Events

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.

Feb
2
Sat
Candlelight Event
Feb 2 @ 5:30 pm – 8:30 pm
Here we are about halfway through the winter, and so far, so good, though it would really be nice to have some snow! At Nerstrand Big Woods State Park, park staff and the Friends group are getting ready for the Candlelight Event to be held Saturday February 2, 2018, from 5:30 to 8:00 pm. Fight cabin fever by hiking, snowshoeing or skiing along 3+ miles of lighted trails. Lengths vary to accommodate different age/ability levels. Enjoy the outdoors after dark and listen for the barred owls and other night sounds.
To make best use of our parking, we suggest that families with children come earlier, and adults come later, within the timeframe. This has been working very well.
Details can be found at the park website, and soon on the Friends website and facebook page.
We need volunteers for this event to be successful. There are 2 opportunities for you to help out- please consider!
 
1. Wednesday January 30th from 10 am until noon, we will have a work session to assemble candlearia and other tasks as needed. Please just show up at the park office at 10 if you can help. From there we will head to the shop, and should be finished in about an hour.
2. We will need numerous volunteers on the day of the event, February 2nd, to help with parking, directing participants to the trails, lighting candlearia, cleanup, and other tasks. I’m forwarding an email from park staff with more details. Please respond to park staff as directed in that email.
Thank you- hope to see you there!
Apr
20
Sat
Wildflower Walks
Apr 20 @ 10:00 am – 4:00 pm

Please join us each weekend for self-guided wildflower strolls down the boardwalk to Hidden Falls. Wildflower Ambassadors will be available along the trail from 10 am – 4 pm Saturdays and Sundays to help point out wildflowers, including the federally endangered Minnesota Dwarf Trout Lily.

Apr
21
Sun
Wildflower Walks
Apr 21 @ 10:00 am – 4:00 pm

Please join us each weekend for self-guided wildflower strolls down the boardwalk to Hidden Falls. Wildflower Ambassadors will be available along the trail from 10 am – 4 pm Saturdays and Sundays to help point out wildflowers, including the federally endangered Minnesota Dwarf Trout Lily.

Apr
27
Sat
Wildflower Walks
Apr 27 @ 10:00 am – 4:00 pm

Please join us each weekend for self-guided wildflower strolls down the boardwalk to Hidden Falls. Wildflower Ambassadors will be available along the trail from 10 am – 4 pm Saturdays and Sundays to help point out wildflowers, including the federally endangered Minnesota Dwarf Trout Lily.

Apr
28
Sun
Wildflower Walks
Apr 28 @ 10:00 am – 4:00 pm

Please join us each weekend for self-guided wildflower strolls down the boardwalk to Hidden Falls. Wildflower Ambassadors will be available along the trail from 10 am – 4 pm Saturdays and Sundays to help point out wildflowers, including the federally endangered Minnesota Dwarf Trout Lily.

May
4
Sat
Wildflower Walks
May 4 @ 10:00 am – 4:00 pm

Please join us each weekend for self-guided wildflower strolls down the boardwalk to Hidden Falls. Wildflower Ambassadors will be available along the trail from 10 am – 4 pm Saturdays and Sundays to help point out wildflowers, including the federally endangered Minnesota Dwarf Trout Lily.

May
5
Sun
Wildflower Walks
May 5 @ 10:00 am – 4:00 pm

Please join us each weekend for self-guided wildflower strolls down the boardwalk to Hidden Falls. Wildflower Ambassadors will be available along the trail from 10 am – 4 pm Saturdays and Sundays to help point out wildflowers, including the federally endangered Minnesota Dwarf Trout Lily.

May
11
Sat
Wildflower Walks
May 11 @ 10:00 am – 4:00 pm

Please join us each weekend for self-guided wildflower strolls down the boardwalk to Hidden Falls. Wildflower Ambassadors will be available along the trail from 10 am – 4 pm Saturdays and Sundays to help point out wildflowers, including the federally endangered Minnesota Dwarf Trout Lily.

May
12
Sun
Wildflower Walks
May 12 @ 10:00 am – 4:00 pm

Please join us each weekend for self-guided wildflower strolls down the boardwalk to Hidden Falls. Wildflower Ambassadors will be available along the trail from 10 am – 4 pm Saturdays and Sundays to help point out wildflowers, including the federally endangered Minnesota Dwarf Trout Lily.

Jun
29
Sat
Universe in the Park @ Nerstrand Big Woods State Park
Jun 29 @ 8:30 am – 10:30 am

Universe in the Park is an outreach program run by the Minnesota Institute for Astrophysics during the summer. At the events, representatives of the Institute will present a short (20?30 min) public talk and slide show. Presentations cover a variety of astronomical topics such as: the history of matter, how astronomers “see,” and a journey through our solar system.

Afterwards, if weather allows, attendees have the opportunity to view the sky through multiple 8-inch reflecting telescopes, operated by the staff and provided by the Minnesota Institute for Astrophysics. Additionally, we provide free star maps (e.g. www.skymaps.com) and are happy to show visitors how to use them. Throughout the evening, we encourage questions from the audience and enjoy discussing topics ranging from backyard astronomy to the latest scientific discoveries.

Through these events, we hope to convey the excitement of modern astronomical research while simultaneously providing an enjoyable introduction to amateur astronomy. Although a vehicle permit is required to enter the park, the event is free to the public. Please join us!

Jul
27
Sat
Family Fun
Jul 27 @ 1:00 pm – 4:00 pm
Join the Friends of Nerstrand Big Woods State Park on Saturday July 27th for family fun at the park. From 1 to 3 pm, we will have nature painting for children of all ages (those under the age of 12 must be accompanied by an adult). Watercolor supplies and brief instruction will be provided. First come first served- supplies are limited.
From 2 to 4 pm, we’re having an ice cream social! Meet the friends group, learn about their goals, and enjoy the park. Ice cream treats will be distributed at the picnic shelter. Quantities are limited.
Aug
17
Sat
Caterpillars
Aug 17 @ 10:00 am – 11:30 am

This program will include live caterpillars and other hands-on materials. You will learn about the life cycle, migration, and population status of the monarch butterflies, 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. Very kid friendly!

Aug
24
Sat
Monarchs with Master Naturalist
Aug 24 @ 1:00 pm – 2:30 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. Choose from 0.9 mile or 1.4 mile hike. Long pants and closed toe shoes are recommended. Will be cancelled in case of rain.

Sep
22
Sun
Membership Meeting
Sep 22 @ 4:00 pm – 5:00 pm

Annual membership meeting that will take place prior to the Gathering, at 4 pm at the park.

This brief meeting is required by our bylaws, and at it we will elect board members and review the previous year’s finances and accomplishments. 
Big Woods Gathering
Sep 22 @ 5:00 pm – 7:30 pm
We are very excited to have Al Batt, writer, speaker, storyteller and humorist speaking at our annual Big Woods Gathering, to be held Sunday, September 22 at 5 pm at the park. Al is from Hartland, MN and writes humor and nature columns for many newspapers and does regular radio shows about nature. He writes a number of popular cartoon strips that are syndicated nationally and is author of the book, “A Life Gone to the Birds.” He is a columnist for “Bird Watcher’s Digest” and writes for a number of magazines and books. Al hosted TV shows for many years and speaks at festivals, conferences and conventions all over the world. He has received numerous awards for birding and wildlife conservation. 
Following the talk, at about 6 pm, the Friends are hosting a meal of the famous Nerstrand Meat Market hot dogs, with cider, chips, and cookies. You may bring a dish to share, but it’s not required. There is no charge for the meal, but donations are always welcome. 
Our beautiful 2020 Calendar featuring photo contest winners will be available for purchase for $10.00. Proceeds of this fundraiser will be used for future projects and events.