Welcome

The Friends of Crane Meadows National Wildlife Refuge, Inc. is a non-profit group officially recognized by the state as of July 14th, 2006. Our purpose is to provide assistance and support for Refuge projects and educational programs. We work to raise public awareness of the Refuge, to create environmental learning opportunities, and to financially back those programs and projects through fund-raising activities. We promote a good relationship with the Refuge staff, our local communities, and the entire refuge system.

Our Mission

The Friends of Crane Meadows NWR believe that the Crane Meadows National Wildlife Refuge is a unique natural resource and that we can help the community develop a deeper appreciation and understanding of the Refuge and its mission.

Thanks for your support!

November 13 is Give to the Max Day when donors have the opportunity to join thousands of donors as they pledge money to their favorite causes. Consider making Friends of Crane Meadows National Wildlife Refuge your favorite non-profit. The money raised helps the Friends support refuge programs, provide educational materials, and purchase recreational equipment designed to get families back outside. Help us to reconnect families with nature through Crane Meadows National Wildlife Refuge. Your donations are tax deductible as Friends of Crane Meadows is a 501-C-3 organization.
Our URL is: https://givemn.org/organization/Friends-Of-Crane-Meadows-Nationalwildlife-Refuge


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Events and Updates

Saturday, Dec. 13, 2014
Backyard Bird Feeder Day
Do you like to birdwatch and would like to see more of your feathered friends in your yard or need a gift for that hard to buy for person? The staff and Friends of Crane Meadows National Wildlife Refuge invite you to build a birdfeeder during the sixth annual Backyard Bird Feeder Day on Saturday, December 13, 2014. Come between 9:00 am and noon to the Refuge maintenance building. Due to a limited number of kits, there may be a restriction of one bird feeder per family. Snowshoeing will be available weather permitting. The event is free and open to the public. For more information call the Refuge at 320-632-1575.


February 15, 2014

Candlelight Ski
Experience the Refuge at night. The Staff and Friends of Crane Meadows NWR are hosting a Candlelight Ski on Saturday, February 15, 2014 from 6:30 to 9:00 pm. Trails will be lit by candle luminaries and participants are encouraged to cross-country ski or snowshoe. There will be a short loop for snowshoeing and a longer one for skiing. If no snow, hiking will be encouraged. Refreshments will be available in the heated garage at Refuge Headquarters. Event is free and open to the public. Some snowshoes will be available for use at the Refuge free of charge. Volunteers would be appreciated to help light candles. If willing to help or need more information call the Refuge at 320-632-1575.
(See Photos from the event here!)


Saturday, March 8, 2014

Habitat Day
Are you ready for the 14th annual Habitat Day at Crane Meadows National Wildlife Refuge? Participants may learn more about two avian species that use nest boxes, the bluebird and wood duck. You are encouraged to assemble a nest box to take home and place on your property. There are numerous exhibits and resource-oriented groups / organizations who cosponsor this annual event. Event runs from 9:00 am to 2:00 pm and is free and open to the public. Some cordless drills and philps screwheads are available at the Refuge, but participants can also bring their own. Weather permitting; snowshoes may be available for use. For more information call the Refuge Headquarters at 632-1575. (See Photos from the event here!)

May 10, 2014
May Birdwalk
Are you interested in learning about birds and want to know what species can be found around Little Falls during the Spring migration? Join other birders on May 10 at Crane Meadows National Wildlife Refuge for a morning walk along the Platte River on the Platte River Trail. The event is sponsored by the Friends of Crane Meadows and is free and open to the public. The walk begins at 8:00 am at the Refuge Headquarters and will be about 2 hours long. Refreshments will be served at the end of the walk in the Refuge Shop. Wear your walking shoes and bring your binoculars. Loaner binoculars will be available at the trailhead if needed. Additional birding may be offered if there is interest. For more information call the Refuge Headquarters at 320-632-1575.

June 7, 2014
Platte River Clean-up Day
Do you like to canoe or want to learn how? The Friends and Staff of Crane Meadows National Wildlife Refuge along with the Royalton Lions invite you to the Platte River Cleanup Day on June 7, 2014. Take a leisurely float down the river while picking up garbage. Enjoy the birds, scenery, being outdoors, and maybe even fishing while helping the river. The day begins at 8:00 am and usually ends by noon. Meet at the Refuge Headquarters for your assignment. Some canoes, paddles, and life jackets are available but you are welcome to bring your own. Drop off and pick up service is provided by Refuge staff or volunteers. The event is free and open to the public. Refreshments will be served at the end of the clean up. Please call the Refuge for more information, to sign up, and check on canoe availability. 320-632-1575.


Photos from past Events
Check out Photos from past Events....

If you are interested in helping, we have many volunteer opportunities and would also love to have you as a member of the Friends group. Click here to email us for more info.


What the Refuge has to Offer:

1,865 acres of natural habitat
• Oak savanna
• Wetland (sedge meadow, shallow lake, seasonal basins)
• Native Tallgrass Prairie

Platte River Trail
• 3.6 miles, 2 viewing platforms, informational kiosk
• Hiking, cross country skiing
• Wildlife observation and photography

Habitat Day
• Learn about wildlife
• Meet neighbors and others involved in resource management and protection
• Build a nest box to benefit wildlife on your property


Partners for Wildlife Program
• Wetland restoration work on private lands
• Upland restoration work on private lands

Volunteer Program
• Assist with events
• Wildflower seed production

Land Stewardship
• Work with other agencies/organization within the county

Community Stewardship
• Work with groups/organizations to better our community






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Sept. 2012 photos