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 16, 2017 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 on Give to the Max Day as well as the month of November will be used to fund scholarships for graduating seniors from Little Falls, Pierz, and Royalton who are continuing on to college for a natural resources/biology related field or fund wiring and insulation for the Sedge Meadow Classroom. Part of the shop building is being converted to an educational room for school groups and refuge events. (see picture). 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. If you want all of your donation to go to the Friends group, you can mail a check directly to:
Friends of Crane Meadows NWR
19502 Iris Road
Little Falls, MN 56345

The beginnings of the Sedge Meadow Classroom

Backyard Bird Feeding Day

The Friends of Crane Meadows, Refuge staff, and the Natural Resources Club from Central Lakes College in Brainerd, are hosting a Backyard Winter Bird Feeding Day. The event is free and suited for the entire family. If you currently feed birds and would like to join those with similar interests or if you’re just interested in getting started, this event is for you. Winter can be long and most animals are scarce through the coldest months. Bird feeders can attract some life to your own backyard and make it a regular stopping point for wildlife. Materials will be provided for you to build a bird feeder to put in your yard. Most likely, if you build it they will come.

The bird feeding program will be held at Crane Meadows National Wildlife Refuge (NWR) in the heated shop area. The entire program will be held indoors on Saturday morning, December 9th, 2017 from 9:00 am until noon. Feel free to stop in any time between those hours. Volunteers will be there to answer questions and help you assemble a small fly-through type feeder. The feeder is yours to keep along with sunflower seeds donated from area businesses. The number of feeders available is limited so there may be a restriction such as one per family.

The feeders will be screwed together, so please bring your cordless drill with a #2 Philips screw bit. Drills will be available for use if you don’t have one. For more information please call the refuge at 320-632-1575.

Candlelight Ski
Experience the Refuge at night. The Friends of Crane Meadows NWR are hosting a Candlelight Ski on Saturday, January 27, 2018 from 5:30 to 8:30 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.

Habitat Day

March 10, 2018 marks the 18th 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 a limited number of kits and we request that you be considerate of others when asking for boxes.  Numerous exhibits and activities are planned both inside and outside.  Multiple resource-oriented groups / organizations cosponsor this annual event.  Event runs from 9:00 am to 1:00 pm and is free and open to the public. Some cordless drills and philps screwheads are available at the Refuge, but participants are encouraged to bring their own to insure there is no wait.  Weather permitting; snowshoes may be available for use.  If the event is postponed due to weather, it will be rescheduled for March 17.  For more information call the Refuge Headquarters at 320-632-1575.


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 Saturday, May 5, 2018 at Crane Meadows National Wildlife Refuge for a morning walk along 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 if needed. All birding levels are welcome. Additional birding opportunities may be offered after the hike if there is interest. For more information call the Refuge Headquarters at 320-632-1575.

Crane Meadows seeding part of big-picture restoration
Click Here for St Cloud Times Article –  May 17, 2016