The Audubon Center of the North Woods is a private, non-profit residential environmental learning center, a wildlife rehabilitation facility, and conference & retreat center nestled on the shores of Grindstone Lake near Sandstone, in east-central Minnesota.
The diverse 535-acre sanctuary includes a variety of habitats, including old-growth red and white pines, hardwood forests, restored wetlands and prairies. The center features a mixture of historic as well as newly constructed facilities that can provide lodging and meals for up to 150 participants.
The Audubon Center has made it a top priority to "practice what we preach". The Audubon Center has implemented a variety of renewable energy sources including a geothermal heat pump, three solar arrays, a series of solar panels, and a wind generator. With these changes the Center has drastically reduced its dependence of fossil fuel sources of energy and proudly sets an example of what can be done to lessen our human impact.
Further improvements are planned to increase building energy efficiency through improved insulation and the installation of energy monitoring equipment in campus buildings
education and outreach
Our outreach programs teach youth about renewable energy resources, including school visits by the ECO-RV run on used vegetable oil.
related sustainability projects
Future projects include: installing a greenhouse and tilled land with deer exclosure fence to grow vegetables, watersaving toilets, urinals, sinks and showers, permeable asphalt surfaces to replace existing concrete sidewalks.