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Volunteers Needed for Two Events this Weekend in the Cowling Arboretum

May 14, 2013
By Jacob Cohn '13

Volunteers are needed for two events happening this Saturday, May 18 in the Cowling Arboretum. From 6 to 9 a.m., the College will host its Annual Spring Bird Count and from 9 a.m. until noon, participants are invited to help with an Arboretum Spring Clean Up.

Any one with an interest in bird watching is invited to participate in the Arboretum's 11th Annual Spring Bird Count. No experience is necessary and participants should plan to meet at 6 a.m. at the Arboretum Office. 

Arboretum staff and volunteers record all birds seen and heard from a variety of habitats in the Lower Arboretum as part of the long-term monitoring of the success of the Arboretum’s restoration and management projects. With its extensive prairie habitat as well as upland and lowland forests, the Arboretum is a prime location for bird watching, and species inhabiting the area include the endangered Henslow sparrow (Ammodramus henslowii), which thrives in tall-grass prairies.

The bird count is expected to last around three hours, and refreshments will be provided. The Cowling Arboretum Office is located at 710 Three Oaks Drive on the Carleton College campus, accessible from Highway 19 east of downtown Northfield.

Carleton College’s Cowling Arboretum also seeks volunteers to help improve the Upper Arboretum by removing buckthorn and honeysuckle. Participants will meet at 9 a.m at the bridge over Spring Creek, near the intersection of Second and Oak Streets in Northfield; signs will be posted directing latecomers to the work location. Volunteers are asked to wear long pants and closed-toe shoes and to bring work gloves if they have them.

Buckthorn and honeysuckle are harmful invasive species that crowd out native flora, and Arboretum staff members periodically attempt to remove these plants wherever they are found. Staff members are also engaged in a long-term effort to catalog the species of flora and fauna that are found within the Arboretum. The current list of species can be found at

Arboretum staff are engaged in a long-term effort to catalog the species of flora and fauna that are found within the arboretum. The current list of species can be found at

The Cowling Arboretum covers around 800 acres of land adjacent to the Carleton College campus and is used for academic work as well as recreation.

For more information about these two volunteer opportunities, contact Cowling Arboretum Director Nancy Braker at (507) 222-4543. 


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