The Great Blue Herons start returning to their rookery on the Mississippi River toward the end of March. Join Ranger Will at Marshall Terrace Park in Minneapolis to watch them rebuild nests and do a little flirting. If we are lucky, we might see the resident peregrine falcons fly over, as well as migrating ducks like buffleheads and goldeneye.
The Great Blue Heron is the largest heron native to North America. They present along the ice-free coasts and watercourses of southeastern United States and the Caribbean. Most live about 15 years in the wild, though some have been recorded surviving over 24 years.
We will be down on the banks of the Mississippi River, weather permitting. Prepare for some mud or ice.
We encourage bringing binoculars and cameras. Ranger Will will have a spotting scope to aid viewing the birds.
This event is free and open to everyone but registration is required to help with crowd control.
A ranger and volunteers will greet you on the walking path near the path that leads to the river bank.
The walking path is fully accessible, but the path that leads down to the river bank is not. The heron rookery is still visible from the walking path. Please ask a park ranger or volunteer for assistance.
There is a small free parking lot at the park, as well as free parking on Marshall St NE.
Mississippi Park Connection strengthens the enduring connection between people and the Mississippi River by enriching the life of the river and the lives of all who experience our national park, the Mississippi National River and Recreation Area.
In partnership with the National Park Service, Mississippi Park Connection will ignite discovery and a lifelong relationship with the Mississippi River. Through youth education, environmental stewardship and community engagement, we will mobilize residents and visitors, and serve as a model for operating a national park in an urban area where people are part of the landscape.
We are fortunate to have the support of an engaged community, full of knowledgeable and passionate individuals. Each person has a unique relationship with this place, and plays a role in telling the river’s story. We are committed to honoring these relationships, and ensuring that everyone feels a sense of ownership of this park.
We seek to inspire people of all backgrounds to discover, explore, and cherish this place. We believe that by helping others to develop their personal relationships with the river, we will continue to cultivate dedicated advocates, stewards, and visitors of this park.
We believe that our organization is much like a river, ever-flowing and always changing; and that enduring change means embracing it and remaining flexible. We keep an optimistic eye on the future to create solutions that steer through whatever snags may lie ahead.
Above all, we believe in working together to achieve our goals. Just as no stream, creek, or river exists in isolation, we too are all connected to this watershed and to one another. It is through our partnerships that we are able to set a high standard in the national park system, and be a catalyst for positive change.
We acknowledge the human value of our shared natural resources, and recognize the role these spaces play in keeping us connected to our humanity. We go to the river to find tranquility, healing, and fun. The emotional connections that we have with the river are the driving force behind everything we do.
Mississippi Park Connection began as the local fund of the National Park Foundation, under the name Mississippi River Fund. Since our inception in 2003, we have contributed more than $4.5 million to the National Park Service and its many partners in the community, improving the health of the Mississippi River and our community. In October 2015, we changed our name to Mississippi Park Connection, which better reflects our mission and programs. Mississippi Park Connection continues to play a pivotal role in ensuring the park is preserved, protected and enhanced for the enjoyment and education of all.
COVID-19 Safety Protocol
People may choose to mask at any time. Please stay home if you aren’t feeling well or if you tested positive.The time slots will minimize overcrowding. Please adhere to your selected time.This event will take place entirely outdoors.