Refuge to have 20th annual fall wildlife festival Oct. 5

Tips from a pro on photographing wildlife and a 5K walk/run event will be among the new events at Sherburne National Wildlife Refuge’s 20th annual fall wildlife festival from 10:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 5.
The location is between Princeton and Zimmerman about 5 miles west of Highway 169 along Sherburne County Road 9 south of the old schoolhouse. Visitors will notice new excavation work at the festival site as the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service plans to construct an environmental education building there once federal funds are appropriated.
The Friends of Sherburne National Wildlife Refuge support group is putting on the 5K walk/run event that will begin at 9 a.m. Registration begins at 7:30 a.m., but people can also preregister by logging onto exploreSherburne.org and clicking on Friends of Sherburne, which will have a link with the registration form to send in.
Medals will be awarded for male and female age classes. Entry fee is $20 per participant if paid after Sept. 26 and $18 if paid before that date. The entry fee donation covers race number, T-shirt, timing, post-race snack and water. The 5K course is packed gravel over a gently rolling landscape.
Other than the 5K run/walk, everything else at the festival will be free. That includes two presentations on photographing wildlife starting at 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. from naturalist and professional wildlife photographer Sparky Stensaas. Stensaas is scheduled to give tips and tricks on how to get close to wildlife, as well tips on useful equipment including cameras and various kinds of blinds.
Other attractions
Other activities will include horse-drawn wagon rides, seeing live Minnesota raptors, a scavenger hunt, a bonfire and food concessions.
Booths will be set up for recovery projects for bluebirds and red-headed woodpeckers, prairie seeds and teas, nature crafts, habitat management, Minnesota reptiles, wildlife discovery, Northern Exposures Photography Club, geocaching, Minnesota Mineral Club, Turn-in-Poachers Wall of Shame, a nature store, a silent auction, a beekeepers association with pollination station, the National Wild Turkey Federation, a BB gun shooting range, the Minnesota Waterfowl Association, and Minnesota Bowhunters Inc.
The Refuge’s costumed blue goose mascot is also scheduled to be there. The food concession will run 11 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.
For more information or special accommodations, call 763 389-3323.

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