Matthew’s Musings: September-October, 2014
By Matthew Schaut, MRVAC President
You may have already heard the good news about the upcoming action at the Minnesota River Valley National Wildlife Refuge. 2.3 million dollars has been designated this year to construct a 12-mile section of multi-use, handicap accessible trail between the Old Cedar Avenue Bridge and the Bloomington Ferry Bridge. The Old Cedar Avenue Bridge itself will also soon be restored. I hope that the primary focus of the refuge, preserving wildlife habitat for wildlife, will not be forgotten. There is also hope that increased accessibility will increase the constituency for the refuge and for environmentalist core values. Handicapped access will be improved and areas that are accessible will be increased, and perhaps more children will discover the antidote to nature deficit disorder.
I can’t stop thinking of the methane holes suddenly appearing in the Siberian permafrost – three that are known so far. The photos are frightening; runaway climate change.
Corporate blindness handed us a major summer dust-up when the Vikings organization informed us interested citizens that they just couldn’t afford to put bird friendly glass on their latest monument to corporate welfare. I’m pretty certain that birds are not blind, nor do they willfully fly into structures they never evolved with, but they do need to migrate, even through downtown Minneapolis. 1.5 million dollars extra for bird-friendly glass on a building that costs over a billion, it’s not too much to ask of the 1%. National Audubon quickly entered the fray, publicizing the issue and using it as a fund-raising opportunity. The Minneapolis City Council has endorsed bird-friendly glass (unanimously!), and the governor likes the idea, so long as a funding mechanism is identified upfront. (Didn’t I already say “1%”? Is funding really an issue?) Maybe we’ll have a resolution by the time this Trumpeter goes to print. Minneapolis, Minnesota has a reputation of being environmentally friendly and responsible. Maybe it’ll live up to that reputation and carry the NFL along with it.
“Audubon Adventures” for 2014/2015 school year
The award-winnng Audubon Adventures are ready for elementary schools this fall. Learn more about getting them into classrooms.
Henderson Hummingbird Hurrah Celebration – Saturday, August 16
MRVAC is a proud sponsor of this annual event, celebrating all things hummingbird! Learn more.
A Tribute to Kathy Heidel
Kathy Heidel, retired Senior Interpretive Naturalist with Three Rivers Park District at Lowry Nature Center, passed away on May 17. Read More.
MRVAC binocular donation inspires children
Here is what Amanda, a 2nd grader, wrote following her class visit to Lowry Nature Center in March where she participated in bird banding, bird observation with binoculars donated by MRVAC and a bird habitat hike:
“Dear Dianne, I love when you put the band on the chickadee it was awesome learning all about them and seeing you be so gentle with it. And when we got to hear the bird’s heartbeat that bird was really fluffy! I used to not be interested in birds but after we got to learn all about birds with you I have been always looking out the window for birds and trying to name them! Thanks again for everything! Sincerely, Amanda”
Thank you to MRVAC for donating good quality Eagle Optics binoculars in past years to Lowry Nature Center to help make the students’ birding experience Submitted by Dianne Rowse, Interpretive Naturalist Lowry Nature Center, Three Rivers Park District
Thanks to MRVAC Volunteers!
Thanks to new board member Rick Magee who is filling an At-Large position. Watch for a short bio of Rick in the September-October issue of the Trumpeter. Thanks also to Molly Eichten who is retiring from the board as Secretary.
Many people pull together to keep the chapter running, more than we can list here and now. Watch future issues for spotlights on various committees and individuals. For example, thanks to Craig Mandel, George Skinner, Steve Weston, Randy Hills, Jay Miller and Mark Lystig for leading some great bird outings this year.
If you would like to lead a bird walk in your favorite park, please contact Cheri Fox, fieldtrip coordinator, via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or 612-590-1261.
Help MRVAC make a difference for birds and wildlife – and the special places we like to visit. Learn more.
MRVAC in the community
Our chapter has been a proud sponsor of the Audubon Adventures (AA) program for many years. This program provides materials to elementary school classrooms in the area. Read more about the 2013/2014 school year.
Treats needed for upcoming meetings
We always need treats! If you can bring a few dozen cookies, bars or some easy-to-eat snack to share at the September or October meeting, please call Jan at 952-858-8604.
Fire codes affect seating in Refuge Visitor Center auditorium
At upcoming MRVAC meetings (the 4th Thursday of the month, during the school year) you may be asked to fill up empty seats or move in towards the center to allow others to sit down in the auditorium. We cannot bring in extra chairs and sit in the back when the room starts to get crowded, due to fire regulations.
Please help us comply with the rules and allow us to continue meeting at the Visitor Center by switching seats if necessary and by not carrying chairs into the auditorium. Thanks.