Maplewood offers free outdoor expo — indoors

For families who'd like to get more involved in outdoor activities — birdwatching to biking, first aid to fishing — the Maplewood Community Center, 2100 White Bear Ave., will host an outdoor expo from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, April 18.

From where to go to what to take, attendees will find all kinds of resources and expert guidance. The first 50 guests get a free goodie bag.

Just a few of the highlights at the expo:

• Live Animals: Meet Spike, a real live porcupine! Get a close-up view of a raptor and other creatures that call Minnesota home.

• Maplewood Parks: Pick up a park map and recreation brochure. Talk to Maplewood parks staff and commissioners about parks, trails, picnic shelter rentals, programs, and the City’s new Park Master Plan.

• First Aid: Maplewood paramedics will be on hand to make sure your outdoor first aid skills are up to snuff. Learn how to protect yourself, what symptoms to watch for, and what to do for sunburn, heat exhaustion, dehydration, ticks, and more. Practice the new hands-only CPR technique.

• Birding: Try out a pair of binoculars and test your knowledge of Minnesota birds. Folks from the Audubon Society will answer your questions and help you identify local birds.

• Weather: Planning a picnic or an afternoon on the lake? Be sure to check the weather forecast. Stop by this station for a refresher on Minnesota weather, including reading an on-line weather radar map and reviewing what to do when severe storms or tornados hit.

• Fishing: Fishing is an age-old tradition in this land of 10,000 lakes. If you’ve never tried it, how about this year? Stop by the DNR’s MinnAqua booth to see what’s new or to learn how to get started.

• Geocaching:  Geocaching can turn the most adverse young hiker into an avid outdoor fan. After a brief orientation, head out on the trail to find a hidden cache.

• Gardening:  Gardening is a great way to enjoy the outdoors. From fruits and vegetables to rain gardens and native plants, skilled gardeners will spark your botanic curiosity and answer your questions.

• Vendors: Talk to the experts. Local vendors, health providers, and non-profits will wow you with the newest gear and techniques. Check out the latest in biking, learn the basic canoe paddle strokes, tie a fly for fly fishing, and more.

•  Food: Stay for lunch! Food trucks are cooking up delicious fare for purchase.


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