Fort Ridgely State Park is hosting a series of programs for the public this Saturday (Aug. 17):

• Archery – 10-11:30 a.m. – The sport of shooting arrows has been around for thousands of years. First humans used archery as a way to hunt animals and later as a way to compete against each other. Archery is an activity that people from all walks of life and almost every size and ability can participate and have fun. This program covers the basics of archery (safety, proper care of the equipment and how to use a bow). Participants will be able to practice their new skills. Meet at the upper picnic area.

• Wild about Wildlife – 1-2 p.m. – What are some of the cool animals that can be found at Fort Ridgely State Park? How about one that climbs trees to escape predators and uses its ears to hunt prey? Learn how these animals have adapted to survive in their natural environment and some of the more interesting characteristics. Participants will look at 14 different animals like the beaver, skunk and coyote. This program will take place at the Fort Ridgely State Historic Site.

Fort Ridgely State Park is located off State Highway 4, six miles south of Fairfax or 12 miles north of Sleepy Eye, then follow the signs to the park.

For more information on Fort Ridgely State Park, visit the DNR Web site at

A Minnesota state park pass ($7 daily or $35 yearly) is required to drive into Fort Ridgely State Park and can be purchased at the park office.

Information is also available by calling Scott Kudelka, Minneopa area naturalist, at (507) 384-8890 or by calling the DNR information center, 888-646-6367 toll free) between 8 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday.

– Photo courtesy of the Internet Public Domain