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Boulder Lake Celebrates National Lands Day

White Pine branch
October 3, 2017

Volunteers cared for white pine saplings and maintained trails at Boulder Lake Environmental Learning Center.

Volunteers filled the trails at the Boulder Lake Environmental Learning Center (ELC), on Saturday, September 30.

Two young helpers attach a bud cap to a white pine sapling.

Two young helpers attach a bud cap to a white pine sapling.

The 25 volunteers helped get the nature center ready for winter by stocking firewood, assessing the condition of the snowshoe trails, and making fire starters for campsites. Some participants planted red pines, and removed invasive species. The group also wrapped white pine sapling buds in paper. The practice, known as bud capping, prevents recently planted trees from grazing deer.

Bud capping allows saplings to grow by protecting the terminal bud, even if the rest of the tree is browsed by deer.

Bud capping allows saplings to grow by protecting the terminal bud, even if the rest of the tree is browsed by deer.

About 18,000 new trees, which were planted in the area in the last few years, need bud capping before winter sets in. According to Ryan Hueffmeier, the recently hired director of the Boulder Lake ELC, "We are so pleased to see so many trees get protected. Bud capping is an important tool in the survival of the white pine forest."

About National Lands Day

From neighborhood parks or beaches to the nation’s awe-inspiring national parks, public lands of all sizes and varieties are the places where people live, learn, play, exercise, and relax. In fact, over 30% of America’s land is public land. National Public Lands Day (NPLD), sponsored by Toyota Motor North America, is the nation's largest, single-day volunteer effort for public lands. 

About Boulder Lake

The Boulder Lake Environmental Learning Center’s educational program began in 1994 through partnerships with University of Minnesota Duluth’s Center for Environmental Education and the Natural Resources Research Institute. Located 18 miles north of Duluth, Boulder Lake ELC offers pristine outdoor opportunities for UMD students and the community. The 18,000-acre classroom provides a window for students of all ages to view full-scale natural resource management with access to trails, lakes, streams, ponds, wetlands, bogs, gravel pits, and forests. The area is cooperatively managed by Minnesota Power, Saint Louis County Land Department, and the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources.