Minnesota's beloved state bird is currently just a visitor on Grindstone Lake.
Our state bird, the Common Loon, is a regular presence on Grindstone Lake in the summer. However, the loons are just visiting and have never chosen to nest on our lake. Loons often nest on floating mats of vegetation, and this habitat is absent in Grindstone Lake since the lake drops off from the shoreline very quickly.
The MN Department of Natural Resources' non-game wildlife program donated a frame of a loon nesting platform to us this spring. We added dead emergent vegetation as a base, mixed with mud, and planted cattails and ferns. Our platform is anchored just off the point on the Center shoreline.
Although we did not have nesting loons this year, possibly due to the fact the platform was not installed until near the end of May, we hope to make the platform more attractive to nesting loons next year by having it installed right after ice out.
If you are interested in installing a loon nesting platform on your lake next spring, click here for information and plans.
Upcoming events at the Center
Visit our Calendar of Events for information about upcoming events
Aug. 4 - Dinner at the Lake with Dr. John Abraham
Aug. 4-6 - Summer Institute for Environmental Education
Aug. 24-29 - Road Scholar Migration Mysteries
Aug. 31-Sept. 5 - Road Scholar Migration Mysteries
Sept. 27 - 'Autumn at the Audubon' Open House & Craft Fair/Farmer's Market (vendors
Sept. 27 - Renewable Trail Run/Walk
Oct. 3-5 - Women's Wellness & Adventure Weekend
Oct. 10-12 - ACNW/Northland College 40 Year Reunion
Oct. 24-26 - Wilderness Navigation
Oct. 25 - Dinner at the Lake
Oct. 24-26 - Fall Phenology with Larry Weber Weekend
Nov. 1-2 - Reading the Landscape
Dec. 27-30 - Winter Family Escape
Join us as a member
We depend on member support to help us continue our important work, including:
Educating and fostering environmental stewardship in thousands of K12 students annually
Enhancements for wildlife
Wetland and prairie restoration
Wildlife rehab and care
Residential and day programs for youth, families and adults
Renewable energy systems and energy conservation
Learn about the benefits of becoming an ACNW member by visiting the Support Us page on our website.
Get the Lead Out
When fishing sinkers are lost, they can be picked up by loons or other waterfowl like ringneck ducks and trumpeter swans, who routinely swallow pebbles on the bottom of lakes to help in digestion. As the lead is exposed to stomach acid, it slowly poisons the bird. One sinker is all it takes.
In areas where loons breed, biologists have found that lead poisoning from sinkers or jigs may account for up to 50 percent of dead adult loons.
If you are a fisherperson, PLEASE make the switch NOW to non-lead sinkers and jigs. Currently there are many non-toxic sinker alternatives on the market.
If your local bait and tackle store doesn't stock unleaded sinkers, ask them to or take your business elsewhere.
Never throw old tackle into the water or on shore. Consider lead sinkers and jigs as toxic material and dispose of them at household hazardous waste collection sites.
Help ensure that future Even if you don't fish, share this information with family and friends who do.
For more information on how you can 'Get the Lead Out', visit the Get the Lead Out page at Minnesota Pollution Control Agency