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Audubon Center of the North Woods

News from the North Woods

Fall 2011 Volume 37, Issue 3

A proud leader in environmental education and renewable energy

In This Issue Focusing Our Energy


Giving Memories


Osprey Tower


Raptor Hearing


Focusing Our Energy on Reducing Our Energy

Dinners at the Lake


by Bryan Wood, Co-Director

Sweetening the Center


Winter Family Escape


Wish Lists


Lowry Lodge Makeover


Spotlight on Schools


Annual Fall Open House


Renewable Trail Race


Canoe Raffle


Give to the Max


Welcome Helen


Alumni News


Volunteer Spotlight


The last several months have seen a bevy of construction activity at the Audubon Center of the North Woods. Thanks to grants from the Legislative Citizens’ Commission for Minnesota’s Resources, and the U.S. Department of Energy, we have been able to put into action many steps that are reducing the Audubon Center’s energy usage, while increasing onsite production through renewable technologies. These measures not only lower our fossil fuel usage and emissions, but reduce our dependence to an energy system that continues to get more costly environmentally and economically. In addition to the these energy improvements, we also have more than two dozen new energy education lessons, as well as interpretive signs describing each renewable technology present at the Audubon Center. The progress we are making towards these ends is truly exciting and there are many ways we are achieving these goals.

Legacy Gifts


New Interns


Thank You


Upcoming Events Women’s Wellness Weekend October 1-3 Autumn at the Audubon October 9 Renewable Trail Run October 9 Dinner at the Lake October 22 Winter Family Escape December 27-30 Dinner at the Lake December 31 January Interim: Wolves & Other Large Predators January 2-20 Dinner at the Lake February 18 Becoming an Outdoor Woman February 24-26 Dinner at the Lake April 21

A large energy area we have been tackling at the Audubon Center has been envelope improvements. This includes better insulation and air barriers in our buildings to keep in heat during the winter, and cool air during the summer. The Dining Hall and Crosby Dormitory received significant envelope upgrades when ZeroDraft of Madison, WI sprayed in 16” of cellulose insulation in the attics, crawl spaces and eves of the buildings. They also sealed numerous outside air penetrations and installed weather stripping around the exterior doors of both buildings. These measures will make both Crosby Dormitory and the Dining Hall more — continued on page 6 —

Giving Memories by Melonie Shipman, Co-Director

Almost from the time we graduated from college, my best friend, Karen, and I agreed to not give each other gifts for Christmases, birthdays or other celebrations. We purposefully decided to give each other memories instead. And so we did, each year something came off one of our bucket lists; touch a gray whale, rapel a rock face, hike New Zealand. When she suddenly and unexpectedly passed on, I was left not with dustables but a rich and endless bank of memories to draw from. The practice of giving memories and not things extended long ago to others. The memories that I have made for learners and that have reflected back to me are bottomless after 30 plus years in education. It happens continuously here at the Audubon Center. Almost every K12 student has a breakthrough moment on the high ropes course, or climbing wall, or survivor. They will never forget the time they conquered their fears and completed the activity, most often to the steadfast cheers of classmates, some of whom may not even have acknowledged them before. As staff we are fortunate to have many memorable moments made for us in working with you: l students

so moved by seeing a wild bird that they encourage their family and sometimes their entire class or school to adopt one our non-releasable birds. l stressed chaperones finding out that the cell phone not working here brings peace to all l a magic moment when an intern from Africa, during his performance at Winter Family Escape, had each child go to each parent and tell them thank you and “I love you” in the soft glow from the fireplace. — continued on page 8 —

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News from the North Woods

Osprey Tower Ready and Waiting for Its First Occupant On August 11th, the center installed an osprey nesting platform with help from Eagle Scout Troop 157, East Central Energy, U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, Cooperative Light & Power, Wayzata Lion’s Club, Minnesota River Valley Audubon Chapter, and dedicated volunteers. The tower will be used as part of the education programs at the center. We will be adding a web cam to the platform in the near future and hope to band the birds once the nest is active. The tower is located south of the banding shed and has a bench for easy viewing of the birds activities. Look for a pair to potentially nest on the platform when the adults return from South America in April 2012!

Learn more about ospreys at our April 21st Dinner at the Lake with Mark Martell - director of bird conservation for Audubon MN. Adopt-A-Feathered Friend Help support the care of any of our resident education birds through our “Adopt a Feathered Friend” program. Your donation goes towards housing, medical care, food and enrichment items, to help encourage natural behavior in the birds. As part of the adoption process, you will receive a 5x7 magnet photo of the bird, an “Adoption Certificate”, a personal history of “your” bird, recognition in our newsletter, and a tour of the ACNW wildlife facility. For more information, please contact Jeff Tyson, our Wildlife Coordinator or visit our website.

Fall 2011

Raptor Hearing by Sarah Markegard, Wildlife Intern

Raptors, or birds of prey, are some of nature’s most efficient hunters. They possess a diversity of adaptations that allow them to catch and kill prey with amazing speed and accuracy. In the last newsletter we examined the eyes of raptors to understand how their exceptional sense of sight assists them in their pursuit of the next meal. In this volume, we’ll look at another one of the senses that raptors use to hunt prey – the sense of hearing. While sharp eyesight may be the primary tracking method for diurnal (active during the day) birds of prey, for those that are nocturnal or crepuscular (active at night or active at dusk and dawn, respectively), specialized hearing may play a major role in finding prey. For example, barn owls have been found to catch mice in total darkness with less than one degree of horizontal and vertical error. Nocturnal owls in general, possess several distinctive traits that provide them with an above average sense of hearing. One of those characteristics is the asymmetrical size, shape and placement of the ears on the head. Each ear also has a flap of skin behind and in front of it that can be moved in the same direction or opposite directions. This allows the owl to pinpoint exactly where a noise is coming from by turning its head and moving its ear flaps until the sound is the same in both ears.

Have you ever heard the flapping of an owl’s wings in the night? Probably not; owls possess a soft fringe on the front edges of their wing feathers that make less noise when cutting through the air than the stiff wing feathers of other birds. An owl’s sensitive hearing depends on the Barn owls have ability to fly silently. What would be the point of specialized ears for hunting if their wings were been found to the only things they could hear anyway? Owls also possess a facial disc, which gives them the catch mice in total characteristic “radar dish” shaped face. Not only darkness with less does this circle of stiff feathers look like a radar than one degree dish, but it serves a similar purpose. Most experts believe it helps funnel sound into the ears. of horizontal and Owls are not the only raptors with acute hearing, though. Hawks often locate their prey by listening for their calls. This is how the Cooper’s hawk locates quail. Another hawk, the Northern harrier, has developed specialized sound-catching devices for hunting close to the ground. They have large, conchshaped ear apertures like those of mammals, as well as a partial facial disc to trap sound waves.

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For an amazing demonstration of these adaptations in action, check out the link below: com/watch?v=yps7pgq1TAk 888-404-7743

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News from the North Woods

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Dinners at the Lake Dinners at the Lake Schedule for this season: u

Dinner at the Lake - October 22, 2011 OWLS TO ORCHIDS: MAGIC AND MYSTERY IN OUR NORTHERN BOGS with Sparky Stensaas - author, naturalist, photographer, publisher, writer


Dinner at the Lake - December 31, 2011 Speaker tbd


Dinner at the Lake - February 18, 2012 Speaker tbd


Dinner at the Lake - April 21, 2012 Mark Martell - director of bird conservation for Audubon MN


Mother’s Day Brunch - Sunday, May 13, 2012 with music by Douglas Wood & the Wild Spirit Band

888-404-7743 or

Space is limited so make your reservations early! Good Eats at the Center Here is a favorite recipe from our chef, Tom Stelter, that always gets rave reviews:

Stuffed Peppers (serves 12) 1 pound ground beef 1½ cups brown rice 1 cup diced tomatoes, pureed ½ pound finely minced onions ½ pound mushrooms, chopped ½ pound carrots, shredded 2½ cups tomato sauce ½ tablespoon minced garlic 1¼ pound feta cheese, crumbled ½ tablespoon butter or olive oil 12 green peppers, tops and seeds removed Basil, parsley, dill, salt and pepper to taste Olive oil to drizzle on top of peppers ½ pound cheddar cheese, shredded Sautee garlic and veggies in butter or oil until tender, add tomato sauce and spices. Cook rice separately and cool; add to vegies. Allow to cool; add feta cheese. Brown beef and drain, add to rice/veggie/cheese mixture. Taste for seasoning. Stuff peppers with the filling mixture. Bake for 50 minutes at 325 degrees; add shredded cheddar cheese over top and continue to bake for another 10-15 minutes, until melted. Enjoy!

Reservations are required

Visit our website at for more information

Sweetening the Audubon Center As many of you know, every spring the Audubon Center taps, boils, bottles and sells our pure maple syrup. Maple Syrup is a delicious way to take the Audubon Center home with you, and soon there will soon be another way for you to take home a taste of the Audubon Center – our very own honey! Thanks to local producer Dwayne Huffinton, owner of Nature’s Finest Honey in Hinckley, MN, hives were placed at the edge of our 20In cold climates, honey acre tallgrass prairie this bees stop flying when the summer and honey will be temperature drops below about 50°F and crowd harvested this fall. Look into the central area of for it in our Nature Store the hive to form a “winter and buy a jar before our cluster”. Worker bees huddle around the queen limited supplies run out! at the center, shivering in order to keep the center between 81°F at the start of winter and 93°F once the queen resumes laying. They rotate through the cluster from outside to inside so that no bee gets too cold. The outer edges of the cluster stay 46–48°F. The colder the weather, the more compact the cluster becomes. During winter, they consume their stored honey to produce body heat. The amount of honey consumed during the winter is a function of winter length and severity but ranges in temperate climates from 30 to 100 lbs.


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ACNW Wish List

We are in need of the items below. Remember, your ‘in-kind’ donations are tax-deductible.

Tentative activities: • Sleigh rides • Dogsledding • Winter survival • Wolf program • Climbing wall • Starwatch party w/ Mike Lynch • Candlelight ski • Kick-sledding • Animal signs • Snow sculpture/zoo • Art activities • ... and much more!

n 12- to 15-passenger van n utility trailer n reliable, fuel-efficient car for interns n 3/4 ton pick-up truck for snowplowing n canoe trailer n industrial-size washer & dryer n scaffolding n pressure sprayer n small portable generator n twin mattresses in excellent condition n handheld GPS units n portable PA/speaker system n binoculars n LCD computer monitors (thin, flat) n tree corer n cross country skis & snowshoes for very small kids n backpacking expedition packs n sleeping bags in excellent condition n ice machine n cleaning buckets n large mixing bowls n vacuum cleaner in good working order n table lamps n large stock pots n queen-size sheets and blanket n good quality blankets, preferably vellux n glass bud vases n roto tiller n bobcat/skidster n electric golf cart n riding mower/tractor

Wildlife Barn Wish List Assist us in the care of our educational animals or enhance the visit of those who come to learn about Minnesota’s wildlife by donating any of the following items. Rope comes on 100’ or 600’ spools, donations should be in whole spools. Raptor food is special ordered; the cash donation will go towards food purchases.

EARLY BIRD DISCOUNT!! Register by November 28 and receive 10% off

n Step ladder n Autoclave n ¾” Manila Rope n ½” Manila Rope n ¼” Manila Rope n Raptor Food For a Month $150 n Parrot/dog toys (new or gently used) n Potted evergreen trees (less than 3’ tall)


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Lowry Lodge Makeover Over the last year, Lowry Lodge has undergone a substantial makeover, turning the once drab interior into a colorful, vibrant atmosphere. Several partners were instrumental in allowing this facelift to occur. Beginning last fall and concluding this spring, all interior walls and ceilings were re-painted through a grant by Valspar Paint and the Initiative Foundation of Little Falls, MN. The end results are rooms and hallways that have color, character and warmth. In addition to the Valspar/Initiative Foundation grant, we also received a grant through the East Central Arts Council of Mora, MN to turn the walls of the main gathering room into a mural of Minnesota’s Biomes, with accompanying native wood bookshelves. Local artist Katharina Wood painted the mural which stretches across all four walls and depicts each of Minnesota’s Biomes: Tallgrass Prairie, Aspen Parkland, Deciduous Forest and the Northern Boreal Forest. Complimenting the breathtaking mural are bookshelves handcrafted by local woodworker Roger Knudson. The beautiful bookshelves are built entirely out of native

Minnesota tree species and fit snugly under the stairwells to create a charming book nook. In addition to the superb artwork, we have also increased the accommodations of Lowry Lodge by adding a kitchen into Bremer Classroom. Through substantial price reductions from Warner Stellian of St. Paul, MN, we were able to add an energy star rated refrigerator/freezer, an electric range, an above-range venting microwave. All models are stainless steel and fit seamlessly into the existing space. With this kitchen addition, visitors now have the flexibility to either prepare their own meals or opt for meal service in the dining room. We hope you share our excitement in these new upgrades to Lowry Lodge, and encourage you to stop by and see them for yourself! If you are interested in renting Lowry or any of our facilities for your next staff retreat, board meeting, family reunion or other event, please email Helen at or call 888-404-7743.

New to Lowry Lodge

(counter-clockwise from upper left): l Tallgrass

prairie mural l Aspen parkland mural l Deciduous forest mural l Northern boreal forest mural l New kitchen facilities l Native woods bookshelf Lowry Lodge Facts Split level with 4 dorm rooms up and 1 down Shared bathrooms on the lower level (3 showers, 2 stalls in ea) Total capacity: 14 on lower bunks only (adults) or 28 on both upper and lower bunks (students) Includes large Bremer classroom with new, full kitchen


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efficient at holding in the geothermal heated and cooled air, creating a more comfortable experience for all participants. In addition to now being tightly sealed, Crosby Dorm and the Dining Hall are also heating their water with solar thermal collectors. The solar panels, installed by Energy Concepts of Hudson, WI, include 20 units on the Crosby Dormitory roof, and 7 panels on the Dining Hall roof. These solar thermal collectors are significantly reducing our propane usage and costs by harnessing the Sun’s energy to heat our water. To maximize the effectiveness of our solar thermal collectors, we also installed low flow aerators in all sinks of the buildings, and low flow showerheads, cutting our overall water draw by more than half. This fall will see us significantly increase our on-site electricity production with the installation of a 24 kilowatt solar photovoltaic system. The system, installed by Blue Horizons of Eden Prairie, MN, will consist of six dual tracking arrays that will be ground mounted near our existing three solar arrays, giving us a ninearray, 32 kw solar photovoltaic system. While improving the efficiency and increasing energy production are important for the Dining Hall and Crosby Dorm, equally important is conserving energy and using only what we need. That is why we are installing programmable monitors for our air exchange handlers so we are circulating air in the buildings only during the hours when groups are present, greatly reducing our electric draw. The Marv Borrell Wildlife Barn received significant envelope improvements as well. Instead of tearing off the old siding, roof and insulation, it was deemed a better solution to simply add the new insulation over the old siding and roof, thus making the barn about 4” bigger all the way around on the exterior. To accomplish this, the exterior walls of the Barn had a vapor barrier sheet applied,

along with 3” of Styrofoam and new siding mounted on by Lipe Bros. Taking advantage of the south facing wall of the Barn, six windows were also installed to increase the aesthetics and utilize passive solar heating during the winter. For the roof work of the Barn, done by Northern Extremes Roofing out of Ham Lake, MN, the old shingles were torn off and a vapor barrier sheet was adhered to the bare plywood, then 3” Styrofoam sheets were mounted, a layer of plywood was attached on top of the Styrofoam, and new shingles were installed. The resulting insulation improvements to the walls and roof of the over 100 year-old Marv Borrell Barn make it quite possibly the most energy efficient barn you’ll ever come across.

Solar thermal collectors on Crosby Lodge

Solar thermal collectors on the Dining Hall

For any of you who have experienced the beauty and intimacy of National Historic Registered Schwyzer Lodge, you know it is the real treasure of the Audubon Center campus. Now thanks to insulation work from Expert Insulation of Brainerd, MN, Schwyzer Lodge is also an energy efficient treasure as well. With foam sealed insulation throughout the basement, and blown cellulose insulation in all of the numerous crawl spaces of the attic, Schwyzer Lodge now will stay cooler in the summer and warmer in the winter, making an even better experience for those who stay there. As one can tell, there have been many energy projects happening lately at the Audubon Center, and we still have a few more that we will be wrapping up this fall. We encourage you to stop out and see for yourself the improvements we have made and the steps we are taking to demonstrate responsible energy choices. Besides reducing our carbon footprint, we also want to be a resource to help you make informed decisions about your energy usage and choices as well. A great way to learn more about our energy improvements will be during our Open House on October 8, where we will be leading energy tours throughout the day. We hope you share our excitement in the accomplishments we have made in sustainable energy usage, and encourage you to see what you can do at your school, business and home as well.

New roof, insulation, siding and efficient windows on the Barn


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Spotlight on schools The Audubon Center presented programs for 95 public and charter schools in 2010-2011. Helping students and teachers to see the natural world with new eyes spurs them to further environmentally-focused actions in their schools. We celebrate this seed sprouting into a world in which we all live in balance with nature. If you know of a school, that attends programs at the Audubon Center, and is to be celebrated for its science and/ or environmental actions please let us know so we can turn the spotlight on them in future columns.

At Northern Lights Community School (Warba, MN):

At River’s Edge Academy (St. Paul, MN):

Using years of collected knowledge and data, John Latimer brings an extraordinary set of skills to the students and staff on his weekly visits to that school. John has been studying phenology (the relationship between biological events and climate) for nearly 30 years and shares his reflections and the observations of local students on KAXE radio every Tuesday morning. His nature walks and studies are popular with students as he answers their questions while they are in nature. John’s work has added an important component to our environmental education program!

• Students have partnered with Friends of Mississippi to spray paint the message ‘DON’T POLLUTE, DRAINS TO MISSISSIPPI RIVER’ on storm drains. • Lilydale Regional Park, through the MN DNR, officially becomes the school’s forest this fall. • Carbon Sequestration speakers are scheduled throughout the year as provided by a grant the school received from Boulder Lake Environmental Center.

Annual Fall Open House & Art/Craft Fair

Renewable Trail Run/Walk

Saturday, October 8 10 a.m. - 2 p.m. Join us for a free, fun day filled with activities and programs for all ages! 5k/10k Renewable Trail Run/Walk Energy & grounds tours Birds of Prey programs Hay ride tours of the Center Apple Cider Pressing Face painting Arts & Crafts Fair High ropes course/zip line Climbing wall Wildlife barn and demos Scavenger Hunt Up close and personal encounters with Mob, our crow Optional Chili Lunch - noon ($7 adults, $5

children 5-12 yrs, no charge for under 5 yrs)

Part of ‘Autumn at the Audubon’ day October 8

9 a.m. start, 10:15 awards Race registration opens at 8 a.m.

Register now for our 3rd Annual Renewable Trail Run/Walk! Proceeds help support our renewable energy installastions and education curriculum. Choose either the 5K route over our trails or the 10K which is partially on our trails and then around Grindstone Lake. Visit our website for more info and registration form. Race starts at 9 a.m. Awards ceremony at 10:15. Registered runners/walkers receive a long-sleeve T-shirt (first 100 registered participants) and post-race refreshments. We still need volunteers to help with our open house and trail run. If interested in helping out, please call or email us at 888-404-7743 or audubon1@audubon-center.orgIgit. 888-404-7743

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Canoe Raffle

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The Audubon Center of the North Woods is excited to announce our “Canoe Raffle” starting this fall and continuing until next summer. The beautiful hand-made solo cedar canoe is 13 ft. long and was built and donated by board member Jim Obey. People will have the opportunity to buy raffle tickets for this wonderful one-of-a-kind canoe starting at our Fall Open House on Saturday, October 8. Raffle tickets are $5 each or 5 for $20 and will continue to be sold throughout the fall, winter and spring at our Dinners at the Lake and Maple Syrup Day. We will have tickets for sale in our Nature Store as well. The Canoe Raffle will culminate with a winner drawing at our Appreciation Dinner on Saturday, June 2, 2012. If the winner is not in attendance, we will call to congratulate them and coordinate a time for pick-up. All raffle proceeds go towards helping the Audubon Center meet our mission, so feel free to buy one, two, four or forty!

Give to the Max Day - Nov. 16 On November 16, GiveMN is again sponsoring the annual “Give to the Max” Day to help Minnesota non-profits with their fundraising efforts. On that special day, leverage your contributions by going to and giving a donation of any size to any of your favorite non-profits, including the Audubon Center of the North Woods. Your donations on ‘Give to the Max Day’ are leveraged by a number of dollar-for-dollar matching grants. Also, throughout the event, an individual donor will be randomly chosen every hour to win a “golden ticket” and have $1,000 given to the charity that received the donor’s original donation. So mark your calendars (November 16), visit the site ( often, and consider making multiple donations!

WE ARE CURRENTLY SEEKING MATCHING GRANTS OF ANY SIZE!! Please contact or 888-404-7743 for information on how you can help our Give to the Max Day success with a matching grant.

ACNW Core Values Ø

We demonstrate respect, care and passion for the earth, all people and all living things Ø We strive for excellence in everything we do through integrity, open communication and teamwork Ø Individuals are valued, engaged and appreciated for their unique contributions Ø We believe in life-long learning through positive shared experiences with the natural world Ø Our efforts encourage others to recognize their interconnectedness with the earth through their actions

Fall 2011

Sometimes in all the decision making and continual budget concerns one needs to be reminded that we are not just repairing things, juggling programs, and asking staff to squeeze in one more responsibility. We are creating opportunities for life-changing memories to be made. Those memories then reflect back to us and renew us when the stress is high and time is short. The charter school calistentics with the State has been that way in the past 18 months. As time goes on, the frustrations will fade but the memory of a senior from River’s Edge Academy first graduating class will not. At that first graduation ceremony, he spoke of being a high school dropout then being inspired to return to school and now graduate because he found a place that spoke to the way he learned best. I will remember 12 graduates with over 150 parents and friends there just for them and how they cheered every student as if they were their own. As with the memories made with my best friend, the memories made with you are a constant source of joy and inspiration to do more. When we make decisions here we are building opportunities to make memories for you and for us. The osprey nesting platform with webcam is where learners from throughout the world and student groups on site will study osprey behavior and migration. Opting to add a non-releasable young squirrel and porcupine to our staff means seeing students’ faces light up when that Minnesota mammal is actually in reach. Having a Starwatch Party with Mike Lynch to open the fall Women’s Wellness & Adventure Weekend and Winter Family Escape means seeing you bonded together in awe at the beauty of the heavens that we rarely even are aware of over our heads every day of our lives. Thank you for the memories you have given us in the years past. Thank you for enabling us to give you memories to last a lifetime in the programs, people and places of the Audubon Center of the North Woods.

Melonie and her friend Karen 888-404-7743

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News from the North Woods

Welcome Helen!

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We have a new Reservations Coordinator - Helen Hallstrom!

Learn more about her below or stop on out to the Center meet her: What do I do at the Center? As the reservations coordinator, I respond to all types of inquiries about our Center. Schedule conferences, retreats, programs and correspond with other departments at the center. Coordinate in-house details to ensure our resources are utilized for each reservation. Correspond with each reservation contact to fine tune accommodations. My favorite thing about working at the Center? I grew up in this area and I LOVE this home place! Grindstone Lake is mysterious and beautiful! Working here, I am part of a big family working to connect people with nature. My tasks here are challenging and rewarding and it’s easy to stay motivated! My favorite things to do outside? Playing hockey with my kids on our pond, baseball in our hayfield, jogging in the morning, family badminton championships, being out-fished by my boys, kayaking and canoeing, campfires, agate hunting, shooting trap and riding my motorcycle anywhere.

Volunteer Spotlight As a non-profit organization, we depend on volunteers for help with everything from routine maintenance to special projects. All of the special people who selflessly donate their time and talents to the center are deeply appreciated. The following is information about one of our recent volunteers, Joshua Wiebelhaus. Joshua Wiebelhaus grew up in the Twin Cities and worked for the National Forest Service in WI as a wildland firefighter prior to becoming Crew Leader for the Minnesota Conservation Corps. He recently spent a week visiting his girlfriend, our new intern Anna (see page 10), here at the Center. While he was here, he generously volunteered numerous hours of his time helping us with various grounds and maintenance chores. His assistance was very much appreciated! Joshua’s MCC crew is based out of Kilen Woods State Park near Jackson, MN. His job requires him to work on invasive species control and supervise controlled burns for the Minnesota DNR. Currently, he lives in Westbrook, MN and enjoys canoeing, camping, exploring the outdoors, and nature photography. And last, but not least, his favorite animal is the Greater Prairie Chicken!

Our volunteer program has transformed this year with the help of our board members, new directors and staff. If you are interested in volunteering some time please contact us. We are interested to hear about your areas of expertise and we have a growing list of specific jobs we could use your help. We do not have a minimum hour requirement. Any amount of time would be a great asset.

Alumni News Condolences to the family of Jim Sales on his passing. He was our first maintenance staff here, in the years before Ty. Jim’s sons were Jr. Naturalists and camp counselors at the Center. If you’ve admired our gigantic birdfeeders, Jim’s the one who built them. He was a great guy and some of our Friends and former staff will remember and miss him. He is survived by his wife Judy, sons Jim and Jon. If you are an alumni and have some news to share about your life, please send an email to us at – we’d love to share the info with our readers.

Follow us on Facebook at What impact do you hope to make in the world? How would you like your family to be remembered?

Consider a LEGACY gift to the Audubon Center of the North Woods that will make a lasting imprint that reflects your values and visions…

LEGISLATION EXTENDS TAX-FREE CHARITABLE GIFTS FROM IRAs On 12/17/10, President Obama signed into law the Tax Relief, Unemployment Insurance Reauthorization, and Job Creation Act of 2010. In addition to many other changes, it allows individuals to make gifts to charity from a traditional individual retirement account (IRA) or Roth IRA without including the distribution in your income - only until the end of this year. Through December 31, 2011, you may make tax-free transfers from your IRA to charity totaling up to $100,000 in each year. If you are married, your spouse may also be eligible to make such gifts up to $100,000 from her/his IRA. Gifts from an IRA may only be used to make an outright gift to a qualified public charity, such as Audubon Center North Woods. The gift must be distributed directly from your IRA administrator to Audubon Center North Woods. Donors must be age 70½ or older and own a traditional or Roth IRA. Other retirement plans, such as pensions, Simple IRAs, 401(k) plans, 403(b) plans, and others are not eligible. The distribution is excluded from the donor’s taxable income yet still counts toward the IRA owner’s mandatory annual or required minimum distribution amount. Although you cannot deduct the gift on your income tax return, the distribution is not reported as income so there is no adverse income tax effect. Certain limitations apply to these non-taxable charitable distributions from an IRA. The information above is not intended to be legal, tax, or investment advice. Please consult your attorney and/or personal financial advisor to obtain this information.


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Meet Our New Educational Interns Anna Keenan: Wildlife/Naturalist Intern I was born in Omaha, NE and grew up as a volunteer at the local nature center, starting as a volunteer when I was 12 years old and eventually becoming a part-time naturalist/educator. I went to college for 2 years at South Dakota State University and finished up at the University of Nebraska at Omaha with a degree in Studio Art. In my free time I like to read, go to the movies, listen to music, or just enjoy a few peaceful moments in nature. I am a wildlife artist and can’t wait to see what kind of inspiration the North Woods brings to me!

Daniel Schmalzer: Adventure/Naturalist Intern (Welcome back Danny!) I am from Chicago, IL. At a young age, my parents got me involved in the outdoors and I’ve been hooked ever since. This past May I received a degree in Environmental Science from Carroll University in Waukesha, WI. Shortly after earning my degree, I moved to Cordova, AK to work for the Cordova Ranger District in the Chugach National Forest as a seasonal employee in the recreation department. I am excited to return to the Audubon Center where I have taken a canoeing course 4 years ago, a wolf/lynx tracking course two years ago, and worked as a naturalist intern last summer.

Megan Meyer: Wildlife/Naturalist Intern I grew up in Sauk Rapids, MN. I attended the U of MN - Morris and graduated with a BA in Biology in 2008. Following college graduation, I moved to Honolulu, HI and worked as a Training Intern with Dolphin Quest - focusing on marine animal training/husbandry and marine ecology/conservation education. Switching gears, I came back to the Midwest and worked as an intern at the Northwoods Wildlife Center in Minocqua, WI., working with wildlife with a focus on rehabilitation and rescue. I love being outdoors, learning new things, and meeting new people.

Eva Svobodová: Wildlife/Naturalist Intern I am from Brno, Czech Republic and have a BS degree in Systematic Biology and Ecology from Masaryk University. I fell in love with nature and the environment at the age of 7. I taught at an environmental center I helped to develop. I really enjoy hiking, mountaineering, surviving in wilderness areas, cross country skiing and winter camping. Since June 2010, I have gained amazing experience in the US as a crew member with EarthCorps, doing all different kind of environmental restoration projects and continuing my experience in WA, AZ and in ME.

Troy Douglas: Charter School/Naturalist Intern I am from Eagan, MN. I am blessed with a family that brought me up with the freedom and opportunity to experience the outdoors. I have taken to heart that lifestyle and have traveled from Northern WI to New Zealand (Audubon Center of the North Woods, Fall Block Semester being included in that travel) to further my education in the field of outdoor education, environmental studies/education at Northland College. My passion relates around recreational sports such as climbing, paddling, dog sledding and many more. On a side note I love Disney songs and costumes.

Constanza Mora: Land Management/Naturalist Intern I was born in Mexico City. In college, I studied biology and decided to become active in trying to get other people to understand the importance of caring for our environment. I worked with the Corps Network Water in Mexico City on the importance of clean water, in Baja California Sur on the overexploitation of marine resources within fisheries, and with Greenpeace-Mexico. I also started to study Environmental & Ecological Economics. In 2009, I worked as a WWR volunteer in Geographic Information Systems, and in 2010 moved to Seattle, WA to work for Earthcorps.

Nischal Neupane: Wildlife/Naturalist Intern I am originally from Nepal. I have spent the last 4 years mostly in IA attending Cornell College, but I have done a lot of traveling around the US. I hope to set foot in every country in the world someday. I was introduced to the Audubon Center through the J-term course and now I am excited to be back as an intern! I am a runner and futbol (soccer) player and like to keep myself fit. Someday, I want to work on conservation projects around the world and I hope to save the environment and help people understand that we can live in harmony with nature.

Adopt an Intern... Whether home is an hour away or half the earth away, it is a treat for our interns to have a closer

“family” to spend some time with. Though they have great meals, live next to the lake, and form a family with our staff, it is a welcome change to be off the Audubon grounds on occasion. If you are interested in matching up with one of our interns for a home cooked meal, evening fish, relaxing at your house, puppy sitting for you, or whatever simple activity you like, then please let us know and we will send you their contact information. You will soon find, as we do, that they provide a spark of energy in your life and fun source of learning for all. Call us at 320-245-2648 or email if interested. Thank you!


Fall 2011

Thank You!

News from the North Woods

Page 11

We would like to acknowledge and thank all those individuals and companies who have contributed to the Audubon Center of the North Woods (since our last newsletter) as well as the schools who visited us this academic year. Through your support and patronage, we are able to provide the best environmental education opportunities for people of all ages.

Donations, Memberships & Memorials

See the next page for member benefits ØØ



yy Timothy & Gayle DeVries yy Greystone Foundation/Walter McCarthy & Clara Ueland

yy Donald Janes yy Ecolab Foundation


In Memory of: yy Jean Sites Family In memory of Jean Sites

yy Karen & Louis Geislinger yy Ray & Celia Rath

In-Kind Donations


yy Beth Blank yy Mike & Mary Clark yy Kate Ellis yy Lee Dybvig yy Erik & Candi Nelson yy Steven & Judith Seidmeyer yy Jerome & Rhonda Young yy Wildcat Sanctuary

yy Chester & Miriam Meyers yy Beatrice Morrow yy Gina Pockrandt yy Joel & Gail Roberts yy Chip & Michy Wells yy Bryan & Katharina Wood

Cranes yy Tori Bohaty-Ribich yy Dale Hammerschmidt/Mary Arneson yy Deborah Reynolds yy Gene & Jan Sarenpa


Adopt-A-Feathered Friend / Wildlife yy Kaitlin Bloom yy Aaron Gonya yy Marlene Nelson yy Robin Poppe

Osprey Tower Project

yy Jeffery & Cindy Dingee yy Betty Hartnett yy Andrew Isaacson yy Paul & Debbie Stoll yy Joan & Jack Westerlund

yy Cooperative Light & Power yy Eagle Scout Troop 157 yy East Central Energy yy Minnesota River Valley Audubon Chapter yy U.S. Fish & Wildlife yy Wayzata Lion’s Club

Ways you can support the Audubon Center of the North Woods • Become a member • Adopt-A-Feathered Friend program donations • In-Kind donations - See our current ‘Wish Lists’ on page 4 for items we need. • Memorial donations • Scholarship donations • ‘Give to the Max’ Day matching grants (see page 8) • Legacy gifts and IRA transfers (see page 9)

• Planned Giving and Bequests • Volunteer • Help us market our programs. If you have outlets where you can put up a flyer or share information on any of our programs, let us know. Participate in our programs, our special events, and our courses. Visit us, bring others and introduce your friends to us.

For more info on how you can help, visit the support page of our website or give us a call 888-404-7743

Non-profit Organization

Audubon Center of the North Woods

If you would like to save resources and would prefer to receive this periodic newsletter electronically (PDF) via email instead of US mail, please send an email to


Visit our website! News from the North Woods Volume 37, Issue 3—Fall 2011 Melonie Shipman and Bryan Wood, Co-Directors Laurie Fenner, editing/layout Published periodically by Audubon Center of the North Woods Mail, call or email us your inquiries and ideas.

Printed with soy-based inks on carbon-neutral paper containing 100% post-consumer waste

Join Us...Become a Friend to the Audubon Center Friendship Categories By becoming a member of the Audubon Center of the North Woods, you provide the essential support we need to continue to provide quality environmental educations to thousands of people every year. Membership Benefits ØØ

* New members also receive a $10 gift certificate to use in our Nature Store





CRANES $50-99

EAGLES $750-$999

OTTERS $100-249

OSPREY $1000+

LOONS $250-$499


All Members receive: l 10% discount off merchandise in our store* l 10% off youth and family camps l 10% off Schwyzer Lodge l A gift membership to give to a friend l Our periodic printed newsletter l Our e-newsletter (optional) l Invitations to special events l Members at the Loon level and above also receive a collection of Audubon Center signature items


Sandstone, MN 55072

Permit No. 2

A proud leader in environmental education and renewable energy P.O. Box 530, Sandstone, MN 55072 Phone: 888-404-7743 or 320-245-2648 Fax: 320-245-5272

U.S Postage PAID

To instill a connection and commitment to the environment in people of all communities through experiential learning.

Fall 2011 ACNW Newsletter  

Fall 2011 issue of "News from the North Woods"

Fall 2011 ACNW Newsletter  

Fall 2011 issue of "News from the North Woods"