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Audubon Center of the North Woods

News from the North Woods

Fall 2012 Volume 38, Issue 3

A proud leader in environmental education and renewable energy

In This Issue Born to be Wild


Celebrating MN’s Diversity


For the Love of Kestrals


Wildlife Rehabbers


Wish Lists


Riding in Style


Archery Range/Forkhorn II


Riding in Style


Purple Martin House/Swift Towers 5 Volunteer Spotlight 2012-2013 Programs/Events

5 6-7

New Interns


Open House & Trail Run/Walk 9 Spotlight on Schools


Help Wanted


Alumni News


Thank You


Upcoming Events See pages 6-7 for a complete listing of events & programs Women’s Wellness & Adventure Weekend October 5-7, 2012 ‘Autumn at the Audubon’ Open House October 13, 2012 Renewable Trail Run/Walk October 13, 2012 Dinner at the Lake October 20, 2012 Winter Family Escape December 27-30, 2012 New Year’s Eve at the Lake December 31, 2012 Dinner at the Lake February 16, 2013 Maple Syrup Day March 16, 2013 Dinner at the Lake April 20, 2013

Born to be Wild

Celebrating MN’s Diversity

by Melonie, Co-Director

by Bryan Wood, Co-Director

Recently, when giving a talk at a Lake Owners’ Association meeting, I shared that Woody, our bald eagle, is the only one of our nine education birds who is non-releasable due to natural causes. This was the latest in a series of reminders of wildlife born to be wild that is living in captivity due to the actions of people.

Minnesota is the meeting place of weather and waters. With our unique geographic location in the center of North America, we are home to a diversity of climatic conditions, soils and waterways that are contained within our state’s boundaries. Owing to the extreme, dry winds from the Rocky Mountain’s rain shadow, the warm, humid air from the Gulf of Mexico, and the frigid, dry air from the North, we are a state with three distinct biomes; tallgrass prairie sweeping across the western edge of the state, the eastern deciduous forest running like a necklace from the southeastern to the northwestern corner of the state, and the northern coniferous forest blanketing north-central and north-eastern Minnesota. This unique convergence of climate and precipitation at our latitude creates these distinct biomes, the likes of which are not found in such size in any other state in the nation.

The Wildcat Sanctuary (TWS) recently launched a No More Wild Pets© campaign to increase public awareness of the captive wildlife crisis and decrease the number of wild animals being kept as pets. The campaign strives to inspire people to keep the wild in their heart, not their home, and advocates for adopting appropriate pets. TWS has found that a significant factor in making the wildlife trade possible is the general public’s lack of awareness of the captive wildlife crisis and the dangers involved with private ownership of wild animals. Through their educational efforts and their continuous public presence, TWS hopes to help create a world where there are no more wild pets and wild animal sanctuaries are no longer needed. The International Wolf Center (IWC) runs into these same issues from a different angle. The Exhibit pack wolves are socialized to accept human presence so they can be cared for during their lives. They are not trained as pets. Being a volunteer pup care assistant in July gave me a much deeper sense of the ten thousand years of behavior modification

Minnesota is also home to three major watersheds; the Atlantic Ocean via the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence Seaway, Hudson Bay via the Red and Rainy Rivers, and the Gulf of Mexico via the Mississippi River. This July I had the privilege to lead Hamline University’s graduate Biomes course where teachers and educators came together for a week and explored Minnesota’s rich and diverse biomes, as well as the freshwater systems to gain an understanding of our state’s natural communities. It was a wonderful week of sharing

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News from the North Woods

Fall 2012

For the Love of Kestrels by Jeff Tyson, Wildlife Coordinator

Although our wildlife staff have a fondness for all bird species, one that is particularly close to everyone is the American Kestrel. We currently care for two permanently injured non-releasable Kestrels that are part of our animal teaching staff.

on small rodents and they are capable of catching birds as well. They have even been observed taking birds as large as a Blue Jay. Kestrels are typically found in open country where there are cavities available for nesting.

Isis is a female Kestrel from Kansas City, MO. She was hatched in 2007, and as a nestling she ended up outside of her nest cavity and on the road. She was run over by a semi-truck, but miraculously missed all the wheels and bounced in the draft behind the truck. Someone witnessed this and thought she was cute and kept her as a pet. He accidentally imprinted (a period of rapid irreversible learning) her on people and forfeited her to a nature center in MO once he found out it was against federal law to keep Kestrels as pets. Isis came to ACNW in November 2007.

Kestrels are easily spotted perched on power lines, flicking their tails back and forth. They also will occasionally hover over their prey on the side of roads. Unfortunately, they are not being seen as often these days. Kestrels are declining throughout most parts of North America including Minnesota. There has been a 43% decline since 1966 in the region where ACNW is located.

Gibwanasii is a male Kestrel from northern Utah. He was hatched in 2011, raised by people illegally and then released. He became imprinted as well and immediately flew up to socialize with some construction workers, who kept him as a pet for a short time. They then forfeited him to a rehab center in northern Utah before he came to ACNW in January 2012. Kestrels are the smallest falcon species in North America, and are considered a common species. Falcons typically prey on other bird species, but because of the small size of the Kestrel their primary prey is typically insects. They also feed

The Peregrine Fund is an organization that works to conserve raptors through environmental education, captive breeding, research, and conserving habitat. The work of the Peregrine Fund has benefitted nearly 90 species of raptors over the last 40 years. They are currently collecting information on the nesting success of the American Kestrel to try and determine some reasons for the decline of this species. We encourage you to learn more about what you can do to help these small falcons. You are welcome to visit the Audubon Center and meet Isis and Gibwanasii. You can help support the

care of Isis and Gibwanasii through our ‘Friend A Wild Critter’ program so they can educate people on the decline of Kestrels. Consider joining the American Kestrel Partnership through the Peregrine Fund. Build/Buy a Kestrel nestbox to hang up on your property. Monitor the results and report them to the Peregrine Fund. Resources: Friend A Wild Critter

American Kestrel Partnership

Kestrel Nest box plans building-nestboxes.pdf

Friend a Wild Critter Help support the care of any of our resident education birds and animals through our “Friend a Wild Critter” program. Your donation goes towards housing, medical care, food and enrichment items, to help encourage natural behavior in our non-releasable birds and mammals. As part of the adoption process, you will receive a 4x6 magnet photo of the animal, an “Adoption Certificate”, a personal and natural history of “your” animal, 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. 888-404-7743

Fall 2012

News from the North Woods

Clip out list of Wildlife Rehabbers Fawns, adult deer, raccoons, skunks, or other associated big game Garrison Wild and Free 320-692-4180 Raptors The Raptor Center 612 624 4745 General Wildlife Rehab Wildlife Rehab Center (Roseville) 651-486-9453 Wildwoods Rehab Center (Duluth) (218) 491-3604 Audubon Center of the North Woods (Sandstone) 320-245-2648 For a complete list of rehabbers by county in Minnesota visit: rehabilitation/rehabers_list.pdf

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that resulted in our domestic dogs wanting to be with us and wild wolves continuing to not want to be near us. Yet, IWC frequently receives calls from people seeking advice or asking IWC to take on an animal for “a friend who has” a wolf or supposed wolf-hybrid. Sadly, when the animal behaves as the wild animal it was born to be, the person often realizes that this is more than they can handle and releases the animal into the wild. Frequently this ends in a human-wolf encounter which ends badly for the animal. The Audubon Center of the North Woods sees these issues in the animals that become part of our education team. When you come to our Open House on October 13th, take a moment to read or listen to their full life stories. In summary you will discover: u Isis, female American Kestrel - found herself on the road before she was flighted, run over by a semi, raised illegally by a passerby, clipped wings, imprinted u Gibwanasii, male American Kestrel - imprinted, released, raised as a pet illegally u Dakota, Red-tailed Hawk - shot in wing u Cića, Eastern Screech Owl - hit by a car, mental delay so her reaction time is too slow in the wild u Athena, Barred Owl - most likely hit by a car, wing injury u Cleo, Great Horned Owl - hit by a car, wing and eye injury u Mob, American Crow - raised on milk and earth worms, imprinted and malnourished u Potter, Common Raven - shot, unable to fly, feather-plucking u Spike, Porcupine - raised by humans, habituated and over nourished

While our educational animals add much to the learning of students of all ages, it is important to recall when looking at them that they were born to be wild. Most of them may not have survived their injuries in the wild. All of them would have the option of spending their lives free. To assure that animals born to be wild remain wild these are a few things that we can all do: l Adopt only appropriate pets. l Dispose of trash properly, even biodegradable items like an apple core will attract rodents which then attract birds of prey, that may be its death sentence when a vehicle comes around the corner. l If an injured wild animal is found, immediately contact the appropriate agency to have it taken care of. CALL first. (Please see the clip out list located above) Other considerations in keeping wild animals is that they are difficult to care for, have specific food requirements, and it is usually ILLEGAL without very special permitting. Keeping a wild animal for even a short time may result in imprinting, whereby the wild animal sees its human caregivers as its family. The animal will follow, seek food from, want to mate, and protect its perceived partner. And caring for a wild animal is expensive! When an animal becomes part of our educational program it is the same as a marriage commitment, “…in sickness and in health till death do us part.” We do not trade in our animals to get younger, more glamorous ones as they age. They are staff members, they are teammates, they are friends. For example, our wildlife staff is very much aware that Dakota, our red-tailed hawk who has taught thousands of students, is an old girl now. As with humans, age means more issues. Her arthritis medication means more expense. We budget as we can with these considerations in mind. Yet there are always the surprise expenses with wildlife care. Just as our friends at IWC strive to recover from paying for surgery, x-rays, supplements and added care when Luna, the wolf pup, broke her femur, we strive to recover financially from our own surprises. Who could know that Spike, our very charismatic educational porcupine, would become ill for weeks from the high heat and humidity? We could not anticipate that Delilah would suffer a fracture due to her more frail bones and clumsiness that are consequences of her chromosome deficiency. We are thankful to our volunteers and donated vet services when they can be arranged. We appreciate your donations and when you “Friend a Wild Critter” which helps us meet the unexpected needs of our educational animals. We value your help in passing forward the message to let those born to be wild remain so.


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News from the North Woods’s ‘Wish List’ Resource The Amazon Wish List is a great timesaver for online shoppers and gift lists. It allows you to keep track of everything you want from ANY website all in one place. You can then share your list with family and friends or make it public. This is a very handy tool for keeping track of items you’d like to buy or get as gifts - especially those items with exact model or specification requirements. We have started our own public Amazon Wish List to assist those who would like to support the Center by purchasing needed items, and we are continually adding items as needs arise. If you would like to visit our Amazon Wish List, simply log into with your email address and select “Find a wish list or registry” from the dropdown menu (upper right). Type in ‘Audubon Center of the North Woods’ in the wish list search box and click ‘Go’.

Riding in Style The Audubon Center of the North Woods’ newest passenger van received a makeover this summer with the addition of color graphics and lettering from Wrap City Graphics. The image of an osprey carrying a trout in its talons reflects our ACNW osprey logo, and is a scene that is regularly seen here on Grindstone Lake. We are partnering with Wrap City Graphics to offer ACNW decals in our Nature Gift Store for people to show their Audubon Center support on their vehicles as well. Look for them the next time you are at the Center, and show your support by becoming an ACNW vehicle ambassador!

Another Way to Show Your Visual Support for ACNW: Through a partnership with Wrap City Graphics, you can show your support for the Audubon Center by getting your vehicle detailed with our logo, graphics and information for around $100! By doing this you are helping market our organization, and it is a very visual representation of your support for the Audubon Center. If you are interested in showing your ACNW support on your vehicle, please contact Co-Director Bryan Wood at 320245-2648 or

Archery Range & Forkhorn II Camp This summer saw the installment of an archery range at the Audubon Center of the North Woods. With funding from the Jim Jordan (Hinckley) Chapter of the Minnesota Deer Hunters Association, the Minnesota DNR’s Archery in our Schools Program, the Pine County Thundering Toms, and the McCabe Chapter of the Izaak Walton League of America, our new archery range provides the opportunity for youth and adults to experience and gain proficiency in archery skills. In addition to this being a new course offering for our k-12 schools, family and adult programs, we are pleased to announce we will be offering a Forkhorn II Camp next July 7-12, 2013 where youth cannot not only get their MN Bow Hunting Certificate, but gain a number of other outdoor adventure and hunting skills. For more information on our Forkhorn II Camp, please visit our website.

Fall 2012

ACNW Wish List

We are in need of the items below. Remember, your ‘in-kind’ donations are tax-deductible. 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 pressure sprayer n small portable generator n twin mattresses in excellent condition n handheld GPS units n tree corer n cross country skis & snowshoes for very small kids n backpacking expedition packs n sleeping bags in excellent condition n 17” stack paper cutter n tabloid-sized paper folding machine n cots n ice machine n large mixing bowls n vacuum cleaner in good working order n table lamps n large stock pots n vellux blankets in excellent condition n glass bud vases n roto tiller n bobcat/skidster n electric golf cart n riding mower/tractor n lawn sweeper n gas leaf blower

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.

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) n Bird/Wildlife Art Work n Gift cards to Petco or Petsmart n Assorted Rubbermaid storage containers


Fall 2012

News from the North Woods

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Purple Martin House & Chimney Swift Towers Added This summer the Audubon Center of the North Woods has added habitat for two bird species in critical need. With funding from Audubon Minnesota and help from the Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe, a T-14 Purple Martin house, accompanied with 4 hanging gourds were installed near the solar panel field by Crosby Dormitory. Woodpecker holes in trees were once the chosen nest sites of Purple Martins – North America’s largest swallow. But today, martins in the eastern half of North America are almost entirely dependent on gourds and martin houses for nesting. Some populations are undergoing a long-term decline. Although not yet listed as threatened or endangered, in the states surrounding the Great Lakes, Purple Martins have declined by 78% in just the last 40 years. Audubon Minnesota’s Purple Martin Conservation Project seeks to assist Purple Martin populations by partnering with agency parks, nature centers, private corporations, citizens and others by erecting martin houses throughout Minnesota. We are grateful for Audubon Minnesota’s support with this addition and look forward to next spring and the hopeful arrival of our first nesting pairs. In addition to the Purple Martin house and gourds, Audubon Minnesota also donated funds to the Audubon Center of the North Woods for the building materials of two Chimney Swift towers. Built in July by the Summer Youth Corp of Conservation Corps of Minnesota, with one located near the Purple Martin house and the other on the south lawn of our wildlife barn, our towers provide key habitat for another bird species in need. Historically, Chimney Swifts

nested and roosted in eastern North America’s old growth, hollow trees. With the loss of those forests, swifts then shifted to nesting and roosting in masonry chimneys. With many chimneys capped now, swifts are unable to use them and their numbers have declined by over 50% in just the last 40 years. These small, agile, fastflying birds are readily identified by their characteristic “flying cigar” profile. Audubon Minnesota initiated the Chimney Swift Conservation Project to engage the people of Minnesota in tangible, e a s y-t o - a c c ompl i s h activities that can make a difference to declining Chimney Swift populations and create greater awareness about bird conservation. Chimney Swifts can be helped by making chimneys accessible for the birds or by building specially designed nesting/roosting towers. Audubon recruits and trains partners to build Chimney Swift towers on their properties and also creates public awareness about this species through brochures, community chimney swift sits, and presentations. With the installment of the two chimney swifts towers here, we hope we can provide a home to area swifts. To find out more about Purple Martins, Chimney Swifts and what you can do to help, visit:

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 about the Summer Youth Corp of the Conservation Corps Minnesota, who built our two Chimney Swift towers this summer. The Conservation Corps Minnesota provides hands-on environmental stewardship and servicelearning opportunities to youth and young adults while accomplishing conservation, natural resource management and emergency response work. Their residential Summer Youth Corps connects teenagers ages 15-18 to the natural environment through hands-on conservation, and it empowers young people to become active, engaged citizens. The program unplugs teenagers from modern intrusions during two 4-week sessions over the summer. Youth receive training at a rural base camp, then spike camp throughout the region as they restore natural resources and learn about the environment. After several days of training, youth travel as a crew to projects throughout Minnesota and other states, working 8:30 to 5, Monday through Friday. The participating youth get a small weekly stipend, gain job and career planning skills, and learn about ecology, sustainability, water and land management, food production, American Sign Language and Minnesota natural history. They also laugh, have fun and make a difference! This summer, we were very fortunate to have a small Summer Youth Corp come to the Audubon Center of the North Woods to build and install our two Chimney Swift towers. Thank you! 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.


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News from the North Woods

Fall 2012

PROGR AM S & E VE NT S. . . . . Maple Syrup Day/Brunch

‘Autumn at the Audubon’ Open House & Renewable Trail Run/Walk

Sunset Pontoon Tours of Grindstone Lake


Fall 2012

News from the North Woods

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. . . . . Fall 201 2 t hrough 201 3 Women’s Wellness & Adventure Weekend

Birding Bonanza Festival

Motorcycling Scenic Minnesota Tour July 8-12, 2013 .

Winter Family Escape

Forkhorn II Camp

Road ScholarÂŽ Programs


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News from the North Woods

Meet Our New Educational Interns Autumn Henry:

Wildlife/Naturalist Intern

I am from Utah and graduated from the University of Utah with a degree in biology with an emphasis in ecology and organismal biology. I have an inherent love of all animals, but am incredibly passionate about birds. I worked with the bird show at a local aviary for many of my teen years, which fueled this fascination. During that time, I was able to teach people of different ages about birds and ecology, which is when I realized that I loved sharing my own passions with other people. My hobbies include bird watching, drawing, writing, making jewelry, photography, and having adventures.

Chagh Xiong:

Buildings & Ground/ Naturalist Intern

I am from Glenolden, a small town in south eastern Pennsylvania. I studied at West Chester University of PA and earned my Bachelors of Science in Ecology. I decided to do an internship with the ACNW because the program will allow me to gain professional experiences, expand my network and above all continue my education. Some of my hobbies include biking, camping, cars, cooking, fishing, hiking and painting. The biggest burrito I ever rolled was five pounds. Also, I wish to one day open a sustainable community restaurant that is 100% local based.

Jess Mack:

Wildlife/Naturalist Intern

I am from Madison, NJ (around NYC) and graduated from Ursinus College in PA with a degree in environmental studies. While in school I did a program with the Smithsonian Institute where I was able to experience amazing animals such as clouded leopards and red pandas along with getting hands-on experience with rehabilitation. I’ve always been a nature lover but this motivated me to pursue rehabilitation as well as expanded my passion for conservation. This all led me to ACNW where I can now work with animals as well as experience someplace new.

Leeann Louis:

Wildlife/Naturalist Intern

I am from Yorktown Heights, NY. I attended Cornell University, where I studied Biological Engineering and researched birds at the Lab of Ornithology. I spent the last couple years studying bone disease at a hospital in Boston. When not working, I love being outdoors - birdwatching, camping, kayaking, hiking, you name it, I love it! While I’ve spent much time doing research, I believe my true passions are playing outdoors, teaching, and caring for animals, and so I decided to intern at ACNW to further develop these interests. I am a triplet and I love any and all adventures!

Megan Cook:

Wildlife/Naturalist Intern

I am from Carroll, IA and graduated from Simpson College (near Des Moines) with a degree in environmental science. I really enjoy going to concerts, hanging out with friends, and spending time with my family. This summer I worked at Swan Lake State Park in Carroll as an associate naturalist. I also work for a non-profit bird of prey rehabilitation and education organization called Saving Our Avian Resources (SOAR); both of these jobs together have furthered my interest in environmental education and the well-being of raptors.

Noel-Leigh Cockney:

Adventure/Naturalist Intern

I grew up along the Canadian coast of the Arctic Ocean in the Northwest Territories. I finished K-12 in the Northwest Territories, and just recently graduated from Northland College in Ashland, WI with a major in Outdoor Education and a minor in Native American Studies. My hobbies include rock climbing, backpacking, basically anything and everything outside, along with arts and crafts from beading, sewing, wood carving, etc. My favorite sport is Volleyball and my cultural games from the Northwest Territories, the Northern Games. I attended Fall Block at the Audubon Center in 2009/2010 and really enjoy the center.

A special thanks to our Summer Intern 2012 Lucas Harguth for all of his hard work, dedication, and flexibility! We’ll miss you!

Lucas Harguth:

Everything/Naturalist Intern

I volunteered here on maintenance at the center right out of high school in 2010. I really liked how the center operated and I wanted to try and play a roll as an intern for the summer. I am currently a junior at Northland College in Ashland Wisconsin studying Natural Resources and Outdoor Education. I am excited to work with different groups and help out wherever I will be needed. In my free time I enjoy long walks on the beech, canoeing, fishing, camping, hiking, hunting, and anything else in the outdoors that I forgot to mention.

And a special “Welcome Back” to second-year interns, Anna Keenan, Wildlife Apprentice/Naturalist, and Troy Douglas, Charter School Apprentice/Naturalist

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nature with others. That is what we are about at the Audubon Center of the North Woods, and why I am excited to share two new programs we are offering next summer. Next June we will be rebooting our Birding Festival with a new focus on the biomes and transition zones of Minnesota and the amazing birding diversity that is found in those communities. Among the multiple workshops we will offer are sessions on our new chimney swift towers, purple martin house, and osprey platform, as well as sessions on dragonflies, spiders and butterflies. With increased field trip options and workshops led by regional experts, inclusive beginner birding walks, a captivating live raptor program, renowned presenters, all with great food and comfortable accommodations, we are excited to provide Minnesota’s only allinclusive birding festival. Visit our website to learn more about our ‘Birding Bonanza’ Festival, June 7-9, 2013. Our environmental education programs are for people of all communities and backgrounds, which is why I am very excited to announce the Audubon Center of the North Woods’ first ever Motorcycling Scenic Minnesota Tour, July 8-12, 2013. This week-long motorcycle trip, led by myself and my father, best-selling author and musician Douglas Wood, will take participants along many of Minnesota’s most scenic highways and byways, with stops at state parks, national forests, and national wildlife refuges. Through this scenic tour of Minnesota, participants will learn about the geology, waterways, and native forest and plant communities that shape our state. The Audubon Center will provide all camping arrangements and meals for the 4-night, 5-day trip and participants will be able to store their gear in our sag wagon that will shuttle personal and group camping gear/ food to each camping destination. If you are a nature enthusiast and a motorcycle rider, this week is the perfect blend for you. Find out more about trip logistics and pricing at our website. 888-404-7743

Fall 2012

News from the North Woods

Autumn at the Audubon

Please check our website prior to event for further details

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Renewable Trail Run/Walk

Saturday, October 13 10 a.m. - 2 p.m. Join us for a free, fun day filled with activities and programs for all ages! Tour our grounds and facilities, find out about our renewable energy systems, learn how the Audubon Center got its start, visit our educational raptors, and more. A variety of activities and programs will be available throughout the day – with something for everybody. For the young and young at heart, there will be adventure opportunities like our climbing wall and zip line, as well as face painting, cider pressing, hay rides and other fun learning activities. Lunch will be available for purchase.

Part of our Open House day on October 13 Register now for our 5th Annual Renewable Trail Run/Walk! You may opt for the 5K run/walk over our trails or the 10K which is partially on our trails and then around Grindstone Lake. Visit our website for more info and online registration. Race starts at 9 a.m. Registered runners/walkers receive a T-shirt (first 100 registered participants) and post-race refreshments. We need volunteers to help with the trail run/walk, so please give us a call at 888-404-7743 if you’d like to give us a hand for this special day.

Follow us on Facebook at

Spotlight on schools 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.

Congratulations to Selah Jachin, 7th grade, and Miranda Kettlewell, 8th grade, from Laura Jeffrey Academy (LJA) for taking first and second place in the National Charter School Essay Contest! LJA, a Center-authorized public charter school in St. Paul, offers a unique girl-focused educational experience for grades five through eight. Here’s a quote from Selah’s essay: “In twenty years, I see myself able to succeed in life without anyone holding me back... I will have self-confidence in who I am and what I do.” Kudos to the students at the Academy for Sciences and Agriculture (AFSA) for their prairie restoration efforts aimed at helping bees and other pollinators. Led by Life Science Instructor Jim Lane at AFSA (a Center-authorized public charter school in Vadnais Height, MN), the students are turning a 2,000 square foot field at the school into prairie, in the hopes of attracting reproducing populations of bees, beetles, butterflies, flies and other pollinators.

Calling All Geocachers!! Thanks to the volunteering efforts of Steve Baugh, physical education instructor at Inver Hills Community College in Inver Grove Heights, MN, we now have a geocache course set up on Audubon Center of the North Woods property. Steve, who regularly brings student groups to the Center, set up over three dozen geocaches here as well as geocache courses at nearby Banning State Park and Robinson Park (in Sandstone). If you or any of your friends or family like to geocache and want to explore our caches, go to Under “Play”, click on ‘Hide and Seek a Cache’, enter our location address (54165 Audubon Dr., Sandstone, MN 55072) and select a 5-mile radius. All the ACNW geocaches are posted by “The Sandhill Cranes”. Please note: geocachers must bring their own GPS units or smartphone with geocaching app (although cellphone coverage is very spotty here at the Center). Happy hunting!!


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News from the North Woods

Fall 2012

Ways you can support the Audubon Center of the North Woods • Become a member • Friend a Wild Critter 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 • Legacy gifts and IRA transfers

• 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

Help Wanted!

General Volunteer Opportunities

Non-profits like the Audubon Center of the North Woods depend upon volunteers who generously give their time, energy and skills to help us succeed. We would welcome your assistance in any of the following areas. Interested? Contact Sandy (320-245-2648 or to discuss helping with any of the following tasks. She will provide you with any requirements or special skills needed and set you up with task-specific leader. Thank you! Special Volunteer Opportunities Dinner at the Lake host/hostess Greet & check in guests. Cashier in the gift shop. Some computer experience helpful. (Dates needed: 10/20/12, 12/31/12, 2/16/13, 4/20/13 & 6/1/13. Hours: approximately 5:30-8:30 pm) Free dinner and program included

Occasional Saturday front-desk Answer phones, run gift shop, greet guests, respond to questions. (Approximately one Saturday per month, hours: 9 am to 1-3 pm)

Volunteer Work Day, September 29...

Help us shine for our annual open house, ‘Autumn at the Audubon’ which will be held here at the Center in October. Lend a helping hand on Saturday, September 29 between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. – we can use assistance with a wide variety of spruce up, fix-up and preparation tasks. Lunch is provided to volunteers who work at least 4 hours that day. Call us at 320-245-2648 or email audubon1@audubon-center. org if interested. Thank you!

SPECIFIC- one time task • Help preserve ACNW history through scanning slides/photos, transferring videos to DVD, etc. • Web Development Assistance - help with CMS web build and assist with CRM database functionality SPECIFIC- ongoing • Grant Research and Submission Assistance – search/research and apply for potential grant opportunities • Online Marketing Assistance - regular posting of events to online calendars, press release generation and distribution GENERAL HELP -ongoing • On-call teacher for EE programs • Belay climbers on climbing wall • Care of barn and wildlife • Transport orphaned/injured animals Buildings & Grounds - ongoing • Groom ski trails • Rake, weed whip, mow • Fill bird feeders • Cut/split firewood ON-SITE EVENTS • Kitchen assistance • Prep and clean up • Assist with Open House/Trail Run logistics

Adopt an Intern... Why Volunteer? There are many benefits to public service. You’ll meet new people, gain experience, build your skills and resume, while making a big difference to a non-profit like Audubon Center of the North Woods.

Alumni News Congratulations... former intern (‘09) and Fall Block student (‘08), Todd Starling and his wife Carolyn on the August 18th birth of their second daughter, Sage Elise Starling. If you are an alumni and have some news to share about your life, please send an email to us at fenner@audubon-center. org – we’d love to share the info with our readers.

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 Center grounds on occasion. If you are interested in matching up with one of our interns (meet them on page 8) 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. Call us at 320-245-2648 or email audubon1@audubon-center. org if interested. Thank you! 888-404-7743

Fall 2012

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 Osprey yy Greystone Foundation/Walter McCarthy & Clara Ueland

Moose yy Minnesota River Valley Audubon Chapter

Loons yy Lily Beth Frentz yy Ray & Ceci Rath


In Memory of Gene Steele continued yy Robert & Ruth Marie Larson yy Wayne & Karen Lofsness yy Bertil Nelson yy Dwaine & Marcy Norman yy Anne Podratz yy Gary & Marie Skunberg yy Paul & Carolyn Verret In Memory of Willis Milton Stoesz yy Emerson Spanish Immersion School on behalf of Mike Stoesz

yy John Andrus lll yy Joel & Gail Roberts yy Peter Swenson

In Honor of:



yy Dale Hammerschmidt

yy Bruce Holcomb & Caroline Vernon yy Eco Lab Foundation

Owls yy Patricia & Richard Anderson yy Catherine & Clyde Harrison yy Pete & Pat Webster

Friends yy Anonymous yy Daniel & Mary Nicklay

In Memory of: In Memory of Gene Steele yy Barbara & Robert Barron yy Allen & Barbara Blumer yy Kathleen Buegler yy Greg & Kimberly Cunningham yy Vivian Evans yy Kay Fredericks yy Bruce & Karen Gengnagel yy Ken & Suanne Hallberg yy Donald & Mary Ann Jolly yy Roger & Barbara Kronholm

yy Dosia Carlson & Greta Weissman In Honor of Mike Link & Kate Crowley

Employee Matching yy Norfolk Southern Foundation

Friend a Wild Critter yy Riley McGurran

In-Kind yy yy yy yy yy yy yy yy yy yy yy yy yy yy

Jim Azarski & Nancy Werner-Azarski Grindstone Bible Camp Connie Fortin Wayne Hornicek Erik & Candi Nelson Gayla & Dennis Olson Jerry Olson Mark & Erica Peterson Pillager Area Charter School Gene & Nancy Pugh Diana Rankin Dick & Kathy Schmeltzer Duane & Pam Schroeder Lake State Federal Credit Union

Archery Project yy McCabe Chapter, IWLA

Chimney Swift Project yy Minnesota Audubon Society

See the next page for member benefits ØØ

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 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 38, Issue 3—Fall 2012 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 one or more 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.

ACNW Fall 2012 newsletter  

Online version of the Audubon Center of the North Woods' Fall 2012 newsletter

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