Tamarac National Wildlife Refuge and the Friends of Tamarac are excited to announce that they will be hosting two book reading and signing events by notable children’s authors at the visitor center in June. 

Barbara Renner is returning to Tamarac to launch her new children’s picture book, “Summer! Time to Search for Food,” which is about Cygie, a young trumpeter swan who learns how and what to eat through an adventure of trial and error. 

This book follows the first in a series, “Spring! Time to Build a Nest,” which tells the story of a pair of swans as they prepare to raise a family. 

Renner is also author of the “Lonnie the Loon” and “Quincy the Quail’’ series. Her books not only provide facts about animals, they contain themes of kindness, friendship, and getting along with others. Renner resides in Arizona and visits Minnesota every summer. She will be presenting on Wednesday, June 15 at 11 a.m. in the visitor center theater.

Scott Rykken will be reading his book Once Upon a Loon on Wednesday, June 22 at 11 a.m. in the visitor center theater. He is also the special guest at 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. 

Wild Wednesday children’s program which is geared for 3-7 year olds. Watching a heart- warming story unfold during a peaceful morning looking out at a Minnesota lake, Rykken took a remarkable series of photos of a loon, painted turtle, and a muskrat. One photo caused an explosive worldwide reaction when he posted it on the Loony for Loons Facebook group page which inspired him to write the book.

“I hope people notice and appreciate how special our world is and how amazing events are happening all around us, if we only take time to look,” said Rykken. “The concept of living and working in harmony and friendship can take many forms. Despite our differences, the world is a better place when we all get along.” 

Rykken is a lifelong Minnesotan, currently residing in Saint Paul, and is retired after teaching high school science for 37 years. He took the photos which inspired this book from the family cabin in Miltona, Minnesota. 

To save a place for a child for a Wild Wednesday, sign up online at https://signup.com/goEqAHxEw. Wild Wednesdays, led by a dedicated team of refuge volunteers, is a free hour-long nature exploration which includes a story, a hike, and a craft. 

For more information on this and other programs, contact the refuge staff at 218-847-2641 or check out the refuge’s Facebook page.  

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is the principal federal agency responsible for conserving, protecting, and enhancing fish, wildlife, and plants and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the American people. The Service manages the National Wildlife Refuge System that includes more than 540 refuges nationwide. Within Becker County, the Service is represented by the Tamarac National Wildlife Refuge. 

The Friends of Tamarac is a non-profit organization which supports the refuge through education, conservation, and advocacy to provide the foundation for a community bond that values the outdoors and the natural environment.