After wrapping up another successful Prairie Pothole Day the past September the Chapter has been planing and working hard on habitat projects, family events, and membership activites. Upcoming events and honors include:
The Minnesota Waterfowls Association Awards and Hall of Fame Banquet on February 4th, 2012 at the Ramada Inn Mall of America, Bloomington, MN. The Prairie Pothole Chapter has has been selected as Chaper of the year in recognition of 30 plus years of habitat work and support of the state organiztion. More importantly, Roger Strand, a founding member of the Chapter and Wood Duck Researcher is being inducted into the Hall of Fame.
The Wood Duck Nest Box build and Habitat Day this coming February 25th, 2012 at the Prairie Woods Environmental Learning Center. Familes are invited to come out and build a nest box and learn about wetland and grassland habitat conservation and restoration. The $10 fee for the kit covers the nesting box, mounting pole, predator guard, and hardware.
The Annual Spring Banquet will be held on March 2nd, 2012 at the Holiday Inn in Willmar, MN. More details about the banquet will be available in January 2012.
The 29th Annual Prairie Pothole Day was a resounding sucess! The day started with a volunteer breakfast at the Hillcrest Cafe just South of Stoney Ridge Farm at 6 AM. After a hearty breakfast and copious cups of coffee the volunteers finished last minute work before the gate opened. By 9 AM folks were streaming down the driveway and continued to all day.
A big change this year were the number of dogs, kids, and shooters that attended Prairie Pothole Day. Both the Retriver Challange and the Long Jump were busy all day. The longest jump recorded was for Thor at 25 feet. Shooting was likewise busy with lots of youth shooting the sporting clays couse and trap range. Every booth, tent, and vendor was busy answering questions about wetland habitat restoration, wood duck nesting practices, or thier products. The seminars on waterfowl calling, decoys and tactics, and retriever training were also well attended. While most folks weren't wiling to raise thier hands during the seminar all the speakers reported that folks stopped by thier booths to aske questions.
In fact Prairie Pothole Day was so busy that by 3 in the afternoon concessions was running out of food and had certainly run out of water and most Pepsi Products.
Prairie Pothole Day 2011 was a resounding success. Everyone had a great time and the Chapter raised monies for habitat and education projects in West Central Minnestoa. With a successful 29th accomplished the Chapter is already looking forward to the 30th Annual Prairie Pothole Day.
If you have enjoyed coming out to Prairie Pothole Day over the years please consider joining the Chapter and lending a hand. To learn more ore talk with a Chapter member please contact us.
The Prairie Pothole web page migration is complete. Over the next several weeks we will be evaluating the new space to see how meets the Chapters needs and will most likely redirect traffic away from the old site. If all goes well when you search for Praire Pothole Day in the future it should bring you to this site.
Waterfowl Biologists have competed their work and compiled the annual Waterfowl Report for 2011. The good news is that spring habitat conditions across the breeding grounds has been excellent and that most species have done well. A video of the report can be viewed at Flyway.us. Greater detail about the long term trends of the different species as well as the survey results can be found in the report.
Ducks need nourishment and resting areas in the spring and fall migratory flights. Once Prairie Pothole wetland complexes and shallow lakes provided these spots places for ducks. Degraded nesting cover and poor water quality in Minnesota have shifted migration patterns Westward for more favorable conditions. The Minnesota DNR wildlife section working on it's own and with partners is trying to improve and create habitat to keep waterfowl a strong and vibrant resource. The moist soils and shallow lakes management plans outline how these resources can be improved.