Monday, August 15, 2011

Prairie Wetlands Learning Center

After my visit to Tamarac NWR I headed over to the Prairie Wetlands Learning Center in Fergus Falls to participate in a Minnesota Odonata Survey Project event. The morning started out with some showers and thunderstorms but by afternoon the sun was out and shinning.
The Prairie Wetlands Learning Center is a cooperative venture between the US Fish and Wildlife Service, the Minnesota DNR, and the city of Fergus Falls. It is the first residential environmental education center that is operated by the US Fish and Wildlife Service.
The center began as the dream of local conservationists in the Fergus Falls area. A grass roots effort began in the 1970s to create a facility, that was open to the public, that would focus on prairies and wetlands. In 1989 they formed the Friends of the Prairie Wetlands Learning Center to help to accomplish their goal.
Through a combination of private donations and public grants they eventually were able to fund the creation of the center in 1994. In 1998 they expanded by adding a visitors center and dormitory. In 2008 they expanded again and added an education wing which included six classrooms and a multi-purpose meeting room.
The center is a part of the Fergus Falls Wetland Management District and includes 330 acres of native and restored prairie, 28 wetlands, oak savannah and 3.5 miles of trails. Over 180 bird species have been identified on the property including the yellow-headed blackbird and purple martins pictured in this post.Unfortunately I did not see any new and exciting dragonflies, however there were some cool insects around for me to photograph. Two of the cool new insects that I was able to photograph were the Virginia tiger moth and the yellow garden argiope spider pictured above.

8 comments:

Adrienne in Ohio said...

Those spiders are so fascinating! I haven't run into any yet this summer--usually I've got one that spins webs on my front porch. I'll have to keep an eye out--maybe I just haven't looked hard enough.

Always a visual pleasure to visit your blog!

Mama Zen said...

Sounds like a great place!

Sylvia K said...

I love the turtle!! Beautiful birds as always and a lovely post! Thank you!

Sylvia

Teresa said...

What an amazing place! I love that they are dedicated to education.

VaishVijay said...

The building looks so nice and inviting. Though it looks like a barn, I guess from what you've mentioned it must be the visitor center n the dormitory!

ladyfi said...

What wonderful countryside and shots.

anemonen said...

Thanks for sharing this lovely post.

Frostbite and Sunburn said...

Looks like a great and successful project - amazing what a bit of vision and hardwork can create for the rest of us to enjoy - hat's off to those early dreamers!