Habitat Day at Crane Meadows set for March 10

By Jennie ZeitlerStaff Writer
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More than 600 people are expected to participate in this year’s Habitat Day for Wood Ducks and Bluebirds,  Saturday, March 10. Attendance at last year’s event was reduced to about 400 by a blizzard the night before.

The main activity of the day will be assembling a free wood duck or bluebird nest box. Wildlife Refuge Specialist Paul Soler’s favorite part of the activity is seeing peoples’ faces after they’ve finished their box and then to see their satisfaction when the box is up on their property and being used.

Some of the activities available will be determined by the amount of snowfall between now and the day of the activity. Snowshoes are available for use at Crane Meadows. If there has been enough snowfall the three and a half miles of trails will be groomed for cross-country skiing. People will need to bring their own skiing equipment, however.

Despite the high number of participants each year, a poll conducted each of the past couple of years showed that the vast majority of people there were new to the event.

Habitat Day began in 2000 as a collaborative event among various outdoors groups in the area. Representatives from the various groups will be on hand to help out. This year there will be 31 sponsors.

Soler said, “I just like the fact that so many organizations come together on one day in one location to help people do something more for wildlife.”

Crane Meadows National Wildlife Refuge is located at 19502 Iris Road, east of Highway 10 in Little Falls.  For more information call (320) 632-1575.