Wolf Ridge

News & Events

Wolf Ridge Making Waves Projects Recognized by Blandin Foundation


Thanks to the Blandin Foundation for recognizing Wolf Ridge as a Top 3 Vibrant Community for enhancing the environmental education experience for K-12 students, campers, and families.  See the full story.

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May 1017 Almanac Newsletter


Our May 2017 Almanac kicks off with the continuation of our construction story, “Phase II Underway. Other features include: Ribbon cutting for our new staff house and ground breaking ceremony will take place June 3rd. Pete Smerud updates us on our Making Waves capital campaign. The second part of “Petals Opened: Living Building Challenge” article […]

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Phase II Underway


by Shannon Walz, Director of Education and Tom Berg, Capital Campaign Fundraising Co-chair Whether it was the Jetsons, Star Wars, or Star Trek, TV and movie scenes depicting the future frequently conjured up images of flying cars, moving sidewalks, robots, and houses that made life better. While we are short of flying cars and moving […]

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Top Educational Activities for Kids


Glad to be in the company of some pretty amazing destinations recognized as the best educational activities for kids in Minnesota.

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Materials Petal


by Lori Walewski, Wolf Ridge Naturalist “What about our lunch wrappers?” This question was put forth by trade workers during a meeting while discussing the Conservation + Reuse Imperative of the Materials Petal. It seemed like an innocuous question but it belied the complexity of the “Challenge” behind the question. Wolf Ridge is currently involved […]

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Petals Opened: Living Building Challenge


by Lori Walewski, Wolf Ridge Naturalist Wow,” gasps a graduate student naturalist as she takes in the view through the newly installed window in the future naturalist house. The forest stretches out before them and meets up with Lake Superior, which in turn reaches out and blends into the sky. The view speaks of dreams […]

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February 2017 Almanac Newsletter


“Petals Opened: Living Building Challenge,”  The February 2017 Wolf Ridge Almanac lead article guides us through the intricacies of the Living Building Challenge standards and terminology. Peter Smerud, executive Peter Smerud, executive director, and Russ Bierbaum, board chair share heartfelt stories of the generosity and challenges of our Making Waves capital campaign. “Wolf Ridge News […]

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Construction Underway!


by Lori Walewski, Wolf Ridge Naturalist If you happened to glance to the ridge top as you traveled up the Wolf Ridge driveway in September you may have caught a glimpse of what appeared to be a rectangular cell tower with a lean like the Tower of Pisa. This was the arm of the 70-ton […]

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October 2016 Almanac Newsletter


The October 2016 Wolf Ridge Almanac celebrates the kickoff of the physical manifestation of the Making Waves capital campaign. “Construction Underway” shares the start of construction and how it interfaces with the Living Building Challenge (LBC). From Executive Director, Pete Smerud, “The Time is Now.” Thank you to the key leadership donors (thus far!) in […]

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WHAT I KNOW 8-11-16


by Jon Schumacher St. Anthony Park Foundation’s Executive Director,  Those who have followed my blog for a while have perhaps read about Murray’s E2 Environmental Inquiry class. The Foundation was instrumental in making the class happen and sustaining it through the past four years, as nearly 100 students have been able to make the leap from general science to advanced classes through […]

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May 2016 Almanac Newsletter


Barry Commoner’s First Law of Ecology, “Everything is connected to everything else,” certainly rings true in the May 2016 Wolf Ridge Almanac. Leading off with the Building Sustainable Future article, one can learn how Wolf Ridge is working to model sustainability by following the Living Building Challenge (LBC) in our remodeling and building projects. The […]

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Building a Sustainable Future


by Patrick Thibaudeau, HGA Vice President & Project Leader and Shannon Walz, Wolf Ridge Education Director Forty-five years ago inspiration for Wolf Ridge sprung out of the first Earth Day and a need – a need to shape a future where humans live sustainably on this planet. For forty-five years we have been working hard […]

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St. Bridget Students Challenged in Up North Adventure


This was not your average class trip, Slaikeu said. It lasted a full five days and fully integrated the school’s curriculum. “Art, PE, science, some math, language arts, social studies, lots of history about the North Shore, Native Americans and original settlers of the North,” Slaikeu said. “It truly is a full educational experience that […]

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Student Essay About Wolf Ridge Trip Published!


Nice essay, Sydney Adams! Congrats on being published in the Prior Lake American! “Recently, I went to Wolf Ridge Environmental Learning Center with the fifth-grade students and teachers from my school, Grainwood Elementary School. My fifth-grade teacher is Mrs. Perkins. Wolf Ridge is an awesome place, full of adventure…. keep reading….”

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New Naturalist Training Opportunities Start Fall 2016


Antioch University is Wolf Ridge’s New Graduate Program Partner Since 1996, Student Naturalists at Wolf Ridge have had the opportunity to earn a post baccalaureate Certificate of Environmental Education. Starting in the fall of 2016, we will have a new partner in the program — Antioch University New England (AUNE). Students in the Naturalist Training Program will receive a […]

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February 2016 Almanac Newsletter


The February 2016 Wolf Ridge Almanac reveals two long-standing dreams at Wolf Ridge that are rapidly becoming a reality. Our outdoor classroom now includes land on Lake Superior! Major capital improvement construction will start this summer with a new staff dorm. West Dorm revision will follow. Learn about our “Making Waves” capital campaign. “On the […]

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“Photo-a-day work provides surprises”


“When Joe Walewski, longtime naturalist trainer at Wolf Ridge Environmental Learning Center, embarked on a weeklong photo-a-day project, he intended for it to last a week. A week grew into a month. Then two years…”  more… by Ann Wessel, awessel@stcloudtimes.com

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Students dig deep to help bees, butterflies and other pollinators


Today, 5th graders from Franklin Elementary in Anoka made a positive difference in native northern eastern Minnesota habitats by planting harebell, pussytoes and long leaved-bluets around a new solar PV array at Wolf Ridge Environmental Learning Center. With everything in place, the enthusiastic 5th graders headed outside, shovels in hand, and made a positive difference […]

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October Almanac Newsletter


Recent pronouncements from the Pope, presidential contenders, and world leaders have made it clear that energy, food, and fresh water are critical environmental topics for discussion and action. Read our October 2015 Almanac for stories of how Wolf Ridge is taking action regarding these topics. Check out this year’s seasonal naturalists and what Wolf Ridge alumni […]

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Alone on a Mountaintop – Wolf Ridge Poet Society


“Sixty teenagers ranging in age from 11 – 17 years old in the Northwoods. If you would like to be inspired and feel a burst of creative energy, read what is in the heart of these children….“

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