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Audubon Center of the North Woods

News from the North Woods

Summer 2012 Volume 38, Issue 2

A proud leader in environmental education and renewable energy

In This Issue Unusual Spring


Clarified Connections


New ‘Wild’ Staff


Dinners at the Lake


Sunset Pontoon Lake Tours


Good Eats


Energy News


Wish Lists


Road Scholar programs


New Artwork at the Center


Gene Steele Remembered


Hiring Fall Interns


Spotlight on Schools


Summer Family Escape


Women’s Wellness Weekend


Open House & Trail Run/Walk 9 Volunteer Spotlight


Volunteers Wanted


Alumni News


Thank You


Upcoming Events Adult Ways of Wildlife June 10-14 Road Scholar - Loons June 10-15 Road Scholar - intergenerational June 17-22 Summer Family Escape July 5-8 Road Scholar -Migration Mysteries August 26-31 Road Scholar -Migration Mysteries September 2-7 Women’s Wellness & Adventure Weekend October 5-7 ‘Autumn at the Audubon’ Open House October 13 Renewable Trail Run/Walk October 13 Winter Family Escape December 26-30

Unusual Spring

Clarified Connections

by Bryan Wood, Co-Director

by Melonie Shipman, Co-Director

This spring has been one for the record books. In the U.S. alone, 150,000 temperature records were set in the month of March, with the month as a whole being an astounding 8.5°F above average. Numbers like that are hard to comprehend. At the Audubon Center, we have noticed many things that have been out of the ordinary this spring. For our maple syrup operations, we set up taps in February and begin collecting sap mid-to-late March, with the sap flow stopping in early April usually. A good maple syrup season is dependent upon the right climatic conditions. When the temperature gets above freezing for several days, it triggers the sap in the roots of the maple tree to travel up through the sapwood to the branches, bringing nutrients to help produce the flowers and eventually the leaves. If the temperature goes below freezing at night, the sap travels back down through the sapwood and into the roots, avoiding freezing in the trunk. The next day if it is above freezing, the sap will again flow up the tree to the branches. A good season has several days like this, where temperatures are in the high 30s or 40s during the day, and in the 10s or 20s at night. This year however, March was full of days that were in the 60s and even 70s, with overnight

At the Center, we hear many repeated questions, “How do we get there?”, “Are there any slots left for the Dinner at the Lake?”, “How do we register for…?”. Intermixed between these easy questions are tougher ones that indicate that some clarification is needed about why we are involved in different efforts. One area that seems to need this clarification is our relationship with charter schools.

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The Audubon Center of the North Woods has evolved into being an authorizer of 35 charter schools throughout the state of Minnesota. As an authorizer we oversee and hold the charter schools accountable for their efforts in governance, finances, academic achievement and, in our case, environmental education. Each school is autonomous in how they achieve these elements. The charter school division works under my supervision (as the K12 Co-Director) and is housed in downtown Minneapolis to be closer to the largest collection of schools. The division is operated by an exceptional group of experienced professionals in the very specialized world of charter schools. It is funded directly and only through the fees that the schools pay.

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News from the North Woods

Summer 2012

Meet Our New ‘Wild’ Educational Staff by Jeff Tyson, Wildlife Coordinator

Gray Squirrel “Delilah”

Delilah arrived at the Audubon Center in October of 2011. She is a developmentally delayed Gray Squirrel from Duluth, MN. She was found by a member of the public in April of 2011 on the ground, presumably removed from her nest by her mother. Her mother likely noticed that there was something wrong with her development and knew she wouldn’t survive as an adult in the wild. When Delilah was found she was taken to Wildwoods Rehabilitation ( in Duluth, MN. The wildlife rehabilitator noticed that this was a developmentally delayed squirrel and was abnormally calm around people. The Audubon Center was contacted in Summer of 2011 about providing a permanent home for Delilah. Currently Delilah teaches in our Minnesota Mammals, and Animal Signs K-12 programs, and will be part of a new Minnesota Wildlife program during the next school year. Delilah is shy around most people, but very comfortable with people she knows. You can “Like” Delilah on Facebook at http://www.

Porcupine “Spike”

Spike was injured in a logging accident as a baby, likely just a couple weeks old. He was found by a private citizen, who raised him up to an adult. Once he reached adult size (18 lbs) his caretaker decided that it was time to find Spike a permanent home. We met Spike’s caretaker through Wildwoods Rehabilitation in summer of 2011 and he came to live at the Audubon Center in October of 2011. He was slow to adjust to his new outdoor surroundings but has now embraced them. Currently Spike teaches in Porcupine Quillwork, Animal Signs, Minnesota Mammals, and will be part of the new Minnesota Wildlife evening program next school year. Spike, who recently turned two, much prefers his female caretakers to males, and is spending time practicing his climbing.

American Kestrel “Gibwanasii”

Gibwanasii is the Ojibwe word for American Kestrel. He was hatched in 2011 in Northern Utah. Gibwanasii’s early history is unclear but it is likely he was raised by people illegally and imprinted. He was then released and because he was imprinted, immediately found the company of people. The construction workers he found kept him as a pet before forfeiting him to the Wildlife Rehabilitation Center of Northern Utah. He came to live permanently at the Audubon Center in January of 2012 where he is currently in training to be comfortable around people and to be used on the glove for raptor programming. He will be splitting teaching duties in our birds of prey evening and outreach programs with Isis our Female Kestrel.

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

Summer 2012

News from the North Woods

Dinners at the Lake u





Saturday, October 20, 2012 Dinner at the Lake Monday, December 31, 2012 New Year’s Eve at the Lake Saturday, February 16, 2013 Dinner at the Lake Saturday, April 20, 2013 Dinner at the Lake Sunday, May 20, 2013 Mother’s Day Brunch Early Bird reservations / Week of event reservations

Dinners at the Lake = $20/$25 adult, $10/$15 child age 5-12 yrs; New Year’s Eve & Mother’s Day = $25/$30 adult and $13/$18 child 5-12 yrs

Reservations are required & space is limited, so reserve early! 888-404-7743 or Visit our website for more information

Good Eats at the Center Here is a wonderful baked oatmeal recipe from our chef, Tom Stelter - so delicious you’ll hardly be able to wait until morning!

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Sunset Pontoon Tours on Grindstone Lake This summer the Audubon Center of the North Woods will be offering sunset pontoon tours on Grindstone Lake once a month from June through September. Participants will enjoy a personalized tour around Grindstone Lake by Co-Director Bryan Wood, learn about Grindstone Lake’s fascinating history and features, and find out more about the Audubon Center of the North Woods, all enjoyed over a glass of wine with cheese and crackers. Tours will depart from the Audubon Center’s dock, and participants can meet Bryan in front of the Dining Hall at the start of the evening. Because seating is very limited, reservations are required. If weather prevents the tour from running, participants will be notified ahead of time. Price: $35 per adult

Pontoon tour dates:

June 23 (Sat): 8:00 p.m. July 21 (Sat): 8:00 p.m. August 25 (Sat): 7:00 p.m. September 22 (Sat): 6:30 p.m.

Reservations required Call 888-404-7743 or email

Maple Baked Oatmeal (serves 12) 6 cups milk 1/2 cups brown sugar 1/2 cups maple syrup 1-1/2 tablespoons butter 1-1/2 teaspoons cinnamon 3/4 teaspoon nutmeg 1-1/2 teaspoons vanilla 2 cups oatmeal 1-1/2 cups chopped apples 3/4 cup craisens 3/4 cup slivered almonds Preheat oven to 325 degrees F and lightly grease a 9x13 inch baking dish. Combine the first 7 ingredients in a large pan or dutch oven until butter is melted. Mix in remaining ingredients and spoon into the 9x13 pan. Bake for 30 minutes. Enjoy!

More Audubon Center Energy News • The Dining Hall and Crosby Dormitory recently achieved an Energy Star Rating of 75 • You can read more about the Audubon Center and our Sustainable Energy Campaign highlighted on CERTs’ (Clean Energy Resource Team) website at • View the Audubon Center’s new energy website to see historical and current usage, as well as current renewable energy technologies ( schools/audubon/) 888-404-7743

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News from the North Woods

New ‘Wish List’ Resource We would like to share a great resource at - the Amazon Wish List. It’s a great timesaver for anyone who does online shopping or who wants to create a gift list. It allows you to keep track of everything you want from ANY website all in one place. Add items to your Amazon Wish List from your favorite websites by installing a Wish List browser button or toolbar. 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. It also saves time after comparison shopping and prevents you from having to bookmark numerous pages. 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’.

Upcoming Road Scholar ® Programs Minnesota: Loons,Living Waters, and Ancient Rocks of the Earth

Woods, Water and Wisdom: Nature Adventure at the Lake

6/10/2012 - 6/15/2012

6/17/2012 - 6/22/2011

Program #: 11538RJ Cost: $593 Sample a few of our 10,000 lakes, and float among loons and water lilies; study life above and below the water, including beautiful and bizarre insects. Visit Jay Cooke State Park where geological stories are cut into deep canyons of Precambrian rocks by the roiling waters of the St. Louis. Search for the beautiful Minnesota Agate and handle volcanic rocks that are over two billion years old. Listen to the story of Lake Superior and the harbor of Duluth. If you are a fan of scenic landforms, complex natural stories and diverse natural communities, this program will be an exercise in both mind and body.

Program #: 4966RJ $513 adults, $393 children Program intended for grandparents with grandchildren from 9-12 years of age.

The forests, fields, ponds and lakes of Minnesota’s North Woods hold exciting environmental lessons for you and your grandchild. Search for reptiles and amphibians, meet impressive birds of prey, discover the hidden life of beavers and learn about the natural behavior of wolves. Feel the rush of adventure on our rock climbing wall and high ropes course, canoe on beautiful Grindstone Lake, learn outdoor survival skills and enjoy making traditional Ojibwe crafts. Take field trips to the North West Fur Post and the Hinckley Fire Museum.

Migration Mysteries: Hawks on the Wing, Wolves in the Wild, and North Country Settlers

9/2/2012 - 9/7/2012 Program #: 5745RJ Cost: $593 Included in this great program are: Hawks On The Wing: Migration Mysteries – Visit Hawk Ridge, nationally known for thousands of migrating raptors each fall, meet our birds of prey and discover their special adaptations; Wolves In The Wild: Symbols Of Wilderness – Meet a captive pack of wolves, observe their special behavior, including communication styles; Voyageurs, Lumberjacks and Ojibwe Indians – Explore the north country history through the original inhabitants, the Ojibwe Indians, and the subsequent exploration and exploits of the Canadian voyageurs and lumber barons, and retrace those times at two Museums and the Northwest Fur Post.

Summer 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 scaffolding n pressure sprayer n small portable generator n twin mattresses in excellent condition n handheld GPS units 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 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 888-404-7743

Summer 2012

News from the North Woods

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New Artwork at the Audubon Center This spring, three amazing works of art have been added to the Audubon Center of the North Woods. The first piece is a mural of Sandstone’s Robinson Park, the local old sandstone quarry turned rock/ice climbing area. The mural was painted by artist Lucas Campbell, who has done many works at the Audubon Center, including the hallway mural in Crosby Dormitory. The impressive 30-foot high Robinson Park mural now graces the south wall of the Climbing Loft and depicts local rock and ice climbers enjoying its challenging features. In front of the Main Office/Dining Hall Building, one can see the next piece of artwork new to the Center; a beautiful chainsaw sculpture of our osprey logo. This three-foot tall sculpture was also done by Lucas Campbell, and was made from one of the 200+ year old white pines in front of Schwyzer Lodge that had succumbed to blister rust in recent years. We were thrilled to have Lucas take the log and make such a gorgeous carving that puts the white pine to wonderful use, welcoming every visitor to the Audubon Center. Both the Robinson Park mural and the osprey carving were made possible by a grant from the East Central Regional Arts Council with funds provided by the Minnesota State Legislature. The last piece of art new to the Audubon Center comes from accomplished Minnesota painter Barbara Hultmann, who has donated her painting ‘Homage’ to Audubon. This amazing painting is inspired from images of John James Audubon’s classic Birds of America and intricately connects them together in a mesmerizing collage of bird faces. This 40” x 58” painting was exhibited at the Minnesota State Fair in 2005 and has resided at Barbara’s home until now. It is currently displayed above our Welcome Desk and Nature Store in the exhibit hallway of the Dining Hall. We are most grateful for Barbara’s generosity and incredible painting. We are very excited for the new artwork at the Audubon Center from these talented artists, and invite you to come out and enjoy them for yourself.

Follow us on Facebook at

Gene Steele Remembered by Mike Link, former Director of the Audubon Center of the North Woods

The passing of Gene Steele is a sad event for the Audubon Center and those of us who worked with Gene over the years. Gene could at times be cantankerous and challenging, but only because he cared about the center and our success. He dedicated himself to helping the center for the last 20 years of his life as he divided time between his cabin on Grindstone Lake and his home in Florida. He was the head of the 3M Foundation when I first met him and passed his scrutiny to get a grant and his support. Our relationship became a friendship that helped the Center get its road signs, raise money for the 1998 expansion, and develop a donor base. Over the years, Gene served on the Center’s governing and advisory boards as well as the development committee and was not afraid to set goals for the staff or board. He grew up in Sandstone and went on to become a significant athlete at Hamline University. After college, he played with the Washington Generals basketball team when they and the Globetrotters were much more than a comedy act. He went on to corporate success at 3M. His personal strength was a great asset to the Center’s development program and we will all miss him. Our condolences go out to his wife Sheryl and to his family. In lieu of flowers, the family requested memorials to the Audubon Center of the North Woods to honor his longtime association with the Center.

Teaching Backpacks Wanted We are working to establish a collection of 8 “Naturalist Backpacks” for teaching staff to carry into the field. Each pack would consist of a field guide to birds, a small white board, binoculars and any additional field guides staff chose to carry with them. We need your help in purchasing backpacks and supplies. Visit our wish list for links to specific products we need. At, put your mouse over Wish List, select “Find a Wish List or Registry” and enter “Audubon Center of the North Woods” in the search box.


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Summer 2012

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temperatures in the 50s. The sap flow started March 6 and barely lasted one week. This resulted in a very poor sap run in our maple trees, and one of our lowest yields on record, with only about 30 gallons of syrup produced, compared to our average of 80 gallons. Consequently, for those of you that enjoy our syrup, you will want to get it while supplies last! Another noticeable difference this spring was when Grindstone Lake became ice-free. Historically, the average for ice out on the Lake has been April 16, but this year it went out March 22, nearly four weeks early. This rapid thaw resulted in water temperatures warming so fast that we did not have a smelt run in our stream. The smelt run when the Lake reaches the right temperature for spawning in the streams, which is usually two to three days before the ice goes out, but this year it was missed entirely because of the rapidity of the melt. We also saw our spring wildflowers pop out unusually early. Round-lobed hepatica usually blooms the 4th week of April at the Audubon Center, but this year we had flowers in bloom by April 2nd. All of these anomalies are tied to an abnormally warm spring. Along with the unprecedented warm March, Minnesota recently had its warmest and driest fall, and the world as a whole just experienced its hottest 7-month stretch on record. Noticing the changes and reading the data deepen our commitment at the Audubon Center to do our part to reduce our contribution of atmospheric greenhouse gases through our Sustainable Energy Campaign. We continue to move forward with more advances in the Campaign, most recently with a Center for Energy and Environment 0% interest loan and small grant that allows us to install energy reducing technologies and controls for our dormitory rooms, walk-in coolers and freezers. We also are improving the envelope barrier of Schwyzer Lodge by refurbishing, air sealing, and adding storm windows to all of its thirty-seven exterior windows, most of which are original windows over 110 years old. The Schwyzer Lodge window renovation project is being financed with funds provided by the State of Minnesota from the Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund through the Minnesota Historical Society. With each project like these, we further our commitment to modeling sustainable energy usage, and reduce our reliance upon fossil fuels. We encourage you to come see the changes, and to make your own as well.

Now Hiring Interns for 2012-2013 Currently we are looking for people interested in a Wildlife Focus Area internship with us for the 2012-2013 season.

Advanced Naturalist Internship (Wildlife/Animal Care Focus Area)

Along with teaching/working with our groups, this intern would also work with our non-releasable education animals and help with their care and training. We hope you will consider becoming part of our dynamic education team! Qualifications:

• Hold a BA or BS degree • 21 years of age or older • Experience in working with children in an educational outdoor setting • Some experience in working with/training birds or mammals • Able to work without supervision and are self-motivated • Knowledge of, or interest in, the natural and cultural history of MN • Fun, out-going personality and a good sense of humor

Wildlife Focus Area Intern Duties include:

• Environmental and adventure education instruction to large and small groups • Serving as a liaison for school and weekend groups • Duties in the following focus area: Wildlife/Animal Care • Program and curriculum development • Willing and able to work long hours including many weekends • General maintenance of living quarters and center grounds • Administrative tasks


• Learn environmental education from our professional staff • Gain teaching experience and expand natural history knowledge • Extend your knowledge behind the scenes with a look at what it takes to run an environmental education center, e.g. fundraising, budgets, marketing, etc. • $80/week stipend, private room, and most meals • Optional Graduate Credits from Hamline University (St. Paul, MN) which applies to a 10-credit Master’s Level Certificate in Environmental Education

Position Dates:

This internship begins August 21, 2012, and runs through June 10, 2013. There is a possibility of extending the experience to start in June of 2012.


Application deadline is May 25th, 2012.

To Apply:

If you know of someone who is interested in this opportunity or our internship program, please have them contact:

Jessica Harguth Intern Coordinator 888-404-7743 ext. 107


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Spotlight on schools The Audubon Center presented programs for 78 public and charter schools in 2011-2012. 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 should 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 Eric Mahmoud and

Eric Mahmoud, founder and CEO of Harvest Preparatory School

the staff, students and families at Harvest Prep and Best Academy for beating the odds in closing the achievement gap! Harvest Preparatory School, a public charter school that the Center authorizes, houses several programs, including Best Academy, a boy-focused program serving students through 8th grade.

“Our boys have closed the achievement gap,” said Harvest Prep founder and CEO Eric Mahmoud. “Nationally, only 12 percent of African American boys are proficient in math and reading. We changed the level of rigor, we changed the level of focus, we began to sweat the small stuff.” African American boys at the school now boast 85-percent proficiency in reading, and 80-percent in math, which Mahmoud says beats the state average. Read more and see KARE 11 coverage of this accomplishment at www.

Congratulations to Jim Lane, Life Science Instructor

and Knowles Science Teaching Fellow, for being recognized by the National Association of Biology Teachers (NABT) with the 2011 NABT Outstanding New Biology Teacher Achievement Award. Jim is a teacher at AFSA High School, a Center-authorized public charter school in Vadnais Heights, MN, and he exemplifies what it takes to be an outstanding new biology teacher. His philosophy of teaching “is centered Lane, 2011 NABT around experiential learning and most importantly JimOutstanding New getting students outside and aware of nature. I want Biology Teacher to encourage my students to understand how they fit into the larger ecosystem and understand that they affect “nature” because they are a part of it,” said Jim. As a trained naturalist, Jim often takes his students out of the classroom into the wooded area near AFSA high school. The opportunity to observe and investigate outside of the traditional classroom setting has inspired more than one of Jim’s students to pursue an undergraduate education in the biological sciences.

Exciting outdoor, challenge and wildlife experiences for the whole family. We welcome all types of families to participate! Most of these outdoor family classes and workshops are geared towards families that have children between the ages of 6 and 18 - younger children are welcome to attend but may not be able to participate in all classes. All-inclusive rates

(includes 3 nights lodging, 9 meals and all programming):

$240/adult, $195/child 5-18 years old, no charge for children 4 yrs and under. Family group rates: Families of 4 = $795 (each additional person = $125). Commuter rates are also available.

Early Bird Discount Register by June 4, 2012 and take 10% off the above rates!


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News from the North Woods

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Women’s Wellness & Adventure Weekend

October 5-7, 2012 Renew, Relax, Rediscover This all-inclusive holistic retreat, offered every spring and fall, is very popular and leaves participants refreshed and renewed. The weekend includes comfortable lodging, wonderful food, interesting speakers, and a variety of classes and activities in the areas of Adventure/Challenge, Wellness & Nature, and Creative Expressions. Below are some examples of past and future classes to give you an idea of the range of offerings—not all are offered every season and new classes are added each season: * Adventure & Challenge (examples include high ropes course, low ropes course, archery, survivor, nordic walking) * Wellness & Nature (examples include yoga, massage, reiki, meditation, intuition, healing, guided hikes, bird banding) * Creative Expressions (examples include art classes, crafts classes, food, photography, journaling, music, quillwork) All-inclusive rates starting from $275/person. 10% Early Bird discount ends 9/5/12.

The perfect gift for that special woman in your life! Gift certificates are available.

This division works directly with the schools in evaluating and reporting on their required accountabilities. This takes a dedicated team because our authorized schools include; elementary through high school, rural through inner city, different teaching platforms, and unique populations. The mission of our Center is: “To instill a connection and commitment to the environment in people of all communities through experiential learning.” Charter schools, because of their ability to have more varied learning programs, enable us to extend our mission forward. By providing resources and suggestions to schools regarding their own settings, especially where children do not have immediate access to the outdoors, we are able to assist their staff and students with alternative ways to develop environmental knowledge and stewardship. The schools can also gain more knowledge of the environment by going to any nature center or environmental learning center that they choose. Each of our charter schools is required to have environmental education goals which they work on each contract period. Each of our schools is specifically monitored and encouraged to stay focused on the school’s mission, work to improve students’ academic achievement, monitor students’ programs, meet the needs of students with special services, develop a strong fund balance, implement environmental goals and programs, and strategically plan for the future. Sadly, green spaces everywhere, and especially around schools, are clearly shrinking. Not every school can be in or near a natural area, but every student will become an adult who has a responsibility to take care of the earth. We are focused on our mission be it through a group coming here to experience nature directly or be it through helping a student connect, care, and make informed decisions about the natural environment even when they do not see it out their school window every day. 888-404-7743

Summer 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 our nature scavenger hunt, 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.

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 Catherine Hansen and the University of St. Thomas students who came to the Center last summer to accurately map the Center’s trails and help us update our trail maps. Catherine Hansen is an geography adjunct faculty member at the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul, MN. She has been teaching geographic information system (GIS) courses for 15 years and has been managing the GIS lab at UST for over 8 years. This past summer, Catherine and two UST GIS students (Alex Boie and Steve Schmidt) came to the Center to accurately locate and map the trail system using global position systems (GPS). Their efforts continued with the creation of a trail map and brochure for the center. The mapping project not only benefited the Center, but her students as well. Catherine states, “This real-world project was a win-win situation for our students and for the Center as well. We love to engage with community partners by addressing their mapping needs” Catherine can be reached at or visit the UST Geography web site at

Above: Catherine Hansen stands under one of the Center’s directional road signs. At right: the ‘entire property’ new Center map, with accurate trail mapping.

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

Summer 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

Volunteers Wanted! 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 Heidi (320-245-2648 or audubon1@audubon-center.,org) 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! SPECIFIC- one time tasks; work on all or part

• Transfer videos to DVD

• Train as archery instructor to be an on-call instructor for that program • ”Anchor” climbers on climbing wall • Care of barn and wildlife • Transport orphaned/injured animals

• Create a photo album of events for staff reference with visitors

Buildings & Grounds ongoing and one-time projects

• Develop scrapbook of ACNW history • Scan slides and photos to disk

• Create historic photo display of Robinson Park • Research how to make retired climbing rope into useful objects • Web Development Assistance - help with CMS web build and website functionality, including e-commerce, assist with CRM database functionality • Flash mentor - short-term assistance in getting marketing coordinator up to speed on the efficient use of Adobe Flash SPECIFIC- ongoing • Grant Research and Submission Assistance – paper and online search/research for potential grant opportunities, periodic compilation and submission of grant applications. • Online Marketing Assistance - regular submission of material for online calendars GENERAL HELP -ongoing • Fill bird feeders • Substitute teach EE programs

• Groom ski trails • Rake, weed whip, mow • Replace kitchen floor in Schwyzer Lodge • Cut/split firewood • General painting and maintenance projects On-Site events • Serve food • Bus tables • Wash dishes • “Catch” for high ropes course • Direct parking • Assist with Open House/Trail Run logistics

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.

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 if interested. Thank you!

Alumni News Congratulations... former intern Molly Lewis Kieff (2001) on the birth of her third child - a baby girl. former intern Jon Soul (1990) for his work with the Montessori School for Shreveport that resulted in the Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality awarding the school the 2012 Environmental Leadership Program (ELP) Award. former intern Nagendra Budathoki (1998) for his work as educational consultant for the Snow Leopard Conservancy. Based in Kathmandu, he works closely with local coordinators in Dunai and Mugu to protect the endangered cat. If you are an alumni and have some news to share about your life, please send an email to us at fenner@ – we’d love to share the info with our readers.

More ACNW News ARCHERY RANGE - An archery range is being installed here at the Center, under the direction of one of our naturalist interns, Danny Schmalzer, with assistance from the MN Deerhunters Association, Pine County Thundering Toms, MN DNR ‘Archery in Our Schools’ Program, and Allen and Kathleen Schmalzer. Staff will be undergoing archery instructor training very soon and our new archery range will be inaugurated this summer! We are excited to now be able to offer this exciting new program to visiting schools and groups. PURPLE MARTIN TOWER - Installation of a Purple Martin tower was just completed on the lawn north of Crosby Lodge. The structure consists of 14 apartments (T14) and 4 gourds. This project was made possible through grants and assistance from Audubon MN and Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe. A similar project for Chimney Swifts will be installed in July. Stop on by to see these new installations and to learn more about these birds. 888-404-7743

Summer 2012

Thank You!

News from the North Woods

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 Melonie Shipman

Moose yy Bud Turner & Bobbie Mistretta yy Marilyn Ueland

Otters yy yy yy yy yy yy yy

Sheryl Camper Tom & Suzanne Inman Sharon Lewandowski Burt & Marcia Sundquist Tom Torborg Mary Ellen Vetter Chip & Michy Wells

Cranes yy yy yy yy yy yy yy yy yy yy yy yy yy yy yy yy yy

Sally & John Ahlgren Brett & Diane Arnold Kathleen Aust Sue Breska Bruce & Marlene Ehresman Kristin Jamison Betty & Cliff Johnson Lois Kunze Robert Minish Courtney Nagle & Scott Burnett Gina Pockrandt Mary Jo Roth Frank & Linda Seaberg Selting Painting, LLC Sisters in Christ Kathleen Spong Bob & Kathy Wedl

Owls yy yy yy yy yy

Patti Alt Brett & Diane Arnold Mary Beck Kon & Joan Bergum Josh Bixby

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yy yy yy yy yy yy yy yy yy yy yy yy yy yy yy yy yy yy yy yy yy yy yy yy yy yy yy

Cindy Blending Roger & Andrea Brown Patricia Cragoe John Dalsveen Lee Dybvig Larry & Nancy Dolphin Glasow Family Sheri Halverson Catherine Hansen Warren & Mary Ible Bill Jansen Gary & Ann Klein Gary & Patty Mondale Gary Moss Cassandra Parker Gene Pugh Lynne Putzke Paula Schwartzbauer Carl & Bev Steffen John & Patricia Telfer Patricia J. Thompson Paul & Janelle Tinucci Christopher Villella Sam Wedl Norman & Ruth Ann Will John Wengenroth Ruthann Yeager

Friends yy Ron Renn

In Memory of: yy Barry & Patti Larson In Memory of Orville White yy Dianne Hu In Memory of Walter Ahner yy Mark E Ahner In Memory of Walter Ahner yy Mary Grassi In Memory of Walter Ahner yy Dorothy & Gilbert Swetz In Memory of Dorothy yy Jo Ann Marks Nelson In Memory of Dale M Nelson

See the next page for member benefits ØØ

yy Robert & Elaine Fuller In Memory of Paul Rauch Jr. yy Jean Colby In Memory of Gene Steele yy Dorothy & Joseph Jones In Memory of Gene Steele yy Arthur & Frances Schuck In Memory of Gene Steele yy Muriel Langseth In Memory of Gene Steele yy Roger & Lois Krantz In Memory of Gene Steele yy Johnson Family, Eddie, Brian, Marsha, Ellen & Bruce In Memory of Gene Steele

In Honor of: yy Laverne Mans In Honor of Lawrence Mans yy Marilyn Thompson In honor of Dorothy Janes 99th

Grants yy Center for Energy & Enviroment yy East Central Arts Council yy MN Community Foundation yy Minnesota Historical Society yy The Allen Family Fund

Employee Matching yy BNSF Railway Foundation

Friend a Wild Critter yy yy yy yy yy yy yy yy

Brett & Diane Arnold Boy Scout Troop 293 Reese & Jen Fredrickson Mary Sue Leach Earl Mosiman Jaine Nelson Dorothy Taylor John & Patricia Telfer

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

Brett & Diane Arnold Steve Dess Sam & Stephanie Griffith Barbara Hultman Linda Neubaur Dennis & Gayla Olson MN State Archery Assoc Joseph Wenzel Jim Azarski & Nancy Werner-Azarski

Archery Project yy Minnesota Deer Hunter Association yy Allen & Kathleen Schmalzer yy Pine County Thundering Toms yy Minnesota DNR ‘Archery in Our Schools’ Program

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 lifelong 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 2—Summer 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

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

ACNW Summer 2012 newsletter  

Audubon Center of the North Woods' summer 2012 newsletter