October E-Newsletter

Here you can find news, upcoming events, and volunteer opportunities. Thank you for keeping up with us!

Nature Center News

We're hiring for a year-long intern!

The Nature Center is looking for our next annual intern! A few (of many!) exciting intern responsibilities include:

  • Teaching environmental, conservation, and outdoor education to all ages
  • Handling, feeding, and caring for all critters, including the Nature Center’s bees and raptors
  • Maintaining the Center’s social media pages and website
  • Facilitating in offsite classes like rock climbing and canoeing, as well as major events
  • Helping care for and maintain the center's gardens and natural spaces
  • Instructing on cross country skiing, canoeing, kayaking, apple cidering, and maple syruping
To learn more, click here!

Raptor Rescue

An often overlooked pillar of our mission is caring for wildlife, particularly injured birds of prey. Our naturalists are trained in raptor rescue and triage, and often receive calls from the community about injured birds of prey.

Receiving raptor calls are bittersweet; we are never happy to hear that a raptor has been injured, but we feel a great sense of pride in being able to care for wildlife. Mostly, we feel a sense of gratitude to our community for phoning in and trying to help the birds.

Our most recent call was about an injured red tailed hawk, with a partially broken wing. We were thrilled to find the bird alert, and in good health otherwise. This raptor was cared for and transferred to the Raptor Center in the cities to have its wing reset. We have a good feeling that this bird will make it!

Wreath Classes

Wreath classes are almost here! While we are enjoying fall colors and cooler temperatures, we are excited that winter is on its way. Here at the Nature Center, winter means skiing, snowshoeing, and wreath making classes!

Wreaths will be made of spruce, cedar, red pine, and white pine. Wreaths can be made your own with a bow of your choice, and pine cones. Feel free to bring your own decorations and lights to add to your wreath.

Registration begins November 1st!

To learn more, click here!

Fall Field Trips

October was a busy month for our teachers. In October, we taught 335 7th graders, and over 600 2nd graders!

2nd graders learned all about seeds, enjoyed a story and scavenger hunt, and even made their own apple cider using our vintage cider press.

7th graders spent a whole school day learning and exploring at the Nature Center. They played a game called survival of the fishest, pulled buckthorn, looked for macroinvertebrates in our streams, and more!

This week, we will begin 6th grade curriculum, during which we will debut our new space programming in our planetarium.

Girl Scouts Fundraise to Plant a Tree

After a successful cookie season, troop 47902 was inspired to purchase and plant a tree while completing their World Thinking Day badge. To earn this badge, Girl Scouts explored environmental problems and learned how they can work with nature to create a more peaceful and secure future for girls everywhere. They learned about the power of a single tree and were excited to discover that their Hackberry will continue to make an impact for over 100 years!

We were so inspired by these scouts; to think about the future of our world and work hard to make positive change. Thank you troop 47902 for your determination, hard work, and care for the planet!

Friends Focus

Merry and Bright Night

Thursday, Dec 7th, 4pm-7pm

The Friends of the Hormel Nature Center will host the 2nd annual "Merry & Bright Night" from 4-7 PM at the Jay C. Hormel Nature Center, with Santa Claus, crafts, music, cookies and more!

Planetarium Unveiling

Saturday, Nov 18th, 1pm-3:40pm

The Hormel Nature Center was able to purchase a brand new inflatable planetarium called the StarLab thanks to a generous donation from Paul and Joanne Worlein and the Friends of the Hormel Nature Center. Join a naturalist inside the StarLab for a short 15 min presentation, for FREE!

- No shoes are allowed inside the StarLab

- The StarLab is a walk-in planetarium and is wheelchair accessible

- No RSVP required, this will be a first come - first served event

Give to the Max

Thursday, November 16th

Join thousands of Minnesotans as they get in the giving spirit with what has now become a new Minnesota giving holiday, Give to the Max; A day of giving in support of Minnesota non-profits. 

When you donate to the Friends of the Hormel Nature Center you are helping fund projects that enhance the nature center, environmental education, and the enjoyment of nature for all!

To give, visit GiveMN.org 

Upcoming Events

Wreath Classes:

Session 1: Tues, Nov 28; 6-8pm  

Session 2: Wed, Nov 29; 1:30-3:30pm 

Session 3: Thurs, Nov 30; 6-8pm 

Session 4: Sat, Dec 2; 9:00-11:00am

Session 5: ​Sat, Dec 2; 1:30-3:30pm 

Interpretive Center Closings:

  • Friday, November 10
  • Thurs and Fri, Nov 23 & 24

Volunteer Opportunities

  • Staff the Interpretive Center — There are always days that we are looking for help, specifically on the weekends. Fill out our volunteer contact form and we will add you to our email list. 
  • Tours — Give tours driving one of our electric vehicles along the Nature Center trails.​
  • Combat Invasive Species — Learn to identify and remove buckthorn, honeysuckle, and other invasive species.
  • Animal transport — Bring birds of prey to and from the Raptor Center at the University of Minnesota St. Paul campus.
Click here to learn more!
Read more here!

Nature Note - Masters of Disguise

By Office Manager/Naturalist Meredith Maloney

"November is a month marked by change. It is an often unpredictable month; November might bring warmth and changing leaves, or cold, rain, and snow. The hottest day of November in Minnesota’s modern climate record was 84 degrees, recorded in Winona on November 1st, 1950. The coldest day in November was -47 degrees, recorded in Pine City on November 25th, 1945.

November can be counted on for one thing; to change the landscape, from green and vibrant to barren and monochrome. So, how do animals adapt to this transition from fall to winter, particularly when it comes to camouflage?"

Become a Friends Member

Why join the friends? Well, our Friends allow us to offer more high quality programming, conserve our natural spaces, and continue to grow! As a friends member, you will receive...

  • an invitation to the Friends Annual Meeting
  • $5.00 off all Summer Adventure Programs
  • 15% off all Nature Center merchandise​​
  • the chance to participate in members-only events and classes for youth and families at the Nature Center
  • a discounted annual bus trip

Join the Friends here!

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