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 fosters community understanding and appreciation of natural resources while supporting the Refuge goals of preservation, restoration, and education.

Public Safety Announcement:
 The Platte River Trail at Crane Meadows National Wildlife Refuge will be closed to all public access in October for the annual Crane Meadows NWR Disabled Hunters Deer Hunt.  This is to ensure hiker safety and also provide a quality hunt for the disabled participants in the hunt.  Thank you for your patience and understanding. Check the Refuge website for specific dates.

Thanks for your support!
In November 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 will be used for the Sedge Meadow Classroom. Part of the shop building is being converted to an educational room for school groups and refuge events.  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. Watch for the date!
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

 Crane Meadows National Wildlife Refuge and the Friends of Crane Meadows host free events and programs throughout the year that are open to the public. In response to CDC and local guidance for COVID-19, our traditional programming has been modified or cancelled. See refuge website for details.

Backyard Bird Feeding Day
Backyard Bird Feeder is typically held on a Saturday in early December. 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. This annual event is held in December. 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. Candlelight Ski is typically held on a Saturday evening close to a full moon in January or February. 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
Habitat Day is typically held in early March.   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 12:00 pm and is free and open to the public. Some cordless drills and Philips screw-heads are available at the Refuge, but participants are encouraged to bring their own to insure there is no wait.   For more information contact 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