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Cedar Creek Ecosystem Science Reserve hosts 24-hour lineup of ecology activities June 8-9

Unique 24-hour event is free to the public, engaging citizen scientists of all ages at world-renowned research site

May 17, 2012

The University of Minnesota invites the public to participate in a nearly nonstop lineup of ecology-themed activities at Cedar Creek Field Day and BioBlitz from 5 p.m. Friday, June 8 through 5 p.m. Saturday, June 9 at the university’s Cedar Creek Ecosystem Science Reserve, 2660 Fawn Lake Drive, East Bethel. Part contest, part festival, part educational event and scientific endeavor, the 24-hour event engages citizen scientists in a race against the clock to count the animals and plants within a specific area.

The event is co-hosted by the U of M’s Cedar Creek Ecosystem Science Reserve and Bell Museum of Natural History. All events are free and open to the public. 

This year’s lineup of ecology-themed events and activities will give the public a unique opportunity to explore the site of one of the longest-running ecology experiments in the world and contribute valuable data about the state of the flora and fauna at the field station. Visitors will learn about the history and research of Cedar Creek and its unique habitats through tours, interpretive walks and discussions with scientists. In addition, BioBlitz activities provide a chance for visitors to explore the plants, fungi, insects and other animals found at Cedar Creek in greater depth.

“Field Day and BioBlitz offer a rare opportunity for people to literally immerse themselves in all aspects of ecology at a world-renowned research site,” said Mary Spivey, education coordinator at the Cedar Creek Ecosystem Science Reserve.

Some of the highlights of Cedar Creek Field Day and BioBlitz:

  • Friday night, June 8 (5 to 10 p.m.), the Bell Museum will bring its ExploraDome to Cedar Creek, offering programs on astronomy and more! The dome is a portable, immersive learning environment where participants experience "hands-on, minds-on" learning. Visitors will also have the chance to embark on a nighttime insect collecting adventure.
  • Saturday, June 9 (6 a,m. to 4 p.m.), visitors can tour Cedar Creek, hike along Cedar Creek’s scenic trails, hear from Cedar Creek researchers as they talk about their areas of expertise and accompany scientists as they survey the area for everything from insects to birds, fish to mammals.
  • In addition, members of the Red-headed Woodpecker Recovery Project will give a talk on red-headed woodpecker behavior and artist Glenn Terry will discuss his latest painting venture, “100 Images of Cedar Creek.”

For directions to Cedar Creek Ecosystem Science Reserve, please go to

Schedule of Events

Friday, June 8
5-10 p.m.

5 p.m.-dusk  Beginner BioBlitz trail (ongoing, self-guided)

5 p.m.-10 p.m.  ExploraDome programs in main building (on-going)

7 p.m.  Cedar Creek artist-in-residence talk

8 p.m.  Evening animal survey - bats, frogs

9 p.m. -10 p.m.  Evening insect collecting

Saturday, June 9
6 a.m.-5 p.m.

6 a.m.  Bird Walk

8 a.m.- 4 p.m. Beginner BioBlitz trail (ongoing, self-guided)

8 a.m.- 5 p.m. Glenn Terry art exhibit

8 a.m.  Small mammal survey

9 a.m.-5 p.m.  BioBlitz resource fair

9 a.m.  Snake walk (limited to 10, sign up day-of)

10 a.m.  Fish survey

11 a.m.  Ants

Noon  Insect sweep netting

1 p.m.  Geocaching

2 p.m.  Camera trap retrieval (limited to six, sign up day-of)

4-5p.m. Species Identification and number countdown


For more information on Cedar Creek Field Day, please click here.

For more information on BioBlitz, please click here.

Cedar Creek Ecosystem Science Reserve is operated by the university’s College of Biological Sciences, which provides degree programs and conducts research in all areas of biology, from molecules to ecosystems. David Tilman, Regents Professor of Ecology and one of the top-cited ecologists in the world, is scientific director of Cedar Creek.

The Bell Museum of Natural History is Minnesota's official natural history museum, where more than four million specimens support ongoing research and teaching at the U of M. The museum strives to discover, document and understand nature, and promote informed stewardship of our world. It is part of the university's College of Food, Agricultural and Natural Resource Sciences and welcomes nearly 85,000 visitors a year.

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