Tend the oak woodlands at the Hastings Sand Coulee SNA [FULL]

Event Date: 
Wednesday, May 5, 2021 - 6:00pm to 7:30pm
Hastings Sand Coulee SNA
The woodland at the Sand Coulee

The oak woodlands that border the prairie at the Hastings Sand Coulee SNA are home to important native plants and animals, but also home to invasive garlic mustard.

This event has reached maximum capacity. Read below for instructions to sign up for the waitlist, and we will contact you if anyone cancels their spot for this event. Or, see our full event calendar to choose a different volunteer opportunity.


The short grasses and wildlflowers of the dry prairie at the Hastings Sand Coulee Scientific and Natural Area (SNA) offer a unique beauty in the Twin Cities area. 14 rare plant and animal species call the Coulee home. The deeply rooted prairie plants also help filter pollutants from runoff water before it can enter the nearby Vermillion and Mississippi Rivers. 

On this spring evening, volunteers will work with FMR Senior Ecologist Karen Schik to identify and help halt the spread of one extremely invasive plant, garlic mustard, which is found in one small area of the oak woodland that flanks the prairie. By removing this plant, volunteers will improve habitat for the native woodland plant and animal species in just a couple of hours.

This event is part of the Vermillion Stewards program, engaging residents to learn about the watershed while working to protect and enhance its unique natural resources.

Please wear sturdy shoes and be prepared to work on uneven terrain. All are welcome, but capacity is limited and registration is required and limited to 10 volunteers, in order to maintain a safe distance between individuals. As always, all tools and training will be provided and volunteers are encouraged to work at their own pace and comfort level.

Before you register

A short walk up a small hill is required to get to the worksite. At the worksite, the event will take place on level terrain.

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 Vermillion Stewards 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 during the pandemic 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 or 2021. Once registered, volunteers will receive a full list of safety precautions and guidelines. You can read more about our policies here.

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 masks.

Thank you to our partners and funders: BNSF Foundation, the Environment and Natural Resources Trust Fund, Hastings High School, the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources Scientific and Natural Areas Program, the Outdoor Heritage Fund, RBC Wealth Management, the United Way of Hastings and Xcel Energy.