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Member Stories

Dog Days

After a week long break for the 4th of July and a relaxing week spent at Baker Park Reserve, the field crews are back at work. One topic floats around every morning and every afternoon at the shops—the heat. The Romans used to sacrifice a brown dog to the star Sirius at the beginning of every July in hopes of staving off the blistering heat waves that accompany this time of year. They believed that the dog star caused the heat; hence the term “dog days.” We've since developed kinder rituals. Working outdoors for a living turns a person into a compulsive, perhaps even paranoid weather checker. But just like slaying dogs, glancing at the heat index on a smart phone every hour doesn't make the day any cooler. Water, shade, frequent breaks, and the occasional trip to an ice cream shop or a nearby lake are the best auspices. Read More

Conserving through Generations: A Hard Day’s Work is Never Do

This month I trekked up to the Minnesota History Museum in Saint Paul to tour their exhibit, “Minnesota’s Greatest Generation” and peruse historical files for information on my grandfather. While wandering through the exhibit, I found myself reflecting on the value of hard work in our society.  In my memories, my grandfather is almost never standing still. Except for the few times I caught him in his big armchair reading a book, it was normal to find him out in the yard, or doing chores around the his house, or the house of a neighbor. My dad told me that the day before he died he was putting in a fence, at the age of 90. Read More

Bloodthirsty Villian

Some like to kill them in cold blood at first sight. Still few let them go unharmed, mostly due to a squeamish reaction to distance themselves as far and as quickly as possible. But have you ever stopped to ponder this monster, the tick? Read More

Beyond Buckthorn: A discussion with garden curator Susan Wilkin

Back when the snow piled at least two-feet high and winter refused to give way to spring, our Youth Outdoors Crew (YO5) was assigned a vast buckthorn removal project at Theodore Wirth Park. We spent a few days working alongside Susan Wilkins, Curator of the Eloise Butler Wildflower Garden, whose enthusiasm for the landscape was contagious. I was curious to learn more about the natural history of the area, so I arranged a meeting with Susan. Read More

Eco Rangers as told by David Rittenhouse

Interviewee: David Rittenhouse (Pictured in top right photo)AmeriCorps Youth Crew Leader Youth Outdoors/Eco Rangers Read More

Little Fork Blood Drive

“So you guys are here for the Little Fork blood drive.” Andrew, our project host, said as he led us back to his office to go over river maps with us. “The bugs are really bad at this time of year, and the Little Fork is about as remote as anything.”  Read More