University of Minnesota
University of Minnesota
College of Biological Sciences

Summer Events

Interested in seeing more than just the Fish Lake Nature Trail? Come join us at one of our upcoming events! Most of the events listed below take place at Cedar Creek’s Lindeman Discovery and Research Center, and give you the opportunity to dive deep into new topics, explore new places on the property, and become part of the Cedar Creek ESR community!

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!

July 21st, 8:30pm – 10:30pm: Universe in the Park at Cedar Creek

Come look at and learn about the night sky with scientists from the Minnesota Institute for Astrophysics! The scientists will present a short public talk about astronomy, and then we’ll head out into the darkness of Cedar Creek ESR to look at the stars through telescopes and with sky charts. Come withquestions – our presenters love discussing topics ranging from backyard astronomy to the latest scientific discoveries! (free, families welcome) (part of the Universe in the Park summer series)


July 22nd, 1pm – 4pm: Oak Savanna Day (formerly Red-headed Woodpecker Day)

Interested in learning more about one of America’s most threatened ecosystems? This afternoon event will take you on an adventure through our restored oak savannas. At 1pm, there will be a short presentation on oak savannas and why they are special. At 1:30pm and 2:45pm, tours to observe the red-headed woodpeckers and other oak savanna specialists will depart the Lindeman Center. Simultaneously, representatives from North Star Bison will be on hand in the Lindeman Center to talk and answer questions about our plans to bring bison to our oak savannas for a few months each year. We’ll also discuss the role of fire and prescribed burning on these unusual and declining ecosystems. Join us for both parts of this special event! 

July 29th, 1pm – 4pm: Basics of Limnology - POSTPONED DUE TO LOW ENROLLMENT

Interested in the fundamentals of water monitoring, aquatic ecosystems, and the science of studying them? Come join Cedar Creek grad student and limnologist Seth Thompson to learn about the basics of how and why scientists study freshwater systems. Not only will Seth share some of his own research and results, we’ll get a chance (weather permitting) to visit at least one of Cedar Creek’s lakes and see some of Seth’s equipment in action! You’ll also learn how to get involved with water-related citizen science projects in Minnesota. If you are taking this course for MN Master Naturalist Advanced Training, register online through the Master Naturalist website (course fee: $15 if receiving advanced training credit). If you are NOT a MN Master Naturalist or do not want advanced training credit, RSVP by emailing Caitlin ( ) (workshop is free if not receiving MNats credit).

August 12th: Oak Grove Acorn Day

Come celebrate summer with your friends and neighbors! Cedar Creek ESR education staff will be at the annual Oak Grove Acorn Day to share information about water and the important role it plays in our landscape. Come play with a stream table, do some coloring, and learn what you can do to conserve water! Stop by and say hello! (free, families welcome) 

August 19th, 9am-12pm and August 23rd, 1pm-4pm: Story Walk to Cedar Bog Lake

Enjoy the outdoors while following the pages of a story laid out before you! Our first Story Walk, offered in partnership with the Anoka County Library System, will feature the classic children’s book Going On A Bear Hunt by Michael Rosen. Learn about bears, their habitat and food choices, behavior and more on the trail to Cedar Bog Lake as you experience this well-loved book in a totally new way. Afterwards, join naturalists and librarians in the Lindeman Center for bear-themed activities! Weather permitting – event will be cancelled in case of extreme weather. Strollers NOT recommended on our sandy trail, but we encourage you to bring your children in backpacks or on foot. Drop in and do the Story Walk at your own pace. (free, families welcome)

August 19th, 9:30am - 11:30am: Ferns, Wetlands and Other Curiosities

Cedar Creek's wetlands and wetland edges have a fabulous display of ferns. Learn about them from an expert - Barb Delaney, a botanist who has spent decades working in wetland edges at Cedar Creek. Together with oak uplands, we'll see most of the species that occur onsite here, and have a great opportunity to review their names and characteristics. Plus, the wetland edges are beautiful places to explore: mosses, two species of bluberries, blue-bead lily, bunchberry, coral fungi, and much much more! The walk is fairly easy but come prepared for some scratchy plants and biting insects. Join Barb for this special opportunity to explore and learn at Cedar Creek Ecosystem Science Reserve! If you are taking this course for MN Master Naturalist Advanced Training, register online through the Master Naturalist website (course fee: $15 if receiving advanced training credit). If you are NOT a MN Master Naturalist or do not want advanced training credit, register by emailing Caitlin ( ) (course fee: $10 without MNats credit).

(photo by J. Miller)

August 21st and 23rd, 6pm - 8:30pm: An Intro to Climate Science for Minnesotans

Are you interested in learning more about the science behind climate change? Join atmospheric scientist Dr. Sam Potter for a special two-night class to deepen your understanding of this hot-button topic! The first session will cover the basics of climate science, both historically and in the present day. The second session will focus on the impacts of climate change on Minesota and the Midwest. Everyone is encouraged dto attend -- all topics will be presented for a general audience and no science degree is necessary. Attendance at both sessions (August 21st and August 23rd) is required. Course fee: $30. Register online through the Master Naturalist website.



August 26th: Cedar Creek Wildlife Survey day

Join your fellow trackers and citizen scientists for our summer survey. We’ll be out on the property in teams looking for track and sign and documenting what animals are using our natural areas! More info available herePLEASE RSVP TO CAITLIN (caitlin@umn.eduOR JONATHAN ( (free, adults recommended).





September 9th, 1pm – 5pm: Cedar Creek’s 75th Anniversary Celebration!

Since 1942, scientists at Cedar Creek ESR have been studying plants, animals, soil, water and ecosystems with the goal of better understanding and improving the world we live in. Come learn about their ground-breaking achievements, tour our research areas, go for guided nature walks, participate in demos and activities, meet live animals, and more! More details and information here.

September 23rd, 9am – 2:30pm: Herpetofauna Monitoring Workshop

Join expert naturalists Beth Girard and Chris Smith to learn how to monitor and handle amphibians and reptiles! You'll learn the proper protocols, identifications and safe handling techniques in captive situations and in the field. You'll also get to build your field observation and photography techniques, and learn to use coverboards, drift fences, pitfall traps and more. This all-day workshop is the "be-all-end-all" for those who love herps! Course fee: $50. Register online through the Master Naturalist website.

September 30th, 9am – 3pm: Cambridge Fall Festival


Swing by the City Center Market in Cambridge for a fun day of fall-themed activities and games for the whole family! Cedar Creek will be there teaching about ecology and supervising some of the games and activities. We hope to see you there!