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Wolf Ridge

News & Events

“Turn the Buses North”


“Dad, instead of the schools always taking us to the cities for field trips why don’t they turn the buses north and go to places like these?” Brian Carlson recently submitted a letter to the editor that he first wrote 23 years ago, because, he says, nothing has changed. Do you relate to his story? Have […]

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October 2019 Almanac Newsletter


Download October 2019 Almanac In this issue: Read about the Lake Superior curriculum development process in Lessons at the Lake. (pages 1, 5) In View from the Ridge, Pete Smerud, executive director, motivates us to stand behind our values by leaving a legacy through planned giving. (pages 2-3) Join the growing list of The Leaders […]

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Wolf Ridge featured on Minnesota Public Radio!


MPR host Angela Davis interviewed Pete Smerud, our Executive Director in a live broadcast from Tettegouche State Park this morning. If you missed it click here to hear the live interview! The conversation centered on how Wolf Ridge ELC, Minnesota Extension’s youth programs, and Minnesota’s State Parks provide people with personal experiences where they can share the unique wonder and beauty of our region. […]

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Wolf Ridge on Minnesota Public Radio!


Today at 11:00 a.m., you can catch a live broadcast of Wolf Ridge’s Executive Director Pete Smerud and MPR host Angela Davis. Throughout the day, starting at 5:00 a.m., MPR will be asking questions such as “why is the fresh air good for us? How and where can we get outside to enjoy Minnesota’s natural […]

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Nature Notes: Beavers have clear role in health of other wildlife


It’s great to hear the adventures of a long-time supporter of Wolf Ridge, Jim Gilbert! “Many times at Wolf Ridge Environmental Learning Center in Finland, Minn., and not far from Lake Superior, I have enjoyed, with student groups, observing beavers in their partly wooded stream valley natural habitat. We watched them swim with tree branches […]

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May Almanac, 2019


Download the May Almanac pdf “In Living Building Challenge: Ripple Effect” see how Wolf Ridge has inspired others to challenge themselves to LBC standards in their own remodels. (pages 1 & 3) Peter Smerud, Wolf Ridge executive director shares his optimism for the future. in “The View.” (page 2) “The Leaders of the Pack” goes […]

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February Almanac Newsletter


In this issue of the Almanac Newsletter… Wolf Ridge Hosts National Conference tells the story colleagues from across the country gathering to share ideas about strengthening their respective RELCs. It also teaches us about open space technology. View From the Ridge highlights the latest happenings at the Ridge by Executive Director Peter Smerud. The Leaders […]

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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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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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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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