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Mantrap Valley Conservation Club offers family-friendly activities

The Mantrap Valley Conservation Club (MVCC) will sponsor the first of its summer family fun nights at 7 p.m. Friday, June 15.

These events are aimed at enriching the conservation experience of the community.

"In an effort to serve our mission and reach out to younger members of the community, the MVCC is pleased to provide this opportunity," said MVCC President Russ Olson.

The events are free of charge. All ages are welcome. Held the third Friday of June, July and August, each family fun night will feature a speaker, followed by a hands-on experience for kids and ice cream sundae bar. They are held at the MVCC building on County Road 24, two miles east of Emmaville. The 2018 dates are June 15, July 20 and August 17.

June's featured speaker is Nicole Kovar, a Minnesota Department of Natural Resources aquatic biologist and invasive species specialist.

"This month's topic is timely," said Olson. "The return of summer means more time spent in and on the water. With a little instruction and a few basics, everyone can detect a species that doesn't belong in our aquatic habitats. Our goal is to help communities work together to prevent the spread of AIS. Nicole Kovar will bring her extensive experience and knowledge to a family-friendly interactive presentation. Following the discussion, you will be invited to make a zebra mussel settlement sampler to take home with you. All supplies are provided by MVCC. The evening will be topped off with a make yourself a sundae bar."

Kovar has a Bachelor of Science degree in fisheries and wildlife management from Michigan State University. She has spent 16 years and counting in natural resources. Her prior work includes time in fisheries, watershed and trout stream habitat, shallow lakes/waterfowl habitat. Currently, she is the invasive species specialist for this region.

July's family fun night topic is "all about fishing and lure making for kids," Olson said.