Lop sumac at Grey Cloud Dunes SNA [FULL]

Event Date: 
Tuesday, August 18, 2020 - 6:00pm to Wednesday, August 19, 2020 - 7:45pm
Grey Cloud Dunes SNA
Volunteers lop sumac in the background, with a bright yellow prairie flower in the foreground.

Located in Cottage Grove, this spectacular Scientific and Natural Area (SNA) features two sandy terraces along the Mississippi river. The first rises 40 to 60 feet above river-level with remarkable crescents and blowouts sculpted by southwesterly winds. The second, 110 feet above the Mississippi, has a dramatic cut-face. Dunes on both terraces rise in waves, cresting 10 to 20 feet above the swales. Grey Cloud Dunes SNA is a sight to see! Help us further our restoration efforts at this special site.

Home to a rare dry prairie, this area provides essential native bee, butterfly and wildlife habitat. After a brief orientation and a short hike, volunteers will work with FMR ecologists to help remove sumac, an aggressive native shrub that would otherwise overtake this vital habitat. Other tending and restoration tasks may also be needed.

All tools and training will be provided at the event, and no experience is necessary. All volunteers are encouraged to work at their own pace. However, due to tool usage, including loppers and saws, this event is not suitable for youth. The designation of this type of park is meant to protect rare, fragile plant and animal habitat, please note Grey Cloud SNA does not feature amenities – trails or restrooms.

We will work in a small, socially distant group. Besides helping prevent the spread of COVID-19, smaller group size will allow us to tread lightly on this special place and also to make sure everyone has a chance to ask questions about the site's ecology and the many native plants and flowers sure to be in bloom on this summer evening.

Ready to register?

While this event is full, you can still sign up for the waitlist. Please contact FMR Volunteer & Outreach Coordinator Sophie Downey at sdowney@fmr.org, 651.222.2193 x27, or by selecting Sophie by name under "Category" via the FMR contact form. Please include the name of the event, your name, address and phone number and the number in your party. We will contact you if a spot opens up.

Can't make it?

To receive notices of future events, contact FMR Volunteer & Outreach Coordinator Sophie Downey at sdowney@fmr.org. Or, visit our Events Calendar for our most up-to-date listing of upcoming events. To receive a twice-a-month e-newsletter including all FMR activities and news, sign up for Mississippi Messages.

What about COVID-19?

We've modified our events this year to be smaller, and allow for individuals to work while safely six feet apart. All tools will be sanitized between events, and all gloves provided are unused in 2020. Once registered, volunteers will receive a full list of safety precautions and guidelines. 

We're watching the CDC and Minnesota Department of Health guidelines closely. If plans change based on their recommendations, FMR Volunteer & Outreach Coordinator Sophie Downey will email registrants with event updates. (Be sure to add sdowney@fmr.org to your contacts so updates don't land in spam.) And we'll update this page if anything changes.

We will offer gloves and hand sanitizer at the event. Volunteers are required to bring and wear their own mask.

Thank you event partners and funders: 3M Foundation, BNSF Foundation, MN Department of Natural Resources, the Minnesota Environment and Natural Resources Trust Fund and generous donors like you!