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University of Minnesota Extension

Natural resources

Environmental education and community science

Become a Minnesota Master Naturalist volunteer

Any adult who is curious and enjoys learning about the natural world can become a Minnesota Master Naturalist.

Explore nature in your backyard and beyond

Explore your natural surroundings with your family, help scientists observe plants and animals, stay active while staying home.

Get involved

Everyone, everywhere, can be a scientist by observing and gathering data about the world around them.

Youth programs and teacher resources

Educators and youth workers find resources and curricula for outdoor and classroom activities.


Forests and farming

Agroforestry combines agricultural and forestry practices to improve environmental quality, productivity and economic returns.

Gathering wild-grown plants and fungi

Minnesota forests offer more than timber. Learn how to produce nuts and fruit, make maple syrup or gather wild plants for food or decorations.

Managing your woodlands

Learn how to care for and manage different forest types and harvest timber in Minnesota.

Minnesota Woodland Steward program

Participating in the Minnesota Woodland Steward program will help you create a plan to keep your woods healthy for future generations.

My Minnesota Woods

Timely articles on sustainable forest management and achieving forest stewardship goals.

Tree selection and care

Guidance from Extension experts on choosing, growing, and tending to your yard and woodland trees.

Invasive species

Detect aquatic invasives

AIS Detectors and Trackers are statewide volunteer invasive species surveillance programs that target high-risk areas with trained observers.

Identify invasive species and non-native species

Citizens can help with early detection of invasive species.

Scout for forest pests

Forest Pest First Detector volunteers detect and diagnose early infestations of invasive plants, insects and other pests.

Terrestrial Invasive Species Participatory Science (TIPS) projects

Volunteers work on short-term research projects that have long-term effects on invasive species science, management and policy.


Help wild pollinators

Pollinators help plants that bring us food and other resources. Learn how to create pollinator-friendly environments in your yard and garden.

Manage woodlands for wildlife

Strategies for attracting wildlife to your Minnesota woodlands, including grouse, deer, pheasants, turkey and other animals.

Protect plants from wildlife

Manage plant damage from deer, moles and voles.

Track deer damage in woods

Volunteer to collect data on deer damage to vegetation in Minnesota woodlands.


Red pine stand with white pine seedlings growing underneath it.

Tree species at the southern edge of their current range will face increasing climate stress, and hardwoods not currently seen in Minnesota may slowly take their place.

Cindy Gackle and her dog Murphy

Cindy Gackle is a perfect example of how you don’t have to know everything or dedicate all your time to a cause. As long as you are committed, you can still make an impact.

Spruce budworm larvae on a tree branch.

When spruce budworm eats the buds of a tree, the tree becomes stressed. While trees often can withstand this stress, the risk of tree death increases when a drought occurs in addition to spruce budworm feeding.

Natural Resources News

Timely articles on forestry, water resources, wildlife, invasive species, volunteer citizen science projects and the work of Master Naturalists.


All natural resources events

See all natural resource events around the state.

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