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First BioBlitz set June 17 at Swedes Forest SNA

SACRED HEART -- The public is invited to participate in the first BioBlitz at Swedes Forest Scientific and Natural Area on Saturday, June 17. This is a chance to join scientists and naturalists and learn about all the living organisms inhabiting ...

Tom Cherveny / Tribune file photo An upcoming BioBlitz at the Swedes Forest Scientific and Natural Area on June 17 is an opportunity to discover and learn about rare and unique plants found there, including these cacti found on rock outcrops.
Tom Cherveny / Tribune file photo An upcoming BioBlitz at the Swedes Forest Scientific and Natural Area on June 17 is an opportunity to discover and learn about rare and unique plants found there, including these cacti found on rock outcrops.

SACRED HEART - The public is invited to participate in the first BioBlitz at Swedes Forest Scientific and Natural Area on Saturday, June 17.

This is a chance to join scientists and naturalists and learn about all the living organisms inhabiting Swedes Forest SNA in a one-day field study.

"This is a great opportunity for Minnesotans to enjoy the outdoors," said Brad Bolduan, a science and natural area specialist with the state Department of Natural Resources. "It should be a great time for people of all experience levels to learn about the species present at Swedes Forest SNA. This will be a learning experience for all of us."

Swedes Forest SNA is home to granite outcrops and pools that host rare plant and animal species, including the rare five-lined skink.

"We expect a diverse group of specialists to come," Bolduan said. "Swedes Forest SNA has many different types of organisms for them to study, including fish, spiders, plants, and dragonflies."

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Footwear appropriate for hiking is recommended because there are no maintained trails in the SNA. While the event is "scheduled" for 9 a.m., surveys may occur throughout the day. The BioBlitz will occur rain or shine.

Visitors should bring binoculars and field guides to aid in identification of plant or animal species. The SNA has no public restrooms or drinking water on site.

Directions: From Sacred Heart, go 7 miles south on County Road 9, then 1.5 miles west on 440th Street. Parking will be on the side of the road.

More information on Swedes Forest SNA and the full schedule of DNR events is available on the DNR website at mndnr.gov.

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