Hastings Environmental Protectors (HEP) is a local citizens group working to increase awareness of the status of unique natural resources. To achieve this goal, they work with government, community, conservation groups, and individuals to preserve, restore and protect these resources. Check out their website to learn more about this organization and conservation activities happening in and around Hastings.
Carpenter Nature Center - One of the best-kept birding secrets in the southeast Twin Cities metro area is the 725-acre Carpenter St. Croix Valley Nature Center (CNC). Formerly the private estate of Thomas and Edna Carpenter, CNC opened for environmental education programs in 1981 and has been the source of many wonderful bird sightings over the years. The CNC yard list has tallied 189 species, including a 2008 flyover of four Whooping Cranes!
The Great River Road Learning & Visitor Center is located just across the St. Croix River following US Hwy 10 in Prescott, Wisconsin. More information is available at their web site.
Great Rivers Confluence Project, begun in 2009, includes the region bounded by Prescott and River Falls in Wisconsin, and Hastings and Afton in Minnesota. This organization wants to recognize and appreciate the confluence area of the Mississippi and St Croix Rivers and its people, places, and stories through connections, partnerships and recreational opportunities.
Food, Fuel & Lodging – The scenic river town of Hastings, steeped in tradition, has a mix of shopping facilities, restaurants and services to compliment your outdoor activities. You will find food available in the western, midtown, southern and historic downtown areas. Fuel stops are throughout the city on major highways. Click on the link above to see more information on the Chamber of Commerce website.
eBird is a world-wide resource for bird sighting data operated by the Cornell Lab of Ornithology in Ithaca, NY. Data for specific sites in the Hastings area (plus many others) can be found on the eBird web site. Search data by going to the “explore data” tab, choose “bar charts”, Minnesota and then select either Hot Spots or IBAs in Minnesota. You can then continue to the specific site you want to research. A bird list with graphic display of occurrence and times of the year for each species that has been found will appear. Map icons for every bird are available to show you exact locations. Even the bird lists submitted by others, when they saw the species can be accessed. This is a great tool you may want to use in preparation for your visits. Then, use eBird again to report your trip lists so important data can continue to help scientists, land managers and other birders in the Hastings Area.
The Minnesota Ornithologist Union web site is a state wide resource for birding information. The “Recently Seen” and “Showcase” sections have photos and documentation of what is currently being found in the state. The “Rare Bird Alert” is updated weekly to help spread the word on sightings of interesting birds and the locations you can check.