime Edwards

    During this program, you will learn about the different species of snakes found in MN, which ones are venomous, and which ones are rattlesnake mimics. Learn what to do in the event of an encounter with a timber rattlesnake. There will be several live snakes included in this program. The program will be presented by Jaime Edwards, the Nongame Wildlife Specialist covering SE Minnesota. Program is suitable for adults and children and is a great program for anyone afraid of snakes to learn more about these critters in a safe and controlled environment.

    Prairie Hike and Seed Collection @ Nerstrand Big Woods State Park
    Sep 23 all-day
    Big Woods Run and Prairie Walk
    Oct 14 @ 9:00 am – 2:00 pm

    Sponsored by St Johns United Church of Christ, this annual event features 5k, 10k, and half marathon courses, as well as the Priarie Walk guided by Master Naturalists. Go to to register. All proceeds go to charities.