The Audubon Center of the North Woods (ACNW) is a private, non-profit 501(c)3 residential environmental learning center and conference & retreat center nestled on the shores of Grindstone Lake in east-central Minnesota. We are a proud leader in environmental education and renewable energy and are committed to providing lifelong learning experiences to people of all ages. ACNW has been providing environmental and outdoor education programs since 1971. We ‘walk the walk’ in demonstrating environmental stewardship and have implemented a wide variety of renewable energy sources and energy conservation measures. Our focus is on developing an understanding, ethics and responsibility regarding the environment and the role of humans through formal and informal experiences that link nature and humans.
We believe that a healthy environment starts with and is perpetuated by a personal connection to it, and ACNW is and has been committed to that goal for over 40 years. We offer a great variety of environmental learning experiences for people of all ages, with programming in natural history and science, team-building, adventure programming, wildlife, energy, outdoor skills and human history.
Our highest quality environmental education programs along with our optimal location has made us the prime choice for tens of thousands of learners. By working with all ages and audiences, ACNW creates leaders in the environmental field that spans generations, disciplines and the globe. Visit the Center, open year-round, and you will see a well-maintained, educationally rich landscape and leave wanting to spend more time in this special place with our caring, committed, professional staff..
The diverse 535-acre sanctuary that makes up our property includes a variety of habitats, including old-growth red and white pines, hardwood forests, restored wetlands and prairies. Our unique center features a mixture of historic as well as newly constructed facilities that can provide lodging and meals for up to 162 participants. ACNW visitors have the opportunity to experience a wide range of learning environments including our wildlife barn, yurt, log cabin, formal science classroom, and of course, the great outdoors! Accredited by the North Central Association of Schools and Colleges, ACNW serves as a field campus for various community colleges and Hamline University. We have over 40 years of environmental education experience and an incredible variety of programs and audiences.
Our Mission To instill a connection and commitment to the environment in people of all communities through experiential learning.
Our Vision A healthy planet where all people live in balance with the Earth.
Our Core Values:
- We demonstrate respect, care and passion for the earth, all people and all living things
- We strive for excellence in everything we do through integrity, open communication and teamwork
- Individuals are valued, engaged and appreciated for their unique contributions
- We believe in life-long learning through positive shared experiences with the natural world
- Our efforts encourage others to recognize their interconnectedness with the earth through their actions