Latest Happenings for Friends of Sherburne NWR


Friends of Sherburne NWR Announce Successful Completion of

Be Wild Campaign for Youth Nature Education

Almost two years to the day since their first campaign planning meeting, the Friends of Sherburne National Wildlife Refuge announced that they have reached their goal of raising $250,000 to furnish the refuge’s Oak Savanna Learning Center and enhance the adjacent outside learning spaces. “We want to thank everyone for their generous support,” said Sue Hix, Be Wild Campaign chair. “Reaching our goal was definitely a community effort.”
More than 260 gifts from individuals, families, community organizations, businesses, and foundations contributed to this success. Gifts, including cash donations, goods, services, and grants, have been used to provide tables and chairs, A/V system, patio sitting wall, sidewalks, landscaping, trails, kiosk, signage, wetlands education dock, and more, Hix reported.
Since the center opened in May 2016, visitors of all ages and from all across the country have taken advantage of the new facility and amenities at the site. Although the learning center has already hosted a variety of meetings and events, its most important function has been to welcome more than 1,000 students from area schools in repeat visits for hands-on, standards-based lessons that enrich classroom learning.
According to Michelle Bengson, refuge visitor services manager, “Everyone who comes to the center is invited to become a ‘naturalist,’ a person who studies nature. By becoming naturalists, students practice science skills like inquiry and observation as well as character-building skills like being calm, quiet, and respectful. And they get exercise as they explore. In essence, students learn that nature offers life-long learning and is a source to draw upon for strength, peace, beauty, and joy.”