Pint of Science: Voyageurs Wetlands

Join Voyageurs National Park Association at Loony’s Brew in Ranier on Thursday, October 17th for a pint of beer, and a pint of science! National Park biologist Reid Plumb will give an update on the park’s wetland restoration efforts. This will be the first in a series of science talks at Loony’s and the Rainy Lake Visitor Center over the next few months.

Wetlands are an important part of the Voyageurs National Park ecosystem. While at first glance they may not seem as scenic as other areas of the lakes, wetlands are full of life. Rare birds flock to the wetlands, and northern pike spawn in their waters. Other wildlife, too, rely on the important habitat that wetlands provide, and wetlands also play host to Minnesota’s iconic wild rice.

In recent decades, however, more and more wetland area has been taken over by an invasive cattail. While cattails have historically been a part of Minnesota wetlands, this species is an invasive hybrid between the native broadleaf cattail and the non-native narrowleaf cattail. It has spread much more aggressively and out-competes native vegetation. The cattails form dense mats, up to a meter thick, that dominate wetland areas and crowd out other plants. These mats decrease habitat size for native plants and aquatic wildlife, both by taking up space and by preventing wildlife from accessing the water. Large pieces of the mats can also break off and be blown around the lake, creating navigation hazards. 

Since 2017, Voyageurs National Park has been working to combat these invasive cattails and restore native wetlands. You may have seen large machines removing cattails mechanically near the Rainy Lake Visitor Center or in Rudder Bay on Kabetogama. But the park’s work goes beyond just mechanical removal! Join VNPA and Reid Plumb at Loony’s to learn more about NPS efforts to restore these important habitats and re-introduce native species like muskrats.

Pints for the Park:

Pint of Science

Thursday, October 17
5:00 - 7:00 p.m.(Presentation at 6:00)

Loony's Brew, Ranier

Beer specials, raffle, and giveaways

Hosted by Loony’s and Voyageurs National Park Association

Photo by Bob Molyneux