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Thursday, September 20, 2018

Fall events at Carpenter Nature Center

We?ve been experiencing cooler, rainy weather this last week that makes it feel as though fall is coming, but there are plenty of other signs to tell us that fall is just around the corner. The leaves are beginning to change, acorns are scattered across the grounds, the goldenrod is in full bloom, and of course, our apple orchard has begun to yield its delicious fruit. Autumn is here!
Fall is a busy and exciting time for us at Carpenter Nature Center. The apple orchard is producing a bounty of beautiful apples, which will soon be available to purchase at the Apple Shack. Our education team is hard at work preparing for the 1,600+ students who will be coming out to Carpenter to learn about the orchard. That?s not even including all the students who are signed up for our other classes! We also have several big events coming up, including the Autumn in the Valley Gala, Raptor Release, and Apple Fest. Learn more about these events and other fun programs below. Space is limited at most programs, so please don?t forget to RSVP by calling 651-437-4359.
NATURE NOTES - Tree Coring
This summer, the interns at CNC took on a tree coring project. The project was done out of curiosity and interest to see roughly how old various trees are on CNC?s property. They did this by using an increment borer, which is an instrument that only takes a small sample from a tree trunk, allowing them to be able to count the rings from the tree without having to chop the tree down or harm it in any other way. The science of studying tree cores is called dendrochronology, and it is becoming a very important tool for how scientists begin to look at climate and ecology. Typically, coring a tree this way isn?t as accurate at getting the exact age, however, it allows you to be able to get a very good estimate. For those of you who are ambitious, you can sand the tree core down and study the rings with a microscope to get a very accurate date on the rings. Click here for a good article on the techniques of tree coring.
Aside from knowing how old a particular tree is, tree coring allows you to see and study many different things, such as the growth rate of a tree, climatology, and ecology. If there are many rings close together in some sections but further apart in others, you can get a pretty good understanding of what may have happened year to year to allow rapid or slow growth, such as lots of rain or drought. When you pair up this data with weather records, you can see how changes in our climate are affecting tree growth. Scientists all over the world are using this technique on trees that are thousands of years old to get a good picture of what our climate was like back then to be able to better predict how it might change for us in the future. At Carpenter Nature Center, the interns took samples from a few different trees, such as white pines out in the forest and oak trees in our savannah. Preliminary results are showing that these trees are between 90 and 110 years old. Even though they started this project to get an idea of how old some of our trees are, we were blown away by the possibilities these cores open to us on how to better study the changes that are and will continue to affect us.
September 22
10:00 am-3:00 pm
Join Carpenter Nature Center and the Raptor Center of the University of Minnesota as we release rehabilitated birds of prey at CNC. After sustaining injuries in the wild, these beautiful birds are now ready to be released. This FREE fun-filled day includes hay ride tours, children?s activities, raptors on display, and much more. An inspiring and educational event open to the general public, CNC?s raptor release is enjoyed by visitors of all age groups.
September 28
8:30 am-12:00 pm
Have you ever wondered what bird banding is all about? Our bird banders welcome you to see songbirds up close and learn about the birds who share our ecosystem. Banding runs continuously for the full 3.5 hours but visitors may come and go at any time.  Weather dependent. Please call ahead to 651-437-4359 so we know you are coming. Donations of bird seed or suet will be greatly appreciated in lieu of a program fee.

September 29
9:00 am-2:00 pm
Each fall, thousands of raptors and other bird migrants follow the St. Croix/Mississippi River Flyway south to their wintering grounds in the southern U.S. and beyond. Our team of friendly spotters and greeters will set up behind the Administration Building to count raptor migrants as well as songbirds, gulls, and other southbound birds. Please RSVP at 651-437-4359. 
October 13 & 14
10:00 am-5:00 pm
Celebrate the harvest at Carpenter Nature Center?s annual Apple Harvest. Join in the fun with hayrides, children?s activities, live animals, music, and great food. Visit the Apple Shack and take home Carpenter?s select apples, condiments, and treats. Enjoy the spectacular fall colors of the river valley, and visit our neighboring orchards and their activities.

Interested in scheduling fun, interactive educational programs for scouts, seniors, youth, or classroom students? Consider booking a Carpenter Nature Center program. Bringing your group to CNC is a wonderful experience, but this isn?t feasible for all groups. Now we can bring CNC to you with our Outreach programming. We offer a variety of programs for all age groups. From ?Raptors in the Classroom? to ?Wildlife of the St. Croix River Valley,? there is something fun and educational for all to enjoy. Contact Jessie Eckroad at 651-437-4359 (ext. 106) or Jessie@carpenternaturecenter.org
We have volunteer opportunities for everyone, including greeting visitors, teaching school groups, helping out at special events, and more. The fall is one of our busiest times and we could really use your help. Come and join our fun, friendly family; you will be glad you did. The next volunteer orientation meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, September 18 starting at 7 pm. Please contact alan@CarpenterNatureCenter.org or call 651-437-4359 for details.
October 13: WI Campus Bird Hike
October 26: Public Bird Banding
We want you to know that we are grateful for your help. We couldn?t do it without you.
Financial donations to CNC are generally 100% tax-deductible and you can rest assured that every dollar you donate is stretched as far as it can go to reach as many students as possible.  Your official CNC thank you letter provides the proof you need to claim your donation as a tax-deduction if you itemize. If you have misplaced your letter please do not hesitate to contact glen@carpenternaturecenter.org or call 651-437-4359 for another copy. You can become a ?Friend of CNC? through our website or through GiveMN. You can also view our current wish list and find out which items we need?such as facial tissues, small pocket knives, and white cardstock. Carpenter Nature Center is a regional asset because of the many wonderful peoples involved at all l evels throughout its history. Thank you for helping keep nature and environmental education a vital part of our children?s lives, and for helping keep Carpenter Nature Center open to the public 361 days a year. 

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