Happy Summer Solstice, everyone! The weather is beautiful today and I hope that you all have a chance to get out and enjoy it. It sounds like we’ll be in for some more rain at some point this weekend—so after you read our latest blog update, get outside and enjoy the sun!
The Wonders of the Bog!
Earlier this week, Sustainable Tuesdays took a field trip to Lake Bemidji State Park for a guided tour of the Bog Walk. Late June and early July is the peak season for the bog this year, and the season’s earliest flowers are already blooming. Park Naturalist John Fylpaa gave us an absolutely wonderful tour of the bog and features of the state park that we saw on our walk there.
The stemless lady slippers were everywhere! These beautiful pink orchids gave the bog a beautiful splash of color. We also saw some Dragon’s Mouth and lots of pitcher plants with their mouths filled with water, just waiting to catch insects! John also pointed out a special sight that I’m sure that I would have overlooked—some tiny, tiny sundew! Labrador tea and some little white flowers whose names I forget were also everywhere to be found.
This tour was such a treat (for us and unfortunately for the mosquitoes too – they had a feast) and it was great to get out and explore the bog’s natural wonders. We owe a huge thank you to John Fylpaa for taking the time to give us a tour and share his knowledge of the state park and bog with us. Thank you, John, and thanks to all who attended!
If you missed our tour, don’t worry! You still have time to take advantage of the State Park’s Bog Watcher Sunday, which run through July 7th. Each Sunday from 11:30am to 2pm, a naturalist will be roving the boardwalk to help you locate the flowers of the bog. There will definitely be flowers still blooming through early July, considering this season’s late start. And this time of the year, the bog is changing every single day. There may be something new blooming right now!
This coming Tuesday, join us for a night on “Wild Edibles and Traditional Medicinal Plants”!
Join us at the Rail River Folk School on Tuesday, June 25th at 5:30pm for a great evening with Barry Babcock, local historian and outdoorsman, to learn about a wide variety of local wild plants. We’ll learn how to identify plants and discover which ones are edible or helpful medicinally. And on top of that, we’ll get to listen to Barry share stories and lore from Ojibwe and early settler origins about the local plants we often overlook.
We bet you’ve been curious about something growing in your backyard! Join us on Tuesday at the Rail River Folk School as we appreciate the amazing plants growing all around us. See you there!
When: Tuesday, June 25th from 5:30 to 7:30pm
Where: Rail River Folk School (303 Railroad St SW – across the Irvine bridge and to the left)
Did you catch the local documentary “Regaining Food Sovereignty” on Lakeland last night?
We sure hope so! But if you missed it, you can catch it again this Sunday at 9pm, or you can watch it online here. Congratulations to Simone Senogles and Scott Knudson for all the hard work they put into this documentary, and to everyone that contributed and was a part of this production. Please, please give this a watch!
Are you looking for some outdoor summer fun? Bemidji State University’s Outdoor Program Center has sea kayaking and sailing skills clinics scheduled later in June!
Check out the free course descriptions below, or head to the OPC website for more details.
Sea Kayaking (June 26):
This introductory lesson is suitable for sea kayaking beginners or for those unfamiliar with self-rescue and capsize-recovery skills. Learn to paddle efficiently, follow a course, brace for stability and learn what to do in the event of a deep-water capsize. The course will also cover clothing and equipment options, float plan, safety skills and an introduction to the eskimo roll. The center will provide life jackets, wetsuits and paddling jackets. Participants should bring swimwear, shoes to get wet, sunglasses, a water bottle or other personal equipment.
Sailing Skills (June 29):
Learn the basic skills to get started on your path to becoming a sailor. This clinic is for all those who have always wanted to sail but never had anyone to take them out and show them the ropes. The course will begin with a talk on small boat safety, and participants will learn the parts of the boat, knots, rigging and capsize procedures. Students will then take to the water in small boats perfect for beginners. Come prepared to swim with secure eyewear and clothes appropriate for the weather. The center will provide wetsuits, paddling jackets and life jackets. Experienced sailors are also welcome to join the course and a boat out on the lake.
Participants in both courses will meet at the BSU boathouse at Diamond Point Park in Bemidji.
Times for the clinics have yet to be finalized; interested participants are encouraged to contact the Outdoor Program Center for additional information. For more information, and to confirm dates and times for all OPC activities, contact the center at (218) 755-2999.
Here’s another option to get outside and enjoy this weekend’s weather! Check out the ongoing Concert Series at Lake Bemidji State Park.
When: Sunday, June 23rd from 2-3pm
Where: Lake Bemidji State Park Amphitheater, 3401 State Park Rd NW
“Sit back, relax, and enjoy music in the midst of natural beauty of northern MN. Local and state-wide musicians perform in the amphitheater at Lake Bemidji State Park. Shyanne Kaml, of Bemidji, is a singer songwriter who loves to perform! Music is her passion. She will be playing all original music, and hopes you will join her on Sunday. She has performed all over MN in many county fairs, and also the state fair. Besides singing, she enjoys dancing, being outdoors, fishing, and showchoir!
- Free admission to concert. Vehicle permit required to enter Park. 218-308-2300
- If raining, concerts held in Visitor’s Center adjacent to amphitheater.
- This activity is made possible, in part, through a grant from the Region 2 Arts Council funded by an appropriation from the Minnesota State Legislature with money from the State’s general fund.
That’s all for now! Enjoy this beautiful day and have a great weekend, everyone! See you on Tuesday for our Local and Wild Edibles night!
As always, our program depends on your input and feedback, and we welcome your ideas and suggestions to broaden our community. Sustainable Tuesdays feature a variety of learning opportunities focused on sustainability that connect our beautiful, vibrant community and is a partnership program with the Indigenous Environmental Network, MN GreenCorps, Rail River Folk School and BSU’s Sustainability Office.
For more information, contact Caitlyn Schuchhardt at 755-3765 or Simone Senogles at 751-4967.