Events

Annual Events

Join us throughout the year and immerse yourself in our 18,000 acre classroom. We provide a variety of outdoor events and educational opportunities, so you can get the most out of the beautiful seasons we all share.

Upcoming Event

Visit our Facebook Page for Current Events

Keep up to date on weekly Wolfski Welcome Center programs

 

Astro Bob Presents: Magic Moon - June 8th @ 8:30pm

Moon Viewing
Join Astro Bob at the Boulder Lake ELC as he presents a complete guide to Earth's familiar yet alien companion. 
 
Weather permitting, we'll look at the moon and other night-sky sights through a telescope immediately after class.
This is a free open to all ages and abilities event.  

Cost: FREE

When:6/8

  • Start time: 8:30pm
  • End time: 9:30pm if bad weather; 11pm or later if clear skies (you are free to leave at any time).

Where: Boulder Lake ELC

Registration Required

Boulder Lake Wildflower Hikes - May 26th June 2nd and 9th from 10-11:30 (Free)

Wildflower hike

FREE EVENT: Spring is here (no really) and the wild flowers are going to be blooming! Bring your favorite field guide and join us on

 a hike in the Boulder Lake Environmental Learning Center area to look for and enjoy the spring flowers. We will look for spring ephemeral flowers like Hepatica, Large-flowered Bellwort, Nodding Trillium, and many more early blooming flowers. We may find an orchid in bloom and we might see a carnivorous plant in the bog. Meet at the main BLELC building for this fun spring outing. Bring your binoculars if you wish to check on the spring bird migration during the hike.

REGISTRATION REQUIRED: 

Boulder Lake ELC Annual Tree Giveaway - May 25th (Pre-ordering required)

Gravel Bed

On Saturday 5/25 (or all trees are gone) Boulder Lake ELC will hosting our annual tree giveaway.  

ORDERING AVAILABLE NOW

We will have White pine, White spruce, Red oak, Red Maple, Juneberry, Black cherry to name a few.  A full list of trees available along with quantities will be posted one week prior to the event (once we know the stock that we have).  

Boulder Lake ELC Annual Birding Big Day - May 11th from 7am - 12pm (Registration required)

Boulder Birding Big Day

Join us on May 11th, 2024 for our annual birding big day. Team up with birders of all levels to count as many species of birds as possible (hit the trails and try to break the current record of 93 species)! This event is brought to you in partnership with the Duluth Audubon Society.

This is a family-friendly event where small teams of birders of all experience levels spend the morning counting as many species as they can near the Boulder Lake area.

Register Today: https://forms.gle/zmdtGQzYz3DNyBVN8

Orchids of the Boulder Lake ELC area - 5/19/24 from 10-11am

Yellow Lady's Slipper

Learn about the Orchids that call Boulder Lake Management Area home and why orchids are important:

Cost: Free

As bioindicators, orchids tell us much about the health of an ecosystem, both above and below the surface of the ground.  The orchids in the BLELC area come in many forms and are found in habitats as diverse as forests, wetlands, fens, swamps, stream banks, and pine barrens.  As plants that take years to fully develop, the rich presence of orchids is an indication of undisturbed lands within a diverse, healthy, and functioning ecosystem.

Program will take place in the main classroom located in the ELC building.

REGISTRATION REQUIRED: https://forms.gle/fYGPQdMo4M24mUnV8

Presenter: Rubin Stenseng has participated in the Minnesota Master Naturalist Volunteer program for over 15 years.  While he is interested in everything outdoors, his fondness for wildflowers has led him to focus on the wild, native orchids of Minnesota.  For him, the adventure of searching for, finding, observing, learning about, and sharing orchid information is one of life’s satisfying activities.

Boulder Night Ski and Snowshoe - February 24th, 2024 

Wolfski on Nightski

Seasoned Northland residents know how to embrace the snow—and encourage others to do the same. The Boulder Lake Environmental Learning Center (BLELC) is hosting an event to celebrate the season and its opportune conditions for winter sports. The Boulder Lake Night Ski and Snowshoe 2023 happens Saturday, February 4th from 6-8 p.m. starting at the Boulder Lake ELC Wolfski Welcome Center.

Select trails at Boulder Lake will be lit by tiki torches during this family-friendly evening (Hawaiian shirts are optional), providing a unique opportunity to cross-country ski or snowshoe after dark…did we mention during a full moon. “It’s a great chance to get outside and be active after the sun goes down during midwinter,” says BLELC Program Director Ryan Hueffmeier. “The lit trails are really festive and it’s fun for the whole family.”

Families and people of all abilities are welcome. Bear paw trail is well-suited to kids and beginner skiers. During this community-building event, attendees can warm up by a bonfire, make s’mores, and participate in games. Light snacks will be provided 

Boulder Lake ELC has been hosting the family-friendly ski evening for more than 10 years. All proceeds go to support programs at Boulder Lake ELC by removing barriers to participation.

Details:

Facebook eventhttps://fb.me/e/3RAX9RrCp

Time: 6-8 p.m.

Place: Boulder Lake Environmental Learning Center: 7328 Boulder Dam Road

Cost: $10 for adults; $5 for kids (6-16). Free for kids 5 and under. The fee includes snacks, smores and hot chocolate.

REGISTRATION REQUIREDhttps://forms.gle/ir9rMp8Ed3gfF8nM6

Don't have your own skis?

The Ski Hut, East Duluth location (1032 East 4th Street). Call ahead to ensure the right size is available. Continental Ski and Bike visit their website to reserve skis ahead of time. Pick up at 1305 E. 1st St. in Duluth. 

Ice Fishing 101 - 1/13/24 from 11-2pm

Ice Fishing
Have you ever tried ice fishing? If not, join us for this family friendly ice fishing program. The programs will take place on Saturday 1/6 and 1/13 and start promptly at 11am and will go until 2pm. You will learn about ice fishing in the northwoods. We go over beginner gear, techniques and ice safety that you need to be a successful angler in the winter. All participants leave with a homemade jiggle stick and get a chance to try ‘em out fishing on beautiful Boulder Lake Reservoir. All fishing gear provided please dress for being outside on a frozen lake. Registration required and spots are limited so sign up today! Cost is $10/person and $25 for groups of 3-4. Kids under 15 years old must be accompanied by a paying adult.
Program outline (subject to change):
11am - Welcome
11:05-11:35: Intro presentation inside our classroom
11:40-12:10: Make jiggle sticks
12:10-12:30: Short break (get on gear, have snacks brought from home)
12:30-2:00: Head out onto lake and get fishing
We will not be far from the lower campus classroom or a fire to warm up if people get cold.

Boulder Lake ELC - Fresh Wreath Making Workshops

Join Boulder Lake ELC staff and make your own balsam wreath for the holidays.  This is a great family and friends event.  We provide the instruction and all the materials needed to create your masterpiece. NO EXPERIENCE NECESSARY. This year we will have workshops at 3 locations:

  • Glensheen Mansion on 11/27, 11/28, 11/29, 11/30 from 6-8pm
  • Lake Effect Restaurant and Bar on 12/9 from 2-4pm
  • Bent Paddle on 12/13 and 12/14 from 6-8pm: https://fb.me/e/2WKVvvOMm

REGISTER HERE TODAY:

Boulder Lake ELC Owl Prowl - September 29th from 6:30pm-8:00pm

Join staff from the Boulder Lake ELC for a night owl hike.

You will learn about what makes owls unique andwhich owls that call Boulder Lake Management Area their home.  Following a short program join staff on a guided night owl hike.

Registration: https://forms.gle/xBBNrF5mFLwT57v49

This program has a recommended but not required donation of  $5.00 

National Public Lands Day at the Boulder Lake ELC - September 23th from 9am-noon

Join staff from Boulder Lake Environmental Learning Center for National Public Lands Day 2023.

NPLD 2023

Description of work: Boulder Lake ELC needs help with multiple things. As a volunteer, you will be able to help with the following: Invasive plant removal, tree planting, trail maintenance, facility maintenance, canoe maintenance, citizen science opportunity, firewood collection, to name a few.

Light lunch provided!

Special tools or supplies: Volunteers should bring their own work gloves, a sturdy pair of shoes and a water bottle.

Need: The day allows volunteers to take care of work that staff isn't able to get to throughout the season and helps prepare our facility for winter.

REGISTRATION REQUIRED: https://forms.gle/BhGdWbQ1QBynMmmRA

Guided Canoe Tour - July 1 (Session 1: 10am-12pm; Session 2: 2pm-4pm)

Sunrise on Boulder Lake Reservoir

Join Boulder Lake ELC staff as we take a canoe tour of the Boulder Lake reservoir. This aquatic program is open to all ability levels. Caped at 8 participants if we go 2 per canoe or 12 with 8 paddlers and 4 duffers.

This natural history tour will explore what makes this reservoir and management area so amazing.

Registration: https://forms.gle/oLEx6VkXtLmrUEgw8

Program is approximately 2 hours with 1.5hrs of paddling

Meet at our Wolfski Welcome Center 15 minutes prior to program to get fitted for PFD
 

Boulder Lake Wildflower Hikes - May 28  June 4 and 11 from 10-11:30 (Free)

Wildflower hike

FREE EVENT: Spring is here (no really) and the wild flowers are going to be blooming! Bring your favorite field guide and join

us on a hike in the Boulder Lake Environmental Learning Center area to look for and enjoy the spring flowers. We will look for spring ephemeral flowers like Hepatica, Large-flowered Bellwort, Nodding Trillium, and many more early blooming flowers. We may find an orchid in bloom and we might see a carnivorous plant in the bog. Meet at the main BLELC building for this fun spring outing. Bring your binoculars if you wish to check on the spring bird migration during the hike.
If you are interested in supporting the ELC please consider donating. All donations go towards removing barriers to programming and opening nature up to all.

REGISTRATION REQUIRED: https://forms.gle/eFGYmpEfAvumzMQo6

We offer most of our program at no charge. If you are interested in supporting the ELC please consider donating.  All donations go towards removing barriers to programming and opening nature to all.   Donate

Voyageurs National Park Teacher Workshop - Duluth - March 25th, 9-1pm

Photo by: John Keefover

FREE TEACHER PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT OPPORTUNITY

What do you know about Minnesota's only National Park? We have 2.8 billion year old exposed rock, historic waterways during the fur trade, and some of the darkest skies in the country! Join us for this FREE teacher workshop to learn more about our unique area and how you can bring the park to your classroom. This event is hosted at the beautiful Boulder Lake Environmental Learning Center, just 20 miles north of downtown Duluth.

Registration and more info:

Boulder Night Ski and Snowshoe - February 4th, 2023 - Full moon

Night Ski

Seasoned Northland residents know how to embrace the snow—and encourage others to do the same. The Boulder Lake Environmental Learning Center (BLELC) is hosting an event to celebrate the season and its opportune conditions for winter sports. The Boulder Lake Night Ski and Snowshoe 2023 happens Saturday, February 4th from 6-8 p.m. starting at the Boulder Lake ELC Wolfski Welcome Center.

Select trails at Boulder Lake will be lit by tiki torches during this family-friendly evening (Hawaiian shirts are optional), providing a unique opportunity to cross-country ski or snowshoe after dark…did we mention during a full moon. “It’s a great chance to get outside and be active after the sun goes down during midwinter,” says BLELC Program Director Ryan Hueffmeier. “The lit trails are really festive and it’s fun for the whole family.”

Families and people of all abilities are welcome. Bear paw trail is well-suited to kids and beginner skiers. During this community-building event, attendees can warm up by a bonfire, make s’mores, and participate in games. Light snacks will be provided 

Boulder Lake ELC has been hosting the family-friendly ski evening for more than 10 years. All proceeds go to support programs at Boulder Lake ELC by removing barriers to participation.

Details:

Facebook eventhttps://fb.me/e/3RAX9RrCp

Time: 6-8 p.m.

Place: Boulder Lake Environmental Learning Center: 7328 Boulder Dam Road

Cost: $10 for adults; $5 for kids (6-16). Free for kids 5 and under. The fee includes snacks, smores and hot chocolate.

REGISTRATION REQUIRED: https://forms.gle/xZekq73SgtctrEjB6

Don't have your own skis?

The Ski Hut, East Duluth location (1032 East 4th Street). Call ahead to ensure the right size is available. Continental Ski and Bike visit their website to reserve skis ahead of time. Pick up at 1305 E. 1st St. in Duluth. 

Ice fishing 101

Join us for this family friendly ice fishing program.  We go over beginner gear, techniques and ice safety that you need to be a successful angler in the winter.  All participants leave with a homemade jiggle stick that you get to try out on the beautiful Boulder Lake Reservoir.  Registration required and  spots are limited so sign up today!  Kids 15 years old and younger free with a paying adult.

Dates: 2/5 and 2/12 from from 10am - 1pm

Cost: $10/person with kids 15 and under free.   

Registration Required: https://forms.gle/Pco8ADu1vWe38P7V6

National Public Lands Day at the Boulder Lake ELC - September 24th from 8am-noon

National Public Lands Day

Join staff from Boulder Lake Environmental Learning Center for National Public Lands Day 2022.

Description of work: Boulder Lake ELC needs help with multiple things. As a volunteer, you will be able to help with the following: Invasive plant removal, tree planting, trail maintenance, facility maintenance, canoe maintenance, citizen science opportunity, firewood collection, to name a few.

Light lunch provided!

Special tools or supplies: Volunteers should bring their own work gloves, a sturdy pair of shoes and a water bottle.

Need: The day allows volunteers to take care of work that staff isn't able to get to throughout the season and helps prepare our facility for winter.

REGISTRATION REQUIRED: https://forms.gle/nMvByuGd8TLWcmxRA

Pressing Plants; How to Make Plants Last 300 Years - September 24th from 2-3:30pm

Pressed plants

Join us for a FREE in-person, hands-on program exploring the basics of collecting and pressing plants, as well as the

importance of preserved plants to the scientific community.

REGISTRATION REQUIRED: https://forms.gle/6R9yBQejDM1qptiq9

In this program, you will learn how to collect and press plant specimens to be placed in a herbarium (you will also learn what an herbarium is!), and why these specimens are important to the scientific community and future conservation work in an area. You will be helping use document the plant species around the Boulder Lake ELC through the collecting of plants and pressing them to be placed in the Olga Lakela herbarium at the
University of Minnesota, Duluth. The program will last about 1:30 minutes with an indoor and outdoor portion.

Mushrooms 101 and Guided Hike with Lead Guide Ariel of Ariel's Mushroom Co. - September 25th from 1:00-5:00pm - COST: $75/person

Shaggy Main

Lead guide is Ariel from https://www.arielsmushroomco.com/

This program has a cap of 12 participants
Cost: $75/person

Registration required:https://www.arielsmushroomco.com/service-page/september-25-mushrooms-101-guided-hike

This will be an in-person beginner mushroom class PLUS a guided hike to put the learned skills to practice.

The class covers the basics of mushroom foraging in the Midwest. You will learn general mushroom information, edible mushrooms, toxic mushrooms, how to come to identifications, and how to confidently continue learning. The classroom portion will take about an hour and a half approximately.

Then we will go off on one of the trails on-site on a guided foray and talk about the mushrooms we are finding and how to identify them. This foray portion of the class could take an hour and a half to 2 hours approximately.

Suggested items to bring: Bottled water, please wear weather appropriate clothing and footwear, pen/pencil and paper to take notes, and a basket or mesh bag to collect mushrooms in(certainly not required though).

This class should take 3-4 hours total. Directions to the Boulder Lake ELC and additional notes will be emailed to you 3 days ahead of the class date. Please watch for that! Boulder Lake ELC is approximately 30 minutes from Duluth, Minnesota. This class is non-refundable. Price is per person. 

Previous Events:

Local Spiders and the Webs of Late Summer 

Dew Web

Come explore the world of spiders. This overnight hands on program will introduce you to the local spiders of the area. You

guide on this adventure will be the one and only Larry Weber. Program will be held at the Boulder Lake ELC and free tent camping on site will be provided along with a ELC sponsored dinner on 8/30 and light breakfast 8/31.

To clarify we only have space for tent camping. No campers, trailers, RV's.  

Cost: $30

  • Includes: Tent camping onsite, Dinner, Breakfast

Capped at 12 participants

REGISTRATION REQUIRED: https://forms.gle/CohThhEtEEzrwBtv8

Bio: Larry Weber retired from teaching 40 years; much outdoors. He has become an instructor with Minnesota Master Naturalist, Road Scholar and frequent speaker at state parks. He is an author of about a dozen books on nature including; Spiders of the North Woods and Web Watching. He writes a weekly nature column for the Duluth News Tribune and has two weekly radio programs. He lives on a forested former farm in Carlton County where he watches critters and the seasons.

Mushrooms 101 and Guided Hike with Lead Guide Ariel of Ariel's Mushroom Co. - August 13th and August 27th from 1:00-5:00pm - COST: $75/person

Shaggy Main

Lead guide is Ariel from https://www.arielsmushroomco.com/

This program has a cap of 12 participants
Cost: $75/person

Registration required:
https://www.arielsmushroomco.com/.../july-23-mushrooms...

This will be an in-person beginner mushroom class PLUS a guided hike to put the learned skills to practice.

The class covers the basics of mushroom foraging in the Midwest. You will learn general mushroom information, edible mushrooms, toxic mushrooms, how to come to identifications, and how to confidently continue learning. The classroom portion will take about an hour and a half approximately.

Then we will go off on one of the trails on-site on a guided foray and talk about the mushrooms we are finding and how to identify them. This foray portion of the class could take an hour and a half to 2 hours approximately.

Suggested items to bring: Bottled water, please wear weather appropriate clothing and footwear, pen/pencil and paper to take notes, and a basket or mesh bag to collect mushrooms in(certainly not required though).

This class should take 3-4 hours total. Directions to the Boulder Lake ELC and additional notes will be emailed to you 3 days ahead of the class date. Please watch for that! Boulder Lake ELC is approximately 30 minutes from Duluth, Minnesota. This class is non-refundable. Price is per person. 

 

A Glimpse into the Past of the Boundary Waters - Sunday July 24 starting at 1:00, Both in person and zoom (free)

If you are planning on attending in person, please RSVP using this form.

If you are planning on attending via zoom, register here.

What: Head of the Lake Chapter presents A glimpse into the past of the Boundary Waters

When: Sunday, July 24 at 1:00pm

Where: Boulder Lake ELC and online via zoom

 In The Singing Wilderness, Sigurd Olson describes standing at night on the shores of Hula Lake with a local guide who clearly hears singing voices across the water, voices of the past. The man seems puzzled and a bit sad that Sig never seems to hear the voices. That guide was John Linklater, who appears just briefly in Olson's pages, but is now the subject of a book, Making the Carry: The Lives of John and Tchi-Kis-Wis Linklater by Tim Cochran. The Linklaters, of Metis and Anishinaabeg descent, lived on Basswood Lake, now part of the BWCA. John was a renowned guide in his day, and a bearer of much traditional knowledge.  He was sought out by many scientists, and mentored conservationists of the day, including Sig Olson.

 Author Tim Cochran will join us to talk about Linklater and about his book, soon to be published by the University of Minnesota Press. Cochran is the author of four books; he has worked as a fire lookout, backcountry ranger, historian and anthropologist. He's been a superintendant for the National Park Service in Minnesota, Alaska, and Isle Royale, Michigan. He has had the good fortune to work extensively with native Americans, most recently with the Grand Portage Band of the Lake Superior Chippewa.

Boulder Lake Wildflower Hikes - May 22 and 29 and June 5 and 12 from 10-11:30 (Free)

Wildflower hike

FREE EVENT: Spring is here (no really) and the wild flowers are going to be blooming! Bring your favorite field guide and join

us on a hike in the Boulder Lake Environmental Learning Center area to look for and enjoy the spring flowers. We will look for spring ephemeral flowers like Hepatica, Large-flowered Bellwort, Nodding Trillium, and many more early blooming flowers. We may find an orchid in bloom and we might see a carnivorous plant in the bog. Meet at the main BLELC building for this fun spring outing. Bring your binoculars if you wish to check on the spring bird migration during the hike.
If you are interested in supporting the ELC please consider donating. All donations go towards removing barriers to programming and opening nature up to all.

REGISTRATION REQUIRED: https://forms.gle/XhN3i5Acd6a3wP2h6

We offer most of our program at no charge. If you are interested in supporting the ELC please consider donating.  All donations go towards removing barriers to programming and opening nature to all.   Donate

Jumping Worms - May 22nd from 12-1:30pm

Jumping Worms

Join BLELC staff as we explore the topic of invasive jumping worms and their potential impact to the region. With gardening

season upon us now is the time to learn about jumping worms and what you can do to protect your gardens and landscaped yards.  Through this program you will learn about earthworms interesting relationship with our region.  In particular we will discuss the jumping worms and the negative impacts they are having in southern and central Minnesota.  You will learn how to search and ID jumping worms along with steps you can take to make sure you are not introducing them into the region.

REGISTRATION REQUIRED: https://forms.gle/7KopjjW7AUyo6X837

We offer most of our program at no charge. If you are interested in supporting the ELC please consider donating.  All donations go towards removing barriers to programming and opening nature to all.   Donate

 

Boulder Lake ELC Annual Tree Giveaway - May 28th from 9am -2pm (Pre-ordering required)

Gravel Bed

On Saturday 5/28 from 9-2 (or all trees are gone) Boulder Lake ELC will hosting our annual tree giveaway.  

ORDERING AVAILABLE NOW

We will have White pine, White spruce, Paper birch, Red oak, Red Maple, Juneberry, Elderberry, Chokecherry to name a few.  A full list of trees available along with quantities will be posted one week prior to the event (once we know the stock that we have).  

Northwood's, Great lakes Master Naturalist Training - 6/13/22-6/17/22

Blue waters of Boulder Lake

Join expert instructors in an amazing 18,000 acre North Woods classroom to complete a 40-hour hands-on course. This

program allows participants to study natural history, environmental interpretation, and conservation stewardship. Spring is a great time of year to see wildflowers, landscape formations, insects, migrating birds, and more. Final certification comes with the completion of a capstone service project.

LODGING: Free TENT camping* available onsite along the beautiful shores of Boulder Lake and a minute walk to the classroom. *No campers or RV's*

MEALS: Meals are on your own- we have a full kitchen with refrigerator/microwave/oven that you are more than welcome to use. Individuals interested may not register for single programs—the training is intended for those committed to attending all class sessions listed.

The course cost is $295 and includes course manuals and supplies.

REGISTRATION REQUIRED: https://minnesotamasternaturalist.org/courses/register/?courseId=1338

If the course cost is a hardship, please fill out the scholarship application. After the scholarship is fully processed, you will receive a code to be entered in the on-line registration process. Please wait until you receive that code to complete registration.

Phenology Walk - Nature's Timekeepers from 2-3pm

Tamarack

Join us as we explore the wonders of spring at Boulder Lake and consider what plants are up to at this time of year. This walk

will be led by Jessica Savage (https://sites.google.com/d.umn.edu/jsavage/home), a plant physiologist and Assistant Professor at UMD. Together, we will discuss what happens to plants in the early spring and why the timing of flowering and leaf out (phenology) is critical to the survival of our forests. Jessica will also talk about citizen science and how you can contribute to research on phenology by recording your observations. We will meet at the parking lot, walk to the visitors center and then visit the Island Phenology Trail.

You can read more about Jessica's citizen science program, Nature's Timekeepers on her website: https://sites.google.com/d.umn.edu/lakesuperiorphenology/

REGISTRATION REQUIRED: https://forms.gle/5WSRZWVuG1w8ASoFA

We offer most of our program at no charge. If you are interested in supporting the ELC please consider donating.  All donations go towards removing barriers to programming and opening nature to all.   Donate

Saturday Birding Hikes: May 21nd and 28th from 7am - 10am (FREE)

Birds

Join us for a leisurely, 2 mile, round-trip bird-watching stroll at Boulder Lake! We’ll search for fascinating migratory warblers like

the Wilson’s and Blackpoll Warblers. We’ll also look for our lovely summer residents like the Scarlet Tanager and Rose-breasted Grosbeak. And we’ll scan the waters for birds like Wood Duck and Belted Kingfisher. These walks are for beginner birders and visitors are welcome to come and go as they please. Binoculars will be provided for those who need a pair. Spotting scopes are encouraged for waterfowl viewing. Meet at the Wolfski welcome center (North parking lot by main gate).

REGISTRATION REQUIRED:  https://forms.gle/eioj5z7vq2wa26bX8

We offer most of our program at no charge. If you are interested in supporting the ELC please consider donating.  All donations go towards removing barriers to programming and opening nature to all.   Donate

 

Adopt a Box Wood Duck Program - 4/23/22 and 4/30/22 @ 1:00pm

Wood Duck on Nesting Box

This program will provide and opportunity to learn about Wood Ducks and how you can help us monitor them.  Wood Ducks are cavity nesters, and their primary habitats are trees along the shoreline of lakes and rivers. Through loss of nesting sites due to the removal of large trees and snags they have been a threatened species. Boulder Lake ELC will be starting a Wood Duck monitor program on the Boulder Lake Reservoir and this program will provide the information needed to participate.

REGISTRATION REQUIRED:  https://forms.gle/dgq124xTgyq7mwrx5

We offer most of our program at no charge. If you are interested in supporting the ELC please consider donating.  All donations go towards removing barriers to programming and opening nature to all.   Donate

Orchids of the Boulder Lake ELC area - 4/10/22 from 10-11am

Yellow Lady's Slipper

Learn about the Orchids that call Boulder Lake home and why orchids are important:

As bioindicators, orchids tell us much about the health of an ecosystem, both above and below the surface of the ground.  The orchids in the BLELC area come in many forms and are found in habitats as diverse as forests, wetlands, fens, swamps, stream banks, and pine barrens.  As plants that take years to fully develop, the rich presence of orchids is an indication of undisturbed lands within a diverse, healthy, and functioning ecosystem.

Program will take place in the main classroom located in the ELC building.

REGISTRATION REQUIRED: https://forms.gle/hUV9jxZaLGFzrbHt9

Presenter: Rubin Stenseng has participated in the Minnesota Master Naturalist Volunteer program for over 15 years.  While he is interested in everything outdoors, his fondness for wildflowers has led him to focus on the wild, native orchids of Minnesota.  For him, the adventure of searching for, finding, observing, learning about, and sharing orchid information is one of life’s satisfying activities.

We offer most of our program at no charge. If you are interested in supporting the ELC please consider donating.  All donations go towards removing barriers to programming and opening nature to all.   Donate

No Maples? No Problem!  - 4/10/22 from 10-2pm

Birch grove

Join the ELC as we embark on year one of our Paper birch tapping project.  You will have 2 opportunities to tour the operation with a staff naturalist.  First session starts at 10am - 11:30am; Second session starts at 12pm -1:30pm.

Registration is required: https://forms.gle/D1cmqVGfYaAL4Z7o7

We offer most of our program at no charge. If you are interested in supporting the ELC please consider donating.  All donations go towards removing barriers to programming and opening nature to all.   Donate

Winter Tree Identification - 3/19/22 from 11am-1pm

Winter Tree silhouette

What no leaf? Join BLELC staff as we learn to ID some of regional trees in the winter. We will spend time hiking and IDing trees

in the field along with brining samples back to further investigate.  This is meant to be a family friendly event.

REGISTRATION REQUIRED:  https://forms.gle/LuR9SNa2hJ9bpXr26

We offer most of our program at no charge. If you are interested in supporting the ELC please consider donating.  All donations go towards removing barriers to programming and opening nature to all.   Donate

Winter Natural History Snowshoe Hike - 3/20/22 from 11am-1pm

Wolfski bird feeders

Join BLELC staff for a great end of the season hike (May need snowshoes) as we explore the natural history of the Boulder Lake Management Area.  This hike will start 11am at the Wolfski Welcome Center.  Snowshoes available for rent.

If you are renting BLELC snowshoes, be sure to arrive by 10:30am. Supplies limited so register today. 

REGISTRATION REQUIRED: https://forms.gle/chKxbzvFXSqE73228

We offer most of our program at no charge. If you are interested in supporting the ELC please consider donating.  All donations go towards removing barriers to programming and opening nature to all.   Donate

Fall Phenology - November 6th @ 10:00am (Free)

Join us for this free and family friendly event.  Ben and Lydia will lead you on a group hike around the Boulder Lake Management Area to explore the wonders of fall in the forests of northern Minnesota. Come meet other outdoor lovers and learn what constitutes phenology, the study of changing seasonal phenomena as it relates to plants, animals, and the climate. No special experiences are necessary, just a will to be outdoors, curiosity of the changing seasons, and the want to have some fun! Come dressed for fall weather and wear sturdy shoes for hiking around. 

Program capped at 12 participants

REGISTRATION REQUIRED: https://forms.gle/AeSYjo96aQFY9jzj6

If you are interested in supporting the ELC please consider donating.  All donations go towards removing barriers to programming and opening nature to all.   Donate

How do you LICHEN Boulder Lake? - November 13th @ 10:00am (Free)

What in the world is lichen anyway? Come find out in this beginner class for all ages. We will walk about one mile at a slow pace, stopping to explore the ground, rocks, and tree bark for different types of lichen. We guarantee you will see something you've probably never seen before in this Boulder Lake program!  A hand lens is recommended but not necessary. Program is rain, snow, or shine.

Program will be capped at 12 participants.

REGISTRATION REQUIRED: https://forms.gle/FsueTxByeHHhPuju9

If you are interested in supporting the ELC please consider donating.  All donations go towards removing barriers to programming and opening nature to all.   Donate

Turtles of Boulder Lake - August 7th @ 10:00am (Free)

Snapping Turtle

Starting each year in early June, female snapping turtles make their way out of the Boulder Lake Reservoir and onto land to

begin depositing eggs into nests they dig with their hind legs. With over one hundred nests counted this year, it’s well known that the area is favorable for snapping turtles. Join us to learn why the Boulder Lake Management Area contains significant habitat for snapping turtles and how their reproductive success is limited by predators that dig up their nests and consume the contents.

Open to all ages.

Cost: Free

REGISTRATION REQUIRED

If you are interested in supporting the ELC please consider donating.  All donations go towards removing barriers to programming and opening nature to all.   Donate

First Annual Boulder Lake ELC Canoe Fishing Derby - August 14th from 7am - 2pm

Join us for our First Annual Boulder Lake ELC l Fishing Derby on Saturday Aug 14th from 7am - 2pm

Canoe fishing

The registration link for the BLELC Fishing Derby is live!

https://umd-umn.nbsstore.net/boulder-lake-elc-fishing...                                 

  • Limited spots available (25 teams of 2 participants)
  • When: August 14th 7 AM- 2 PM.
  • How does it work? Catch-measure-photograph-release.
  • We will have prizes, light snacks
  • Come hangout on beautiful Boulder Lake.
  • COST: Entry fee $25/person or $50/team

Registration Required

If you are interested in supporting the ELC please consider donating.  All donations go towards removing barriers to programming and opening nature to all.   Donate

Astro Bob Presents: What's up with the moon (And a sneak peek at the fall aurora season) - Aug 14th @ 8:15pm

Astro Bob

We'll explore our nearest cosmic neighbor and then get better acquainted with the bright planets of summer and fall. We'll also look forward to the upcoming aurora season. 

Weather permitting, we'll go out after class for a close-up look at the moon, Saturn and Jupiter through a telescope

This program is open to all ages.  

Cost: $5/person; 10 years old and under are free

When: 8/14

  • Start time: 8:15pm
  • End time: 9:30pm if bad weather; 11pm or later if clear skies (you are free to leave at any time).

Where: Boulder Lake ELC

Registration Required

Presenter Bio:  Bob King fell in love with the night sky and astronomy when he was a kid growing up in Illinois and loves to share his passion with people of all ages. Bob worked as a photojournalist and photo editor at the Duluth (Minn.) News Tribune for 39 years before retiring from the paper in 2018.

These days, when he's not chasing comets and auroras, Bob writes for Sky & Telescope's website and magazine and maintains the Astro Bob astronomy blog. He also teaches community education astronomy classes at the University of Minnesota-Duluth planetarium.

His books Night Sky with the Naked Eye and Wonders of the Night Sky You Must See Before You Die describe the joys of skywatching, while Urban Legends of Space, examines science vs. pseudoscience in astronomy.

Registration Required

If you are interested in supporting the ELC please consider donating.  All donations go towards removing barriers to programming and opening nature to all.   Donate

Discovery Weekend: Discover your Boulder Lake ELC - October 2nd-3rd from 10-3pm each day (Free)

Are you curious of what's going on out the the Boulder Lake ELC?  Stop out the weekend of the October 2nd-3rd between 10am and 3pm to learn more about YOUR ELC. Did you know we are open 7 days a week? have 22 campsites, ~20 miles of trail, rent canoes among other equipment, and provide excellent environmental educational opportunities.  Come out and talk to our great staff and volunteers!

Over the weekend you will be able to:

  • Go for a paddle with ELC canoes (we provide PFD's and paddles)
    • We typically rent canoes for $40/day.  For this weekend only you can head out on the reservoir for up to 1hour free.
    • Available between 10-3pm each day - First come basis
  • Guided naturalist hikes
    • Heading out each hour between 10-2pm
  • Self exploration - We have ~10 miles of trail mowed
  • Games - We will have Kubb, Bocce and other games available to play at the ELC

Discovery Weekend: Discover your Boulder Lake ELC - July 24-25 - 10-3pm each day (Free)

Are you curious of what's going on out the the Boulder Lake ELC?  Stop out the weekend of the 7/24-25th between 10am and 3pm to learn more about YOUR ELC. Did you know we are open 7 days a week? have 22 campsites, ~20 miles of trail, rent canoes among other equipment, and provide excellent environmental educational opportunities.  Come out and talk to our great staff and volunteers!

Over the weekend you will be able to:

  • Go for a paddle with ELC canoes (we provide PFD's and paddles)
    • We typically rent canoes for $30/day.  For this weekend only you can head out on the reservoir for up to 1hour free.
    • Available between 10-3pm each day - First come basis
  • Guided naturalist hikes
    • Heading out each hour between 10-2pm
  • Self exploration - We have ~10 miles of trail mowed
  • Games - We will have Kubb, Bocce and other games available to play at the ELC

Boulder Bats: Our nighttime friends - July 24th @ 7:45pm - 9:30pm (Free)

Bathouse

This program will have 2 parts. Part 1: Learn about the native bats that call Northern MN home and how White-nose syndrome

is affecting them.  Part 2: Learn how BLELC staff is monitoring bats through a hands on demonstration that will show you how we are able to identify the different species as they are emerging for their nightly feeding.

 

Astro Bob Presents: Stars, Planets and Satellites of the Summer Sky - July 17th @ 8:45pm

Astro Bob

Learn basic astronomy concepts along with the bright constellations and planets of the summer sky. Weather permitting, we'll

go out after class for a close-up look at the moon, Saturn and other deep-sky wonders through a telescope. 

This program is open to all ages.  

 

Wildflower Hikes - May and June from 10am-11:30am (FREE)

Wildflower hike

Spring is here and the wild flowers are blooming! Bring your favorite field guide and join us on a hike in the Boulder Lake

Environmental Learning Center area to look for and enjoy the spring flowers. We will look for spring ephemeral flowers like Hepatica, Large-flowered Bellwort, Nodding Trillium, and many more early blooming flowers. We may find an orchid in bloom and we might see a carnivorous plant in the bog. Meet at the Wolfski welcome center for this fun spring outing. Bring your binoculars if you wish to check on the spring bird migration during the hike.

Due to continued COVID protocols we limit the size of the groups to 6 participants.

Saturday Birding Hikes: May 22nd and 29th from 6:30am - 10am (FREE)

Join us for a leisurely, 2 mile, round-trip bird-watching stroll at Boulder Lake! We’ll search for fascinating migratory warblers like the Wilson’s and Blackpoll Warblers. We’ll also look for our lovely summer residents like the Scarlet Tanager and Rose-breasted Grosbeak. And we’ll scan the waters for birds like Wood Duck and Belted Kingfisher. These walks are for beginner birders and visitors are welcome to come and go as they please. Binoculars will be provided for those who need a pair. Spotting scopes are encouraged for waterfowl viewing. Meet at the Wolfski welcome center (North parking lot by main gate).

Boulder Lake ELC Annual Tree Giveaway - May 22nd from 9am -2pm (Registration required)

Gravel Bed

On Saturday 5/22 from 9-2 (or all trees are gone) Boulder Lake ELC will hosting our annual tree giveaway.  Donations towards

the learning center will be accepted.  We will have White pine, White spruce, Paper birch, Red oak, Red Maple, Juneberry, Elderberry, Chokecherry to name a few...full list of trees available along with quantities will be posted one week prior to the event (once we know the stock that we have).  

Boulder Lake ELC Annual Birding Big Day - May 8th from 7am - 12pm (Registration required)

Boulder Birding Big Day

Join us on May 8th, 2021 for our annual birding big day. Team up with birders of all levels to count as many species of birds as possible (hit the trails and try to break the current record of 93 species)! This event is brought to you in partnership with the Duluth Audubon Society.

This is a family-friendly event where small teams of birders of all experience levels spend the morning counting as many species as they can near the Boulder Lake area.

Shed Hunting:  April 11th between 9-2pm (FREE)

Come out and learn about shed hunting through this free event. Shed hunting is an outdoor recreation activity that involves hiking in the woods looking for deer antlers that naturally fall off bucks after the rut in late winter. Besides learning more about the activity of shed hunting you will also have an opportunity to learn basic GPS and Map and Compass skills. This is a free opportunity and limited to 6 people per session. We will provide three sessions.

Let's Talk Vultures!  March 15th @ 7:00pm (FREE)

Join us for this two-part presentation about one of the most underappreciated species on the planet. This first part will be a ZOOM talk on March 15th @7:00pm that will introduce you to the vultures, why they're so important, and why they're on the brink of extinction. Part two will take place in April, (Date to be determined).  We will meet at Ely's Peak to learn more about (and hopefully observe) our own Minnesota turkey vulture. 

PRE-REGISTRATION REQUIRED

Presenter Bio:

Kelli Carroll is a sophomore at UMD in the outdoor and environmental education program. She plans to intern at a wildlife rehabilitation center next year, and wants to work as a vet tech for wildlife when she graduates. She's always had a love for underappreciated animals, and vultures are her absolute favorite. When she's not gushing about turkey vultures, you can find her hiking, playing video games, and getting distracted by dogs.

If you are interested in supporting the ELC please consider donating.  All donations go towards removing barriers to programming and opening nature to all.   Donate

Family Tracks and Traces: February 15th - 19th

BLELC Tracks and Traces
rhueffme

Join us as we explore the signs of the woodland creatures that call Boulder Lake their home.  These outings are for households and family pods and will be tailored to your group and the ages of the participants.  Pre-registration is required at least 24hrs prior to the event.  Due to COVID 19 policies, programming will be held for single households or family pods ONLY per session. 

Each session in 2 hours and we have session starting at 9am and 12pm 

Maximum groups size is 6.
 
Prices: $10/adult, $5/18-12 years old and 11 and under free.

Bring check (made out to Boulder Lake ELC) or cash on the day of the event

Register


Annual Events

Night Ski and Snowshoe

  • Typically the 3rd Saturday in January

Boulder Birding Big Day

  • Typically the 2nd or 3rd Saturday in May

Spring Tree give-a-way

  • Typically the 3rd or 4th Saturday in May

National Public Lands Day

  • Typically end of September

Winter Holiday Tree cut

  • The First Saturday in December

Wreath Making Workshops

  • The first week of December