Wetland Management District
|Prairie Wetlands Learning Center
602 State Highway 210E
Fergus Falls, MN 56537
Phone Number: 218-998-4480
|Visit the Refuge's Web Site:
|The Fergus Falls Wetland Management District boasts some of the highest densities of breeding waterfowl in Minnesota.|
The Prairie Wetlands Learning Center, a residential environmental education center which focuses its education efforts on the ecology of the Prairie Pothole Region, is located on the Townsend WPA adjacent to the City of Fergus Falls. The Center contains over 325 acres of native and restored prairie, 28 wetlands, and nearly four miles of foot trails. Environmental education specialists offer a variety of programs and classes for schools, scouts, and other organized groups, as well as the general public. The Center also features an 80-bed dormitory and kitchen, allowing groups to spend several days learning about the prairie pothole ecosystem. Click here for more information.
Although fishing opportunities are abundant in the area, limited fishing opportunities exist on district lands. Contact the district office for more information.
Waterfowl production areas are public lands and, except where posted "Closed", are open to hunting. The Prairie Wetlands Learning Center (Townsend WPA), immediate area of the district office, and maintenance shop lands are permanently closed to hunting, and several other WPAs located with in State Game Refuges are closed. The district Website lists those WPAs that are closed.
Interpretive programs are offered year round at the Prairie Wetlands Learning Center. Click here for a schedule of current programs. In addition to providing interpretive and environmental education programs, the Center is a Prairie Passage site and part of the Minnesota River Birding Trail and the Pine to Prairie Birding Trail.
The district is an excellent place to observe and photograph waterfowl and other water birds. The best time to see the widest variety of birds is typically between the second and third weeks in April when waterfowl begin to congregate in large numbers as frozen wetlands finally become free of ice. Egrets, herons, grebes, loons, and cormorants are abundant.
Wetland Management District Headquarters - Open 7:00 am to 3:30 pm, Monday - Friday Nov-April and 7:00 am to 4:00 pm, Monday - Friday May - October. Prairie Wetlands Learning Center - Open 8:00 am to 4:00 pm, Monday - Friday year round; one Saturday in June, July, August and other times for special events. Outdoor Facilities - Open daily, dawn to dusk (year round).
There are no entrance fees for WPAs or the Prairie Wetlands Learning Center. A nominal fee is charged for some environmental education and interpretive programs.
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