Tree mysteries to tough cookies: Top ten reasons to come to Second Saturday at Coldwater Spring

By Kate Havelin, Community Outreach

Ten tree-mendous reasons to bring your family to Second Saturday at Coldwater Spring, July 12th from 9 AM to noon:

10. Tree Mysteries! Cue the eerie music…We’ve got a mystery in the park. Come hear what’s happening to cottonwoods, some of the tallest trees in the forest floodplain. Eagles like to nest in cottonwoods, but lately, the big trees have hit a big snag.
9. Coldwater Spring is conveniently located—tucked between Minnehaha Falls Regional Park and Fort Snelling State Park. It’s a quick and easy way to visit our local national park, the Mississippi National River and Recreation Area. You don’t need a park pass to visit Coldwater Spring, located at 5601 Minnehaha Park Drive South, Minneapolis. You can bike, drive, or take light rail to Coldwater, which has limited free parking, with metered parking nearby.
8. Geocaching! Use our National Park GPS to find cool caches hidden in the park. Our geocache course is easy for all, so whether you’re new to geocaching or not, come scout out our adventures.
7. Explore the trails of Coldwater. Walk & hike throughout the park and down to the river along trails that show you the wilderness in the heart of the city. Bike along the trails that border the park to the east and west.
6. Cookies! OK, they’re not edible. Our tough cookies are full of fiber. They’re slices of old trees. Kids can count the rings on the tree cookies to figure out a tree’s age.
5. Try one, two, or three different scavenger hunts. From easy to challenge, our scavenger hunts are ideal for everyone in the family. Ours is a nature-friendly game; no need to pick up or collect anything. Just grab a crayon and a scavenger hunt sheet, walk around the park and circle what you see, hear and smell.
4. Easy-to-do crafts—we’ve got all the supplies so kids can do a quick and simple make-and-take craft.
3. Coldwater blends new and old, with a historic 1880 springhouse and a newly restored oak savanna prairie. From birds and bugs nesting in tall grasses to fish swimming in the reservoir, come explore life at the park. Since 2012, Mississippi River Fund and National Park Service volunteers have planed 500 trees and more than a 1,000 native plants.
2. Every Second Saturday, kids can earn a Junior Ranger badge, and visitors can chat with a National Park Service ranger. Ask a ranger about bugs, trees, and what’s happening at the park.
1. Free! Second Saturdays won’t strain your budget. No reservations needed. Just show up, ready to play in the park.