University of Minnesota
University of Minnesota
College of Biological Sciences

Winter Events

Interested in seeing more than just the Fish Lake Nature Trail (which has some new materials, including a checklist to look for birds migrating down from the Arctic!)? Come join us at one of our upcoming events! All the events listed below are open to the public and take place at CCESR’s Lindeman Discovery and Research Center. If there's enough snow on the ground, you're also invited to ski on the expanded trail system at Fish Lake!

To register, get more information, or ask questions, please contact Caitlin Barale Potter at or 612-301-2602 (feel free to leave a message!). Hope to see you soon!

December 6th, 7pm - 8:30pm: Migratory Birds and the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.

Come celebrate the 56th birthday of the Arctic National Wildlife Regufe! Every year, birds that begin their lives on the Coastal Plain of the Arctic Naitonal Wildlife Refuge travel to all 50 states and across six continents on their migratory journeys. Come learn about some of the incredible birds that make this flight through Cedar Creek ESR and other parts of Minnesota every year! Experts from the local branch of the Alaska Wilderness leagure, the birding community, and the US Fish and Wildlife Service will present an evening program and discussion with photos, stories, information and a birthday cake. (free, families welcome!)


December 18th, all day: Annual Christmas Bird Count.

This December marks Audubon's 117th Christmas Bird Count, and we're delighted to have Cedar Creek ESR involved once again! Join fellow birders to count birds on designated routes across the property and in surroundingn areas. Last year, 3393 individual birds from 46 species were documented! We are also looking for Cedar Creek neighbors who have feeders in their yards to assist with feeder counts on the 18th.  SPACE IS LIMITED; PLEASE RSVP to Steve ( ) (free, adults recommended)

January 20th, 7pm: One Hundred and More Views of Cedar Creek (art show and lecture) 

Celebrate the picturesque delight of nature’s hidden treasures found at CCESR! A preview selection of numerous paintings by local sculptor and painter Glenn Terry will be on display at the Lindeman Center. They form part of next year’s forthcoming exhibition, “One Hundred and More Views of Cedar Creek ESR”.  You will get a chance to see, from the artist’s perspective, some of the wonder and beauty through the seasons that makes this place special not only to scientific research and inquiry worldwide, but to those who cherish the peace and freedom of expression nature so selflessly provides. (free, families welcome!)

RESCHEDULED: January 28th, 9am - 4pm: Cedar Creek Wildlife Survey day.

Join trained and novice wildlife trackers out in the snow to collect data for our citizen science project. Depending on weather and snow cover, we may be on foot, snowshoes or skis - come prepared! (attendance at previous summer or fall training event mandatory unless otherwise approved by Caitlin). 


CANCELLED: February 18th, all day: Great Backyard Bird Count.


February 18th, 1:30pm - 4pm: Staying Fueled for Winter: Survival Strategies of Plants and Animals 

Come learn how plants and animals survive the coldest and driest time of the year from expert naturalists and educators Barb Delaney and Tom Anderson! Adapting to winter varies widely among living organisms, and Cedar Creek ESR is a great place to see some of these survival strategies in action. Join Barb and Tom for a winter adventure: you'll learn how nutritious plant parts are protected and how sensitive parts survive freeze and thaw, spend some time following and deciphering the tracks of our local wildlife in the field, and explore the adaptations that allow mammals, birds, amphibians, reptiles, insects, flowering plants and trees to survive Minnesota's winters. Snacks and hot drinks will be provided. Come dressed to be outdoors! (warm boots are sufficient - no snowshoes unless there is more than 12 inches of snow). SPACE IS LIMITED; PLEASE RSVP to Caitlin ( ) or register online at the MN Master Naturalists website. (free, ages 10+) 

February 25th- April 1st (6 Saturdays, plus two Sunday field trips): Master Naturalist course, "Big Woods, Big Rivers".

Are you interested in nature, science and their intersection? Come learn about the Big Woods, Big Rivers biome at Cedar Creek Ecosystem Science Reserve, one of the world's most renowned ecological field sites! In this course, you will immerse yourself in the many facts that shape and define the Big Woods and Big Rivers: Minnesota's geology, vegetation, animal life, ecology, water, history and more. You will also visit long-term, cutting-edge research experiments housed here at Cedar Creek, and get to work on projects that directly contribute to the reserve's mission. The course will meet on Saturdays from 9am - 3pm, and will additionally include two full-day Sunday field trips to other outdoor facilities. Saturday classes are a mix of classroom instruction and outdoor (weather permitting) field time and activities. Attendance at all sessions is required. For more information about Minnesota Master Naturalists, course information, and to register, visit the Master Naturalist website ($275, adults only. Space is limited and scholarships are available!)