Weaver Dunes Field Trip on August 13th, 9:00 am to 12:00 pm
Join the Minnesota Driftless Chapter of The Prairie Enthusiasts and field trip leader David Ruff (TNC) in Wabasha County as we explore vegetated sand dunes next to the Mississippi River.
Kellogg Weaver Dunes Scientific and Natural Area, owned by the Minnesota DNR, and Weaver Dunes Preserve, owned by The Nature Conservancy, protect more than 1,500 acres of prairie and savanna in Wabasha County. These two areas help protect Minnesota's largest expanse of dry barrens prairie and savanna, and they host an array of unique plants and animals. The dunes, now stabilized by vegetation, occur on a sand terrace associated with the Chippewa, Zumbro, and Mississippi Rivers, and were formed thousands of years ago during the Pleistocene epoch.
Our field trip leader will be David Ruff, Conservation Project Manager with The Nature Conservancy. Wildflowers David will help us find during the field trip include vervain, several kinds of milkweeds, prairie clover, goat's rue, lead plant, rough blazing star, prairie sage, spotted bee balm, and many more. The site is known to be an important location for Blanding's turtle, a Minnesota threatened species. We likely won't see any Blanding's turtle but David will talk about their activities and their current status.
We'll meet at The Nature Conservancy's shop on the south side of the preserve and then carpool in a smaller number of vehicles to another location that has more limited parking space. Here's a Google Maps link to the Nature Conservancy's shop where we'll meet at 9:00:
Please be sure to arrive on time so you can be in the carpool to the other location with more limited parking space.
If you plan to join us, please RSVP with Michelle Cochran ([email protected]); people who RSVP will get updates if we need to adjust the time or date because of weather.
Be sure to wear clothing that will protect you from the sun as well as ticks and other pesky invertebrates, and bring enough water to keep you well-hydrated and feeling good during our hike through gently rolling topography. Participants are welcome to gather for lunch when we're done hiking so feel free to bring food you like as well as things to share with others.