Wolf Ridge

News & Events

Commentary: Taking the classroom outdoors changes kids’ thinking


Dr. Teri Staloch, the superintendent of Prior Lake-Savage Area Schools, writes in the Savage Pacer: “The beginning of the fifth-grade school year is one all students look forward to. It’s their last year of elementary school, and it’s finally their turn to participate in the Wolf Ridge Environmental Learning Center experience near Finland, Minnesota. At […]

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October 2018 Almanac


Go fishing with naturalist Charlie to learn about the Walleyes of Wolf Lake, and more….

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Top Project 2017 Awarded to Lakeview Staff House


Tonight, Pete Smerud is in the Twin Cities to receive Finance & Commerce’s “Top Projects 2017” award. Judges for the award consider “the degree of difficulty, creativity in design, innovative construction techniques, cooperation among contractors and management, and sustainability efforts.” Congratulations to the design team at HGA Architects, construction partner Gardner Builders, all of the […]

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May 2018 Wolf Ridge Almanac


“MAC Lodge Grand Opening” tells the story of a fun and inspiring event celebrating the new dorm. “View from the Ridge” is a recap of the state of the Making Waves capital campaign and projects by Executive Director Peter Smerud. In “Solar Power: Our Future is So Bright,” discover more about the newest solar power at […]

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Wolf Ridge Opens Sustainable Lodge


“It’s been in the works for a long time, ” Wolf Ridge Executive Director Pete Smerud said. “But we’ve done something here with a team of people that is phenomenal and will truly enable life changing experiences for decades to come….” Read the full story by Teri Cadeau, published in the Lake County News Tribune […]

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Climate: Wolf Ridge tackles Living Building Challenge – Lake County News Herald


An exciting project along the North Shore has broad implications for our economy and our future…….. (read more)

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February, 2018 Almanac Newsletter


“Another National and Wolf Ridge First” Wolf Ridge was the first environmental learning center to be accredited by the North Central Association as a school. Now Wolf Ridge is the first to have students live and learn in a building constructed to Living Building Challenge standards. Pete Smerud, executive director, shares the story of how […]

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E-STEM Learning is Vibrant in Prior Lake Savage Schools


“Winter can be an unpredictable time to explore outdoor learning in Minnesota; however, many students and teachers in Prior Lake-Savage Area Schools continue to engage in exciting E-STEM activities and embrace the weather. To make E-STEM truly work for students, it takes committed, dedicated teachers and support staff to make it happen. Last month, during […]

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Save the Date – Grand Opening May 5!


Spring is coming and so is the Grand Opening of the Margaret A. Cargill Lodge! Join us in celebrating the grand opening of “the MAC”. One of the most impressively built facilities in America will officially come alive on May 5. We want you and your family to be a part of this historic celebration. […]

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October 2017 Almanac


“Making Waves Project Report”  Executive Director, Pete Smerud tells the story of folks beginning to “get it” as they start to grasp the boarder challenges and implications of the Living Building Challenge. “Exploring Sustainability” takes readers on a journey with Wolf Ridge graduate students as the they submerse themselves in learning about the breadth and […]

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North Shore environmental education center touts expansion


“Wolf Ridge Environmental Learning Center near Finland, Minn., on Lake Superior has completed two new facilities — and commenced on a third. They include a residence for graduate students that is part of a $9.4 million expansion project financed by Wolf Ridge board members, foundations and other supporters. The under-construction Margaret A. Cargill Lodge will […]

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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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