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Deep Portage Blog

Deep Portage Supports Outdoor School for All

Deep Portage Learning Center announced its participation and support of the development of the Minnesota Outdoor School For All bill. Deep Portage Executive Director, Lindsay Bjorklund, is a leader within the Outdoor School for All Minnesota coalition which is introducing the bill today in the Minnesota legislature. The bill, which was co-authored by Rep. Kristi Pursell, would fully fund a three-day, two-night immersive nature experience for every fourth through eighth grade student in Minnesota. The goal is for the bill to be considered as part of the May 2024 Supplemental Budget Session.

Improving Access to Outdoor School

Only 30% of Minnesota students are able to access outdoor school, and children of color and low-income families are less likely to have access to the outdoors and its benefits. This bill will provide crucial funding to help close the access disparity gap, while also preserving Minnesota’s outdoor legacy and providing enhanced educational and social outcomes.

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Cold, northwest winds out of Canada swept across northern Minnesota within the last week giving us our first two frosts of the fall season! Leaves are changing colors quickly and birds are heading south. However, those pesky mosquitoes still refuse to call it a quits!

Around campus, oak trees are dropping acorns at a rapid pace, prairie grasses are seeding out, deer fawns have lost their spots, a small flock of pine siskins has moved in, and Bass Pond water temps are back into the lower sixties. We have not seen any ticks yet, but rest assured they should be right around the corner this time of year.

Looking at the long term forecast, it seems Deep Portage is heading into a beautiful fall weather pattern with highs in the sixties and lows in the forties. Who can complain about that?! Deep Portage is having a Fall Colors Tower Hike on October 3, please come check it out!

Hunting seasons for ruffed grouse and bow-hunting for white-tail deer both open on Saturday, September 19th. Please be mindful of hunters who use the reserve for hunting It wouldn’t be a bad idea to throw on an article or bright blaze orange clothing. No hunting is allowed around the main campus area and trails. See map for details.

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Finally, it has rained! It has been so dry, even our prairie plants have been complaining! Native prairie plants are drought tolerant (due to deep root networks) but have been showing signs of wilting and stress for the past two weeks. Deep Portage installed a native prairie on campus 20 years ago. It has gave way to its own micro-habitat amongst the tall pines and dense hardwood stands that surround campus.

Native prairies usually give off new blooms every other week of so, but July is always the most colorful month. Prairie flowers blooming in our prairie at the moment are: butterfly milkweed, common milkweed, yarrow, hoary vervain, black-eye Susan, purple prairie clover, white prairie clover, boneset, and wild bergamot. Different late summer favorites like goldenrods and blazing stars are putting all their energy into flowering within the next few weeks. Come check out the prairie, its full of color and full of the wonderful aroma of wild bergamot!

July public day programming is underway as well. Check out the full schedule here: . If you have a bigger family/household group that would like a private session, give us a call at 218-682-2325 (ask for Lindsay or Neal) for more info!

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