NEW! Story Day Camp - August 12 - August 15

Historical photo of students outside in winter

About Wolf Ridge

It started with students concerned about their environment.

In 1970, a Cloquet, Minnesota social studies teacher at the local high school named Jack Pichotta worked with his students to organize a week-long event dedicated to learning about the environment and human impact on it.  The event took place April 6-10, 1970, just a few days before the first official Earth Day. 

Read More

Our Mission

“To develop a citizenry that has the knowledge, skills, motivation, and commitment to work together for a quality environment.”

We achieve this by:

  • Fostering awareness, curiosity, and sensitivity to the natural world
  • Providing lifelong learning experiences in nature
  • Developing social understanding, respect, and cooperation
  • Modeling values, behaviors, and technologies which lead to a sustainable lifestyle
  • Promoting the concepts of conservation and stewardship

What We Offer

Activities and classes at Wolf Ridge are nearly all outdoors following an experiential learning model, typically three hours in length. Over 50 different classes and activities are available. Class subjects include environmental science, cultural history, contemporary environmental issues, personal growth, team building, and outdoor recreation.

Wolf Ridge is a place where minds are opened to the joy and wonder of discovery of our natural world.

We seek to stimulate a love and understanding of nature by involving children and adults in direct observation of and participation in the outdoors. We promote self-awareness and leadership development in the process.

How We Operate

We are a private, non-profit 501(c)(3) organization with a $3+ million operating budget. Revenue sources include program user fees and store merchandise sales. Because program fees do not completely achieve the income needed for operation, Wolf Ridge relies on donor support as well as funding from businesses, corporations, and foundations to provide high-quality environmental education. 

Wolf Ridge has a 16-member board of trustees, which includes school teachers and education leaders, corporate and finance professionals, engineers, non-profit leaders, lawyers, and architects. We are the eighth largest employer in Lake County and employ 90 full-time and seasonal staff annually, along with volunteers who help with projects varying from bird banding to office work.


Wolf Ridge collaborates with dozens of partners around the country to put authentic science research into the hands of children and the curriculum they use every day.

Explore Partnerships

Our Staff

We have 90 full-time and seasonal staff, including naturalists with decades of experience in their fields, who work to provide exceptional environmental education and outdoor learning experiences for visiting groups and students.

Meet Our Team