The Friends of the Prairie Wetland Learning Center is a non-profit, 501(c)3 organization that exists solely to support the work of the Prairie Wetlands Learning Center. The Center, located in Fergus Falls, Minnesota, is a residential environmental education facility operated by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. The Friends of the Prairie Wetlands Learning Center enhances and promotes the understanding and conservation of the prairie pothole region, primarily through support of the Prairie Wetlands Learning Center.
In the early 1970s, local conservationists first envisioned an environmental learning center for the Prairie Pothole Region, this one specifically in the northwest region of Minnesota. The Friends of the Prairie Wetlands Learning Center was established in 1989 to lead the way in transforming that vision to reality. They solicited local support and, with the assistance of Minnesota Legislative Representation, secured $3 million for the construction of the Center. Land was purchased by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the Fergus Falls Fish and Game Club and the City of Fergus Falls, and in 1998, the Friends celebrated the opening of the Prairie Wetlands Learning Center.
More than 325 acres of native and restored prairie and 28 wetlands can be found at the Center. With nearly four miles of foot trails, there are ample opportunities for environmental education, wildlife observation, and relaxation.
The Prairie Wetlands Learning Center offers a variety of environmental education programs to learners of all ages, as well as interpretive programs and walks throughout the year. In addition, the Center hosts teacher workshops and training sessions for wildlife professionals year-round. Special events provide opportunities to celebrate the cultural and natural history of the prairie, discover the secrets of successful waterfowling, and investigate the wonders of wetlands.
In addition to playing a key role in obtaining funding and support for construction of the Center, the Friends of the Prairie Wetlands Learning Center have:
Fergus Falls Fish and Game Club
Fergus Falls Convention and Visitors Bureauwww.visitfergusfalls.com
Minnesota Department of Natural Resourceswww.dnr.state.mn.us
National Wildlife Refuge Associationrefugeassociation.org
Pine to Prairie Birding Trail – Minnesota's first birding trailwww.mnbirdtrail.com
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The tiny green-winged teal is the smallest dabbler duck in North America. It weighs just one half pound! It can be found in the cattail wetlands of Waterfowl Production Areas in western part of the Wetland Management District. In these wetlands the amazing green-wing eats the seeds of grasses, sedges and pond weeds as well as insect larva.