If you get out paddling on one of Minnesota's 10,000-plus lakes this fall, keep an eye out for wild rice. Typically growing in shallow water depths of one to three feet, mature wild rice beds look like stands of tall, fluffy grass. These rice beds are very attractive to migrating birds including red-winged blackbirds and many species of ducks. Minnesota has more acres of natural wild rice than any other state in the country. Wild rice has been historically documented in 45 of Minnesota's 87 counties and in all corners of the state. Anecdotal information suggests an even broader distribution prior to European settlement. Wild rice is an important social and cultural component for American Indian tribes and rural Minnesota communities. Ricing takes place from mid-August through September. During the month of October, Ojibwe communities tend to drying, parching and preparing the rice before it can be packaged for later use or to sell. Wild rice is affected by water flow, turbidity, water quality and water level fluctuations. Wild rice is sensitive to varying water levels, and production in individual stands from year-to-year is highly variable depending on local water conditions. ...
99 volunteers planted 135 large potted oak and maple trees at a new portion of Allemansrätt Wilderness Park on September 30, National Public Lands Day. These trees will help to restore this space to the ecosystem that was here prior to farming and will provide high quality habitat for local wildlife.
Photos taken by Gary Banks and Kent Duryee
Partners & Funders: City of Lindstrom, Minnesota Environment and Natural Resources Trust Fund, Minnesota Outdoor Heritage Fund, and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Fund