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University of Minnesota Extension
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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.

Forestry

Become a Master Woodland Owner

The Master Woodland Owner program delivers a comprehensive training curriculum for private woodland owners interested in becoming better stewards of their woods.

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.

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.

Woodland stewardship

A woodland stewardship plan can help you identify and achieve goals for your land. 

Invasive species

Detect aquatic invasives

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

Scout for forest pests

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

Identify invasive species

Citizens can help with early detection of invasive species.

Wildlife

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.

News

Close-up of spongy moth

The University of Minnesota has been a national leader in improving troublesome invasive species common names since 2018.

Wooded property with a deer grazing on grass just beyond the fence line.

Landowners who have woodlands or windbreaks need to walk through these landscapes each year to assess what trees and understory vegetation is growing, and figure out a plan for invasive species.

Forest in summer.

While private forestland in Minnesota is diverse in terms of the forest, the demographics of woodland stewards are not. A new Extension report is a first step toward building woodland steward resources that are more culturally relevant.

Natural Resources News

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

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