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Conservation Calendar


Prairie Pothole Spring Banquet -- The Minnesota Waterfowl Association's Prairie Pothole chapter will hold its annual Spring Banquet Friday, Jan. 29 at the Kandiyohi Entertainment Center in Willmar. Social hour begins at 5:30 p.m. and the dinner starts at 7 p.m. Proceeds from the event help support area events, including the Annual Youth Shoot, the MWA Woodie Camp and Family Habitat Day. For more information or to order tickets, call Jim or Kay Boyer at 320-235-7287, Troy Heck at 320-235-0560, Dave Larson at 320-214-1497 or Curt Mackedanz at 320-796-6416. Information is also available on the Internet at


Willmar Rifle and Pistol Club -- Indoor range open to public Tuesdays and Thursdays, 6:30-9 p.m. through April. Located in the basement of the Willmar City Auditorium. $1.50 per half-hour. Targets on sale. Rimfire rifles, rimfire or centerfire handguns only. No high-power/magnum loads. For more information, email

Prairie Woods ELC

The following activities are offered by Prairie Woods Environmental Learning Center. Register by calling PWELC, 354-5894 or e-mail at Discount available on all classes for members.

Winter Family Fun Day -- 1 p.m. Feb. 7. Activities include snowshoeing, cross country skiing, winter birding and animal tracking. Ski and snowshoe rental is included in the fee, which is $5 per person or $15 maximum per family.

Beginner Archery Class -- All equipment provided or you can bring your own. 4 p.m. April 6. Ages 10 and older. Fee is $10 per person.

Advanced Archery Class -- All equipment provided or you can bring your own. 4 p.m. April 13. Ages 10 and older. Fee is $10 per person.

Open Shooting Range -- Sporting clays as well as .22-caliber rifles. All ammunition and targets will be provided. Range opens at 5 p.m. and will close at dark on May 25 and June 1. RVSPs encouraged. All ages are welcome, 12 and under will need adult supervision. Fee is $16 for a round of sporting clays and $4 for the .22 range.

Open Climbing -- Indoor rock climbing wall. Saturdays from 9 a.m.-noon. Reservations required, please call by Thursday.

Fall Open House -- Prairie Woods' Annual Fall Open House will be held Sunday, Sept. 21 from 1-5 p.m. Fun for all ages can be found at PWELC. There will be climbing activities with the outdoor climbing tower, interpretive guide tours of the American Indian history site, the butterfly garden will be open and the Westby Educational Shooting Range will be open from 1-4 p.m. Snacks and refreshments will be available for purchase. Admission is free, though some events will require tokens that can be purchased on site. The Shooting Range activities will require cash. For more information, call 320-354-5894

Sibley State Park

The Interpretive Center's hours vary. Sibley State park programs are on the weekends at the Interpretive Center and are led by the park naturalist or visiting expert. A vehicle permit is required to enter the park and they are available at the park office. For more information call 320-354-2002. For current information on trail condition visit the DNR Web site at

Snowshoeing for Kids: 2 p.m. Jan. 31, weather permitting. Kids 10 years of age and older are invited for a little winter fun. Snowshoes will be provided to the first 10 kids who call to reserve a pair. Kids must be accompanied by one adult, for reservations, 320-354-2055. Refreshments and a nature DVD will follow the hike.

Snowshoe hike: 2 p.m. Jan. 9, 16, 23 and 30, Feb. 6, 13, 20, weather permitting. Following a brief talk, a naturalist will lead a beautiful and exhilarating winter hike. Snowshoes will be provided to the first 20 people, 10 years of age and older, who call for reservations, 320-354-2055. Kids must be accompanied by one adult.

Winter bird feeding: 2 p.m., Jan. 10. Learn about foods, feeders, bird identification and behavior of winter birds. Free bird feeder designs and information available.

Kids Ice Fishing: 2 p.m., Jan. 17. Discover the secret to finding fish in the winter and make your own ice fishing jiggle stick. An adult must accompany children. Reservations required, limit 10, $5 per kid for program and jiggle stick. Call 320-354-2055.

Animal track making for kids: 2 p.m. Jan. 24. Learn about animal tracks by making tracks from plaster of paris and rubber molds. Take a short walk in the snow to look for tracks and signs of wildlife. An adult must accompany children. Reservations required, limit 10. Call 320-354-2055.

Moonlight snowshoe hike: 7 p.m., Thursday, Jan. 28, Feb. 25, weather permitting. Enjoy an evening of showshoeing under the light of the moon with a guide leading the walk. Snowshoes will be provided to the first 20 people, 10 years of age and older, who call for reservations, 354-2002 or 354-2055. Kids must be accompanied by one adult. If you have your own snowshoes you are also welcome on the hike. May be cancelled due to clouds.

Cross Country Ski lesson: 1 to 2:30 p.m. Feb. 7. Learn the turning, flat, downhill and uphill techniques. Kids welcome, must be accompanied by an adult. Need your own equipment. Reservations required, limit of 12. Call 320-354-2055.

Minnesota's State Symbols: 2 p.m. Feb. 14. Find out how the Minnesota state bird, flower and even muffin came to be during this PowerPoint presentation and discussion program.

Maple syruping, from tree to taste: 2 p.m., March 13, 20 and 27. Explore the history of maple syruping, the tools of the trade, sap collection, processing and best of all, tasting. Limit 40. Reservations required, call 354-2055.

To get your outdoors activity in the Conservation Calendar, mail a copy of a flier or handout to West Central Tribune, c/o Outdoors, Box 839, Willmar, MN 56201; fax to 320-235-6769; or email and put "Conservation Calendar" in the subject line. Submissions must be received by Wednesday to be published in the following weekend edition. No phone calls, please.