Roseville MN Homepage

News Flash


Posted on: April 19, 2023

Ask A Naturalist: What are the First Signs of Spring at HANC?

Ask A Naturalist: What are the first signs of Spring at the Nature Center?

Did you know Harriet Alexander Nature Center (HANC) has a team of naturalists who lead tours and help make visits more educational and enjoyable?

We asked Roseville Naturalists Ocean Clevette and Jennan Kellogg:  

What are some of the first signs of spring they’re seeing in the 52 acres of marsh, prairie, and forest habitats that surround the Nature Center at Central Park?

a red-winged blackbird sitting in a treeOcean: One of the initial signs of spring we will be seeing is the return of the Red-wing Blackbirds. They are very distinctive with their black feathers with red banding. Their call is also one of the most recognizable. The males call between each other as they are establishing their territory.  The females are harder to see because they are a dusty brown. We also have Canada Geese and Mallards arriving.

Jennan: The return of Wild Turkeys especially the sight of the males jockeying for mates is a very good sign spring is here. duck

Do you notice any changes with the animals who live in area? 

Jennan: We are seeing increased activity with our muskrats. Muskrats hibernate over the winter and they are starting to come out. They will be swimming through the water. They are a smaller cousin of the beaver but with a long skinny tail. Their primary food source is cattails. 

Ta mink stands on a log he muskrat is a primary food source for the Mink. We actually have a couple minks that live near the nature center. We saw some of their tracks over the winter as they were hunting things like rabbits.

We are also seeing our reptiles out. Turtles hibernate over the winter, especially Painted Turtles. They will burrow down into that mud so they don’t freeze to death. Seeing our first painted turtle with its head out sunning, that’s a really good sign spring is here because we know the mud underneath the water is starting to thaw. We will also have toads, frogs, and salamanders coming out from the mud. People can listen for spring peepers, a species of frog that gives off a high-pitched whistling or peeping sound. 

What plants signal to us that warm weather is coming? 

Ocean: Buds are showing up. The Pussy willows have a really soft bud that’s almost like fur. That’s a good one to look for. Trees are budding, especially the birches in the wetter areas.  Tree buds in early spring

Jennan: Creeping Charlie, also called ground ivy, is coming back. Bluestar flowers are starting to bloom as well. Cattails have that brown head on them, but in the spring that become extremely fluffy and tan as those seeds are released. Instead of looking like a corndog, they are now large, fluffy and tan. That’s a good sign spring is here!

Any other signs of spring we should be looking for? 

Ocean: With the thawing of the snow, I am seeing a lot of trash and debris that was covered in ice and snow. One thing Roseville residents do really well is take care of their green spaces. I would encourage folks to enjoy the nice weather while picking up trash. If they want to do that at the nature center with a group of fun people, they can come to our Earth Day Event of April 22. We will have a lot of fun activities!

Do you have a question for the Naturalists? Click here!

Facebook Twitter Email

Other News in Home

MLK volunteer event 2024.

MLK Day Natural Resources Event

Posted on: January 9, 2024
City offices, including the License and Passport Center, will be closed on January 1 for New Year’s

City Offices Closed Jan 1

Posted on: December 21, 2023
2024 City Budget and Tax Levy Approved.

2024 City Budget and Tax Levy Approved

Posted on: December 6, 2023
A "Thin Ice" sign at Lake Bennett in Roseville's Central Park.

Caution: Thin Ice at Central Park

Posted on: December 5, 2023
Metro Tranist G-Line comment period ending soon

METRO G Line Comment Period Ends Nov 6

Posted on: October 30, 2023
Pollinator Friendly Fall Yard Care Tips

Pollinator Friendly Fall Yard Care Tips

Posted on: October 26, 2023
What type of water service do you have?

The City of Roseville needs your help!

Posted on: October 19, 2023
Commitment to Connectivity, The City of Roseville continues to build more pathways.

Commitment to Connectivity

Posted on: September 25, 2023
Community Pride Roseville at 75

Community Pride – Roseville at 75

Posted on: July 20, 2023
Fireworks safety reminders

Fireworks Safety Reminders

Posted on: June 28, 2023
Rosefest road closures 2023

Rosefest Road Closures

Posted on: June 21, 2023
Volunteer Spotlight: Carol Hansen

Volunteer Spotlight: Carol Hansen

Posted on: April 6, 2023
Living with Coyotes

Living with Coyotes

Posted on: April 3, 2023
Minnesota Recycling Works. A woman holds a bin full of recyclables.

Minnesota Recycling Works

Posted on: March 20, 2023
Roseville Tree Sale preview is now open.

2023 Spring Tree Sale Opens March 1

Posted on: February 7, 2023
2023 Budget Finalized and Approved

2023 City Budget Finalized and Approved

Posted on: December 20, 2022
Please join us for a community visioning event on January 10.

Community Visioning Event Jan. 10

Posted on: January 10, 2023
People ice skate at the Guidant John Rose MN OVAL.

Roseville Winter Fun

Posted on: November 30, 2022

City Offices Closed November 24 and 25

Posted on: November 25, 2022
"Winter in Roseville" with a picture of a snowplow in the background.

Winter In Roseville

Posted on: November 14, 2022

Volunteer Spotlight: Jessica Raygor

Posted on: November 10, 2022

Trick-or-Treat Safety Tips

Posted on: October 31, 2022

2023 Budget Update

Posted on: October 27, 2022

Free Drive-Through Grocery Event

Posted on: October 24, 2022

Help Rename Pocahontas Park

Posted on: October 13, 2022
Give blood at Roseville Fire Station on October 21 and receive a $10 gift card.

Give Blood and Receive a $10 Gift Card

Posted on: October 13, 2022

Sign up for Healing Gardens Guided Tour

Posted on: September 22, 2022

2022 Roseville Election Results

Posted on: September 21, 2022
City Appoints Two New Commissioners

City Appoints Two New Commissioners

Posted on: September 21, 2022
Emerald Ash Borer

Emerald Ash Borer Update

Posted on: August 30, 2022

Understanding Your Utility Bill

Posted on: August 31, 2022

2022 Election Candidate Forums

Posted on: August 24, 2022
Hispanic Heritage Month Graphic with designs

City Recognizes Hispanic Heritage Month

Posted on: August 26, 2022

2023 Budget Discussions Move Forward

Posted on: August 23, 2022

Community Corner: Reservoir Woods

Posted on: August 31, 2022
three volunteers pose for photo while planting red and green flowers along Lexington Avenue in Rosev

Lexington Ave In Bloom

Posted on: July 8, 2022
water faucet

Annual Water Quality Report Released

Posted on: June 30, 2022

Mapping Prejudice in Ramsey County

Posted on: June 16, 2022

Juneteenth Celebration - @ The ROG

Posted on: June 16, 2022

Free Kids Gardening Classes

Posted on: June 2, 2022

City Appoints Three New Commissioners

Posted on: March 23, 2022

Council approves new precinct maps

Posted on: March 29, 2022

Q&A with Fire Chief David Brosnahan

Posted on: March 4, 2022
Open to Business photo

Roseville is Open to Business

Posted on: January 19, 2022
  1. Roseville MN Homepage

Contact Us

  1. Roseville City Hall

  2. 2660 Civic Center Drive

  3. Roseville, MN 55113

  4. Monday - Friday
    8:00 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.

  5. Phone: 651-792-7000

  6. Email Us

Arrow Left Arrow Right
Slideshow Left Arrow Slideshow Right Arrow