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Michelle Skog, center, and her husband, Jason Skog, left, of Eagan, Minn., and Sabrina Greene of Inver Grove Heights, Minn., collect plant and animal specimens from LeVander pond in June in South St. Paul. The three are volunteers with Dakota County’s Wetland Health Evaluation Program and monitor the health of three ponds in South St. Paul. John Autey Pioneer Press

Minnesota’s natural observers do their part

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ST. PAUL – In the name of science, Minnesotans are counting loons at the lake cabin, listening for frogs, and peering at milkweed for monarch caterpillars. They’re catching dragonflies, measuring the clarity of local streams, and noting the date when the first lilacs bloom.

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