With your help, we’ve protected 4,206 acres of Bog for future generations!

Field Trips and Events

2022-23 Winter Field Trips, Education Programs, and Webinars

We are excited for yet another field trip season in the Sax-Zim Bog! This winter, our field trip schedule expands to include the use of the Lois King Education Center! This winter will also see the addition of short programs inside the Welcome Center during the week. Please feel free to mask to your comfort level on each field trip you attend. Carpooling during field trips has resumed, up to the comfort level of participants. 

Field trip attendance is free for members (those who have donated $25 or more within the past year). If you are interested in membership, the $25 fee covers membership and free attendance to any field trip or program in a 12 month period! You must register below for each field trip you wish to attend.

Moving ahead, we will be working to address accessibility challenges and barriers on our field trips. To give everyone better expectations of what to expect on each field trip, we will be including relative activity levels for each field trip this season. The approximate ratings are as follows:

Field Trip Activity Level Ratings

1- Easy (travel over even terrain on roadways/boardwalks or limited hiking up to ½ mile total)

2- Moderate (travel over even or uneven terrain, dry to wet conditions, or hiking over ½ mile total)

3- Average (travel over even or uneven terrain, hiking off trail possible, or hiking up to 1 mile total)

4- Difficult (travel primarily over uneven terrain, wet conditions, or hiking over 1 mile total)

5-Strenuous (mostly off trail with travel primarily over uneven and wet terrain or hiking up to 2 miles)

If you have any questions about any of the field trips listed, field trip registration process, questions about the accessibility of a field trip, or feedback on our activity rating scale please contact Head Naturalist Clinton Dexter-Nienhaus via email at naturalist@saxzim.org.

Friday, February 3

Marvelous Mustelids

12:00- 1:30 pm Meeting in the Lois King Education Center at the Welcome Center

Activity Rating- 1

This winter, we will be hosting a variety of talks for visitors in the newly constructed Lois King Education Center! These talks will cover a wide variety of topics and will be given by FOSZB Staff or Volunteers. Our fourth talk of the season will be given by Head Naturalist Clinton. Over the last few winters, weasels have drawn the attention of photographers and mammal enthusiasts alike! The Sax-Zim Bog is home to a number of weasel species and this talk will consider this amazing group of carnivores. Stop by over your lunch break from birding and check our talks this winter!

No registration is required for our Friday Afternoon Speaker Series!

Saturday, February 4

Winter World of Lichens Field Trip

9:00- 2:00 pm Meeting in the Lois King Education Center at the Welcome Center

Activity Rating- 2-3

Northern Minnesota is home to a diverse lichen community. These species cover nearly 8% of the terrestrial surface of the earth, yet are relatively unknown to most of us. Join us on this trip to get firsthand experience in lichen identification, as well as to learn a few of the more common lichens in our area. We will start our field trip indoors, investigating the Welcome Center Lichen Library and during the trip, we will be making small collections of lichens for the Welcome Center Lichen Library! We MAY utilize snowshoes for this Field Trip (email Head Naturalist Clinton at naturalist@saxzim.org to reserve a pair or two).

Register for this field trip here: Winter World of Lichens

Sunday, February 5

Bird Anatomy and Artifacts

10:00- 2:00 pm Meeting in the Lois King Education Center at the Welcome Center

Activity Rating- 1

Sometimes birds have negative interactions with human-made infrastructure. Those birds often times get found by folks who take them to science museums, collections at Universities, or seek out nature centers to utilize those birds for education purposes. Over the years, we have been able to collect feathers, wings and feet, skulls, and nests from a number of species under our education permit and now have a space to share those items with you all! If you have ever wanted to learn about birds through their feather adaptations or skulls, this program is for you! Our time will be spent in the Lois King Education Center investigating the bird artifacts collection at the Welcome Center.

Register for this field trip here: Bird Anatomy and Artifacts

Saturday, February 11

Winter Tree ID

9:00- 1:00pm Meeting in the Lois King Education Center at the Welcome Center

Activity Rating- 1-2

Tree Identification can be important in understanding forest type and age and especially useful when finding birds! But, can trees and shrubs be identified in the winter without their leaves? You bet! This field trip will take place in two parts. First, we will talk about Minnesota’s forests, their history, and what trees and forest types are found in the Sax-Zim Bog inside the Lois King Education Center. Following this initial talk, we will investigate some winter tree and shrub branches indoors before heading out to the Welcome Center Trails to work on ID of trees in the field. Join us for this revamped version of one of our first winter field trip topics!

Register for this field trip here: Winter Tree ID

Sunday, February 12

FOSZB Property Snowshoe Hike: Indian Pipe Bog

9:00- 1:00pm Meeting in the Lois King Education Center at the Welcome Center

Activity Rating- 4

Snowshoes are a great way to continue being active during the winter season and are a great way to explore hard to get to locations in the Bog. Join us for a leisurely hike through Indian Pipe Bog, and learn a little bit about boreal forests and animal sign present during the winter. We will spend time on the established trail and do some light-moderate bushwhacking deeper into this property. Snowshoes are required for this field trip and can be borrowed from the Welcome Center by emailing Head Naturalist Clinton at naturalist@saxzim.org to reserve a pair or two.

Register for this field trip here: Indian Pipe Bog Snowshoe Hike

Thursday, February 16

Peat and Re-Peat: Re-wetting Drained Peatlands as a Natural Climate Solution in Minnesota

6:30- 8:00 pm Zoom Presentation

Presenter: Kristen Blann, Freshwater Ecologist, The Nature Conservancy

Peatlands are abundant in Minnesota, covering 6 million acres or more, representing more than 10% of the state by area and an estimated 37% of stored terrestrial carbon. However, drainage of peat soils has caused and continues to drive significant carbon losses to the atmosphere due to oxidation and decomposition.  Globally, peatland restoration and avoided peat impacts were identified by Griscom et al. 2017 as two of the potentially most important Natural Climate Solutions (NCS) pathways for holding warming to <2 °C; however, they also had some of the highest uncertainty bars, in part due to uncertainties about the balance of COvs CH4 fluxes.  

The Nature Conservancy in Minnesota is quantifying NCS potential for MN peatland conservation and restoration by mapping drained, partially drained and intact peatlands and extrapolating initial estimates of GHG (COand CH4) stocks and fluxes from literature and monitoring at peatland sites in MN.  We are also working with USFS, UMN, and other peatland science experts to measure and model net GHG fluxes across a gradient of partially drained, restored, and undegraded peatland sites–primarily at the Sax Zim Bog– to evaluate the short- and long-term effectiveness of restoration as a climate mitigation strategy. 

Register for this webinar here: Peat and Re-Peat: Re-wetting Drained Peatlands as a Natural Climate Solution in Minnesota

Friday, February 17

Four Seasons in the Sax-Zim Bog

12:00- 1:30 pm Meeting in the Lois King Education Center at the Welcome Center

Activity Rating- 1

This winter, we will be hosting a variety of talks for visitors in the newly constructed Lois King Education Center! These talks will cover a wide variety of topics and will be given by FOSZB Staff or Volunteers. Our fifth talk of the season will be given by Head Naturalist Clinton. While winter may be the busiest time for visitors in the Sax-Zim Bog, there are more seasons in a year! Each year, excited visitors ask, “When is the best time to visit?” This talk will talk about the phenology of the Sax-Zim Bog, when things change, and what a visitor might expect during each of the four seasons in our region to help make your decision easier when planning a visit. Stop by over your lunch break from birding and check our talks this winter!

No registration is required for our Friday Afternoon Speaker Series!

Saturday, February 18

Tracking and Animal Sign Field Trip

9:00- 1:00pm Meeting in the Lois King Education Center at the Welcome Center

Activity Rating- 2-3

Winter offers a lot of opportunities in our area to find and interpret animal sign! Many mammal species are hard to see in the Sax-Zim Bog, but their sign is all around us. This field trip will work to hone your skills finding, interpreting, and documenting animal tracks and sign. Do you need practice determining if you are looking at a dog or wolf track? What is the difference between Black-backed Woodpecker and Pileated Woodpecker sign? This field trip will hope to answer these questions and more while investigating the roadsides and trails around the Welcome Center and beyond. Snowshoes will be helpful during this field trip, but are not required. If you wish to use a pair from the Welcome Center, please email Head Naturalist Clinton at naturalist@saxzim.org to reserve a pair or two!

Register for this field trip here: Tracking and Animal Sign Field Trip

Saturday, February 25

FOSZB Property Snowshoe Hike: Starflower Bog

9:00- 1:00pm Meeting in the Lois King Education Center at the Welcome Center

Activity Rating- 4

Snowshoes are a great way to continue being active during the winter season and are a great way to explore hard to get to locations in the Bog. Join us for a leisurely hike through the recently purchased Starflower Bog, and learn a little bit about boreal forests and animal sign present during the winter. Snowshoes are required for this field trip and can be borrowed from the Welcome Center by emailing Head Naturalist Clinton at naturalist@saxzim.org to reserve a pair or two.

Register for this field trip here: Starflower Bog Snowshoe Hike

Sunday, February 26

Master Naturalist Advanced Training: Winter Bog Ecology

Registration is now open on the Minnesota Master Naturalist Website here!

Friday, March 3

Sax-Zim Bogdiversity

12:00- 1:30 pm Meeting in the Lois King Education Center at the Welcome Center

Activity Rating- 1

This winter, we will be hosting a variety of talks for visitors in the newly constructed Lois King Education Center! These talks will cover a wide variety of topics and will be given by FOSZB Staff or Volunteers. Our final talk of the season will be given by Head Naturalist Clinton, with the hopes of getting visitors excited about a change in season. The greater Sax-Zim Bog is home to a huge diversity of species. To date, we have documented over 3,000 species, most of which cannot be seen during the winter. This talk will highlight our region’s biodiversity and hopefully get visitors excited about visiting when temperatures are well above 0 degrees! Stop by over your lunch break from birding and check our final talk of the winter!

No registration is required for our Friday Afternoon Speaker Series!

Saturday, March 4

Northern Owls Evening Program

Program- 4:00- 5:00pm, with field trip until 8:00 pm

Meeting in the Lois King Education Center at the Welcome Center

Activity Rating- 1-2

FIELD TRIP FULL!

Most often, visitors to the Sax-Zim Bog are looking for owls, but do you really know “hoo” owls are? Come and learn a little about some of the owls that can sometimes be found in the Sax-Zim Bog and the surrounding area. Following a short talk, we will caravan looking for some owls at dusk!

If you are interested being added to the waitlist for the program, email Head Naturalist Clinton at naturalist@saxzim.org.

Sunday, March 5

Master Naturalist Advanced Training: Tracking and Animal Sign in late-winter

Registration is now open on the Minnesota Master Naturalist Website here!

Saturday, March 11

Tracking and Animal Sign Field Trip

9:00- 1:00pm Meeting in the Lois King Education Center at the Welcome Center

Activity Rating- 2-3

Winter offers a lot of opportunities in our area to find and interpret animal sign! Many mammal species are hard to see in the Sax-Zim Bog, but their sign is all around us. This field trip will work to hone your skills finding, interpreting, and documenting animal tracks and sign. Do you need practice determining if you are looking at a dog or wolf track? What is the difference between Black-backed Woodpecker and Pileated Woodpecker sign? This field trip will hope to answer these questions and more while investigating the roadsides and trails around the Welcome Center and beyond. Snowshoes will be helpful during this field trip, but are not required. If you wish to use a pair from the Welcome Center, please email Head Naturalist Clinton at naturalist@saxzim.org to reserve a pair or two!

Register for this field trip here: Tracking and Animal Sign Field Trip

Sunday, March 12

Late Winter Birding Field Trip

8:00 am- 2:00 pm Meeting in the Lois King Education Center at the Welcome Center

Activity Rating- 1-2

By the end of March, many overwintering species begin their migrations back to the Arctic for breeding. Species that might have been common all winter are more difficult to find (like Pine Grosbeak), while species that have not been present all winter begin to become much more common (like Rough-legged Hawk and Snow Bunting). Mid-Late March can be productive for winter species, in temperatures that are more tolerable than mid-January! We hope to find some of our winter specialties like Rough-legged Hawk and Northern Shrike, as well as resident species getting ready for the spring, like Canada Jay and Boreal Chickadee. Join us on the final field trip of the winter season to get your final taste of winter birding for the season before Spring Migration begins in earnest.

Register for this field trip here: Late Winter Birding Field Trip

Thursday, March 16

Minnesota Wild Bee Survey: A Summary of the Statewide Bee Survey and What we have Learned

6:30- 8:00 pm Zoom Presentation

Presenter: Nicole Gerjets, Bee Survey Specialist, Minnesota Biological Survey

Bees are incredibly diverse and provide important ecological services such as pollination. However, baseline information such as faunistic surveys and habitat associations are lacking for most bee species in Minnesota. The goal of this project was to document the bee diversity in the state to inform conservation decisions. The bee diversity in Minnesota was largely undescribed prior to investments in this project. We initiated a statewide wild bee survey in 2015 that has increased the statewide list to just over 490 bee species. Field surveys using passive trapping and hand netting off flowers have covered all counties in Minnesota. Results of the project will be presented, along with a vision for future bee surveys and monitoring.

Register for this webinar here: Minnesota Wild Bee Survey: A Summary of the Statewide Bee Survey and What we have Learned

Directions to the Friends of Sax-Zim Bog Welcome Center

ADDRESS: The address is Sax-Zim Bog Welcome Center 8793 Owl Avenue, Toivola, MN 55765

[NOTE: THIS IS NOT A MAILING ADDRESS…but put this address into Google Maps or Apple Maps.]

Directions from Cotton, MN on US HWY 53:

*Go West from Cotton on CR52/Arkola for 11 miles

*Turn South (left) on Owl Avenue

*Go 1.75 miles (second curve) to Welcome Center

Directions from Meadowlands, on CR133…

*Go East on CR133 to CR229/29

*Turn North (left) on CR229/29

*Go North to T at Correction Line Rd

*Turn West (left) on Correction Line Rd

*Road curves North and becomes Owl Ave

*Go North on Owl Avenue for 2.5 miles to Welcome Center

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