We are a group of graduates of the Minnesota Master Naturalist program that is offered through the University of Minnesota Extension in co-operation with the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources. We meet regularly at the Visitor's Center at Fort Snelling State Park, and we consider the park to be our "home."
A Very Brief History
Linda Radimecky, Jim Kern, and Jim Coleman organized the initial meeting of the (then unchartered and unnamed) Twin Cities Chapter of Minnesota Master Naturalists. This meeting occured at the visitor center at Fort Snelling State Park on September 10, 2009. Val Cervenka of the DNR's Forest Health Program gave a presentation on the threat posed to Minnesota's ash trees by the emerald ash borer. During a short business meeting prior to her talk, Jim Kern presented information about the process by which the chapter would establish itself, and asked for volunteers to form a steering committee.
Volunteers formed the initial Chapter Coordinating Committee (CCC). Jim Coleman, Ilene Coon, Susan Fall, Jeanne Jensen and Mary Newstrom agreed to serve, and DNR Interpretive Naturalist Linda Radimecky generously offered to fill the role of chapter advisor. The CCC met on September 23 and reviewed the Minnesota Master Naturalist (MMN) Program Chapter application, and created a plan for meeting structure and content. The chapter's working name was "Fort Snelling Chapter of MMN."
The second meeting of the Chapter was held on November 5, 2009 and featured a lively presentation on the world of insects by urban naturalist Neil Cunningham. Again, a short business meeting preceeded the program, and the CCC delivered a report on the chapter's progress towards its charter. A discussion of the timeframe for the chapter's first elections took place. The chapter's official name (as determined by a email poll of the members) was announced.
At the third meeting of the chapter on January 13, 2010, Dr. Ann Kessen—President of the Minnesota Ornithologist's Union (MOU) and a professor of biology at Century College—spoke on the subject on global climate change. Her talk focused on the likely effects of climate change on the flora and fauna of Minnesota, and was very well received.
During the business meeting prior to Dr. Kessen's talk, moderator Chase Davies asked attendees to introduce themselves and to provide a little background about their interests. Chapter member Alison Rotel expressed a desire to start a book club (see the Calendar page for details). Sign-ups for committees and volunteer positions were available. See the Organization page for more about these positions and committees.