Minnesota Bison EdVenture: Minneopa State Park

Join the Minnesota Zoo for this amazing bison adventure!

Named the national mammal of the United States in 2016, the Bison is one of the largest and most iconic animals in the country. Numbering in the tens of millions of animals across the prairie, bison were hunted to near extinction during the 19th century. Small herds were saved and protected in reserves such as Yellowstone National Park. Since then, the population has multiplied to safe numbers as a result of bison restoration and protection efforts on public lands and in private herds.

The Minnesota Zoo has collaborated with the Parks and Trails Division of the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) to conserve the American plains bison genome in the state of Minnesota. A joint herd of Bison that have tested free of cattle genes is being managed cooperatively at Blue Mounds State Park, Minneopa State Park, and at the Minnesota Zoo.

The Bison EdVenture starts and ends at the Zoo, with most the day spent at Minneopa State Park. You will learn more about this amazing partnership as you hear from Zoo and DNR experts, go behind the scenes to see what it takes to manage such large herds of these magnificent animals, discover the beauty and history of Minneopa, and exercise your roaming abilities on a 5.5 mile hike around the park.

The day will include:
- Breakfast pastries and snacks
- Tour of the bison facilities at the Minnesota Zoo
- Guided naturalist hike around Minneopa
- See the bison facilities at Minneopa
- Drive the Bison Road at Minneopa
- Meet a Bison Ambassador
- Stop for a picnic lunch at Minneopa*
- Visit the Minneopa Waterfalls
- Talks from Minnesota Zoo and DNR staff, with education and stories about bison, their natural history, and our ongoing conservation work.
- Transportation is NOT included*
- Optional: dinner/drinks and visit Traverse des Sioux (not included in the registration fee)

*To prevent the spread of any illnesses, please bring your own picnic lunch and provide your own transportation. A Minneopa State Park Day Pass is included in your registration fee.

Accessibility and Experience: No previous experiences is required; however, the hike will require a moderate level of physical health and mobility.

Date: Saturday, September 18, 2021
Age: Open to families of all ages
Times: 8:00 am-5:30 pm
Cost: $99/person

Registration Deadline: August 31, 2021

The itinerary may be altered due to weather. In case of inclement weather, the EdVenture will be cancelled and a refund will be issued.

Packing List:
- Comfortable hiking boots/shoes that can get dirty
- A clean pair of shoes to wear if your boots get dirty
- Reusable water bottle
- Picnic lunch
- Hat, sunscreen, and sunglasses, if sunny
- Raincoat/an extra layer to wear, if rainy or chilly
Optional:
- Long pants and long sleeve top layer for bugs and sun
- Binoculars and Camera

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