Agassiz Audubon Society has several outdoor projects for volunteers at their Spring Work Day event - a Thrivent Action Team project - at the NW Minnesota Pollinator Garden, east of Warren, MN. Volunteers will install nest boxes, mulch the garden beds and paths, plant trees, and help put up a garden fence.
No experience necessary. Agassiz Audubon will show you what to do, and Perry Vogel of the Purple Martin Association of the Dakotas will explain how to select, install and monitor martin houses.
Volunteers are encouraged to bring rakes, gloves and shovels. Lunch and beverages will be provided for everyone who signs up by phone (218-745-5663) or email (AgassizAudubon@gmail.com).
The NW Minnesota Pollinator Garden project began as a collaborative effort of the Middle Snake Tamarac Rivers Watershed District (MSTRWD), Agassiz Audubon Society and the University of Minnesota Crookston (UMC) to develop a 2-acre demonstration pollinator garden on land owned by the Watershed District.
Initial funding came from a grant from the Northwest Minnesota Foundation, and donations in memory of Sarah F. Gunderson of Thompson, ND, Tom Valega of Linden, NJ, and Christine Boman of Warren, MN.
With a grant from the Minnesota Department of Agriculture, the Horticulture Program at UMC hired Twin Cities-based landscape architect Carmen Simonet to design the garden and create 4 interpretive signs.
UMC obtained local genotype native plant seeds and grew them in their greenhouses.
Agassiz Audubon Society organized a team of volunteers to install the plants in June 2015.
The Pollinator Garden project received additional support from the Northwest Minnesota Foundation, the Partners for Fish & Wildlife Program (US Fish & Wildlife Service), the Warren Area Community Fund, and Pheasants Forever. Agassiz Audubon volunteers cleared a parking area and installed garden paths and a bench. Warren area Boy Scout Troop 50 built boxes for native bees and mulched the garden.
Last fall the Watershed District installed a Chimney Swift Tower/Visitor Information kiosk funded by Agassiz Audubon and constructed by students in Nathan Wozniak's Industrial Technology class at WAO High School.
Then came the harsh winter. The local deer population started using the garden as a feeding station. Agassiz Audubon Board Member John Hess designed a deer-proof fence. PKM Electric Cooperative donated and installed the fence corner posts. Agassiz Audubon purchased support posts and metal fencing. They need volunteers to help finish installing the fence - and to weed and mulch the garden beds with "straw" mulch donated by Carlson Prairie Seeds.
Future plans include additional plantings (Bur Oaks, prairie grasses and forbs), benches and signs, pergolas, council rings, trails and boardwalks, and a composting toilet.
For information about memorials and naming opportunities, please contact Agassiz Audubon.