History of the Audubon Center of the North Woods (ACNW)
In 1968, the Audubon Center of the North Woods (ACNW) was established following a bequest of 535 acres by Dr. Marguerite Schwyzer of St. Paul to the National Audubon Society, who then transferred the land to the ACNW, a separate private, 501(c) non-profit organization. Programming began in 1971 and since that time, the Center has served as a residential and day use environmental education facility for small groups of international students, college students, adults, and school groups.
Over the last four decades, ACNW has educated over 210,000 K-12, college, graduate, family, Road Scholar, and community participants about the environment and our relationships to it. We do this through formal [we are a certified school —North Central Association Commission on Accreditation and School Improvement (NCA CASI) and field campus to Northland College, Hamline University and other post-secondary schools] and informal education programs, research initiatives, and community outreach that work to restore, maintain, and preserve environmental integrity. The Center uses nature, art, science, history, cultural studies, literature, adventure and team building to give hands-on experiences. ACNW brings people together to learn about our connections to each other and the natural world. Over the last ten years, the Center has committed to an extensive program of renewable energy and has become one of the state’s leaders in this significant area.
An excellent pictorial view of the history of the Center’s land is found in the two-story, building length mural in the hallway of Crosby Lodge.