Field Trip & Volunteer Opportunities

All trips are limited, and registration will be on a first-come, first-served basis. Register early to guarantee your spot!

Volunteer Opportunities

As a pre-conference event and a service to the Duluth community, we have arranged two volunteer opportunities for conference participants. These are a way to see a little more of Duluth and get your hands dirty! All volunteer opportunities are FREE, and will be from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. on Sunday, October 28. Volunteers will be picked up at the Holiday Inn and transported to and from the volunteer site. A snack will be provided, but bring your water bottle and appropriate outside gear (jacket, hiking boots, work gloves). Additional details will be sent to all registered volunteers prior to the event.

Hiking Trail Clearing and Repair in One of Duluthís Stunning Parks
Visit one of Duluthís many wild parks, and enjoy the scenery and the fall afternoon while helping clear new trails, restore degraded sections, or repair old or worn trails, and get them in shape for next yearís hikers.

Lend a Helping Hand in Hartley
Visit Hartley Nature Center, see their new green building, and help out in Hartley Park, one of Duluthís largest urban wildernesses, by repairing eroded trails or removing invasive species.

Field Trips

All field trips, except the St. Louis River boat tour, will take place after the conference on Wednesday, October 31. Additional details will be sent directly to participants, as appropriate.

St. Louis River Area of Concern (AOC) Boat Tour and Brunch
Sunday, Oct 28, 1:30 p.m. - 4 p.m.
Tour the St. Louis River aboard the Vista Star. Trip leaders will discuss recent and planned remediation efforts within this Area of Concern while participants learn about the Remedial Action Plan (RAP) in this fully-enclosed and climate-controlled vessel. The 1.5 hour cruise also includes brunch! Participants will meet at the Holiday Inn at 1:30 on Sunday, and walk through the skyway to the harbor. The boat returns at 4 p.m. $28

Behind the Scenes at the Great Lakes Aquarium
Wednesday, October 31, 1 p.m. - 3 p.m.
How do they feed all those critters? How do they keep so many fish healthy and happy? Find out on this guided behind-the-scenes tour, and take your time wandering through the exhibits at Duluthís Great Lakes Aquarium. This trip departs from the DECC at 1 p.m, and tours will be complete by 3 p.m., but participants are welcome to explore the aquarium until closing time at 6 p.m. $8

South Shore Fisheries Medley
Wednesday, October 31, 1 p.m. - 7 p.m.
Visit a variety of fisheries sites along Wisconsinís Lake Superior shoreline, from the new Northern Aquaculture Demonstration Facility, to the Coaster Brook Trout Hatchery in Red Cliff. Visit with local commercial and tribal fishermen to see how their techniques differ, and find out about their strategies and difficulties. This trip will start at 1 p.m. and return at 7 p.m., with a stop for supper at a Wisconsin restaurant serving fresh Lake Superior fish (purchased on your own). $23

Innovative Stormwater Management Tour
Wednesday, October 31, 1 p.m. - 5 p.m.
If you were a raindrop, where would you go? Find some of the best places for raindrops on this bus tour of non-point source pollution reduction projects in the Duluth-Superior area. Find out how rain gardens, pervious pavement, biofiltration, swales, and new developments are reducing stormwater runoff and pollution to Lake Superior. This trip departs from the DECC at 1 p.m. and returns at 5 p.m. Limited to 18 people. $17

Tour the Environmental Protection Agency Lab in Duluth
Wednesday, October 31, 1 p.m. - 4:30 p.m.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Office of Research and Development, National Health and Environmental Effects Research Laboratory, Mid Continent Ecology Division is located in Duluth, MN. The lab helps protect our nation's water resources by studying the effects of pollutants and other stressors on freshwater ecosystems. Their mission is to provide scientific information for use in assessing and forecasting the effects of pollutants and other stressors on our nation's freshwater resources. The division provides the world-class expertise of a team of highly trained scientists, technical support staff, and administrators. $14

St. Louis River Freshwater Estuary Edventure
Wednesday, October 31, 1 p.m. - 5 p.m.
Spend the afternoon visiting coastal wetlands within the St. Louis River Freshwater Estuary and hear about Wisconsinís Freshwater Estuary Initiative and the Lake Superior Freshwater Estuary Center. Visit areas with recent protection and restoration projects and learn more about the effort to have the second National Estuarine Research Reserve in the Great Lakes located on Wisconsinís Lake Superior shore. This trip starts at 1 p.m., and will return at 5 p.m. $18

Hike the Superior Hiking Trail
Wednesday, October 31, 1 p.m. - 5 p.m.
New sections of the Superior Hiking Trail, which extends from Jay Cooke State Park to near the Canadian border, have been completed through the city of Duluth. Join staff of the Superior Hiking Trail Association as they lead you across high rock outcroppings with stunning views of the St. Louis River Estuary, through old-growth hardwood forests, and across cascading trout streams. Trips will depart at 1 p.m., and return at 5 p.m. Moderate exertion; bring a water bottle, appropriate outdoor clothing, and your camera. We will provide snacks to keep you going! $8

Western Lake Superior Sanitary Districtís Composting Program
Wednesday, October 31, 12:30 p.m. - 5 p.m.
WLSSD established the nation's only residential food waste drop site program to complement its successful commercial food waste recovery efforts at local restaurants and institutions (including our conference venue, the DECC). WLSSD's long-running and popular organics composting center transforms yard trimmings and food residuals into compost for use in yards and gardens across the region. Tour their facility and find out how this all works. Trip departs at 12:30 p.m., and will return at 4 p.m. Lunch will be provided free, courtesy of WLSSD. $8