Osprey Wilds

Osprey Wilds logo
Building the environmental stewards of tomorrow at Osprey Wilds

About Osprey Wilds

Osprey Wilds is a private, non-profit 501(c)(3) residential environmental learning center and conference & retreat center nestled on the shores of Grindstone Lake in east-central Minnesota.

We are committed to developing an understanding, ethics and responsibility regarding the environment and stewardship through formal and informal teaching that links nature and humans. 

It is our goal that every visitor feels connected to the natural environment and feels that the protection of nature is also the protection of mankind.

A healthy environment starts with and is perpetuated by a personal connection to it. We been providing environmental and outdoor education programs since 1971 and are committed to providing lifelong learning experiences to people of all ages, including programming in natural history and science, team-building, adventure/challenge, wildlife, energy, outdoor skills and human history.

We offer:

  • Year-round experiential environmental education programs
  • School field trips and nature immersion learning experiences
  • Youth and family camps
  • Programs and events for all ages
  • College courses
  • Day tours and programs
  • Adult learning experiences
  • Wildlife programs… on-site and off-site
  • Comfortable lodging for 162+ people plus rustic and camping options
  • Wonderful, scratch-based meal service
  • Conference & retreat center rentals
fostering Earth Stewards

Connection is Key

Visitors to Osprey Wilds are not only immersed in opportunities to discover, learn about and learn from nature, but also to recognize their place in it and the role they have in the future health of the planet.

There are many things a student can learn about the natural world, but in the end it is our goal that every visitor feels connected to the natural environment and feels that the protection of nature is also the protection of mankind. It is our students who will change the world.

A philosophy and culture of environmental stewardship is common throughout all of our programs, classes, office and food service practices, conservation measures, maintenance procedures and land management plans. We model earth-friendly, sustainable choices in every meal, activity, and experience.

Our programs use the environment as the blackboard and laboratory to educate our visitors. Through education and observation, we empower our visitors to make choices for sustainability in their own lives and be able to transfer that knowledge to home, school, and community. 

Explore

Osprey Wilds

Learn about our rich history, 780 acres of  unique lakeside refuge that encompasses a diverse range of habitat and ecosystems, plethora of renewable energy systems, variety of lodging accommodations, and a highly trained staff offering a wide selection of immersive nature learning experiences for people of all ages.

History of Osprey Wilds

Learn about our rich history - from the days when the Ojibwe occupied this land through the farming of the property by Schwyzer family, the establishment of the Audubon Center of the North Woods and how Osprey Wilds came to be.

Osprey Wilds treads lightly on the earth

Stewardship

We've made it a top priority to ‘walk the walk’ and have implemented a wide variety of renewable energy sources and energy conservation measures. Learn about the earth-friendly green initiatives that reduce our carbon footprint.

Beautiful 780 lakeside acres at Osprey Wilds

Our Property

At Osprey Wilds, you will be surrounded only by the soothing sounds and sights of nature. Our property includes old growth pine forest, deciduous forest, managed woodlands, wetlands, and restored prairie. Learn more about our facilities and land.

Charter School Authorizer

Our Charter School Division (CSD) in Minneapolis authorizes charter schools that have recognized the importance of experiential and environmental education as a means to advance our mission.

Explore

Osprey Wilds

Learn about our rich history, 780 acres of  unique lakeside refuge that encompasses a diverse range of habitat and ecosystems, plethora of renewable energy systems, variety of lodging accommodations, and a highly trained staff offering a wide selection of immersive nature learning experiences for people of all ages.

History of Osprey Wilds

Learn about our rich history - from the days when the Ojibwe occupied this land through the farming of the property by Schwyzer family, the establishment of the Audubon Center of the North Woods and how Osprey Wilds came to be.

Osprey Wilds treads lightly on the earth

Stewardship

We've made it a top priority to ‘walk the walk’ and have implemented a wide variety of renewable energy sources and energy conservation measures. Learn about our earth-friendly green initiatives that reduce our carbon footprint.

Beautiful 780 lakeside acres at Osprey Wilds

Our Property

At Osprey Wilds, you will be surrounded only by the soothing sounds and sights of nature. Our property includes old growth pine forest, deciduous forest, managed woodlands, wetlands, and restored prairie. Learn more about our facilities and land.

Charter School Authorizer

Our Charter School Division (CSD) in Minneapolis authorizes charter schools that have recognized the importance of experiential and environmental education as a means to advance our mission. Learn more at auduboncharterschools.org.

Our Mission, Vision & Values

Mission

To instill a connection and commitment to the environment in people of all communities through experiential learning

Vision

A healthy planet where all people live in balance with the Earth

Core Values

  • We demonstrate respect, care and passion for the earth, all people and all living things
  • We strive for excellence in everything we do through integrity, open communication and teamwork
  • We value, engage and appreciate individuals for their unique contributions
  • We believe in life-long learning through positive shared experiences with the natural world
  • We encourage others to recognize their interconnectedness with the earth through their actions

ENGAGE WITH OSPREY WILDS

Experiential Nature Learning at Osprey Wilds

You can help us make an impact on thousands of people’s lives so they may in turn make informed decisions and take actions that help the planet. Learn more >>

Osprey WIlds rocks!

Click to view current job listings, learn about our Naturalist Fellow internship program, and explore volunteer opportunities as ways to get involved and make a difference.

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Click to subscribe to our enewsletter to keep up-to-date on upcoming events and how you can make a difference, as well as peruse current and past issues our twice-yearly print newsletters.

From ACNW to Osprey Wilds

In January 2020, the Audubon Center of the North Woods formally changed its name to Osprey Wilds Environmental Learning Center. Our name and look has changed, but our mission, approach, values and work remains the same

There was a lot of confusion around the word “Audubon” in our former name—many people thought that we were focused on bird conservation and/or that we were part of National Audubon Society and not a separate, independent 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. It did not allow us to have our own brand identity due to the strong word associations with “Audubon”.

The Osprey Wilds logo was born out of our heritage as the Audubon Center of the North Woods. An osprey has served as our logo since our organization’s inception when founding staff and board members observed one flying over Grindstone Lake on their first visit. The Osprey is a continued symbol of natural beauty and gives context for the experiences offered at the center. Acknowledging our long history, we maintain the osprey as our logo and the educational opportunities it presents and to maintain that continuity with our long history.

Not wanting to limit ourselves, our impact and future opportunities, the osprey serves as the perfect ambassador for our ability to spread our wings as an organization into unchartered and open waters.

Osprey

 

  • The osprey is one of the few bird species found on all six continents that humans live on. In that regard, it serves as a connection point to communities and ecosystems all around the world.
  • Ospreys are migratory raptors that further connect us to other areas they inhabit.
  • Ospreys are dependent on healthy waterways, as are we, and encourage us to examine our stewardship of our resources.
  • Not bound by physical barriers, ospreys are adaptable in where they reside and make their presence.