The refuge’s Oak Savanna Learning Center, which first welcomed students in 2016, is an impressive facility in its own right. To the Friends of Sherburne, though, it is much more. It is the gateway to a unique experience with nature and a symbol of our passion for providing that experience to people of all ages.
A dream of both the Friends and refuge staff since the late 1990’s, the Learning Center exists because of hard work by the Friends, the generosity of Friends and community members, the support of our U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) partners, and the unwavering dedication of everyone involved. When the USFWS agreed to fund the building in 2013, the Friends in turn agreed to furnish the classrooms and enhance the adjacent learning spaces. Through the Be Wild Campaign for Youth Nature Education, the Friends raised funds to provide tables and chairs, A/V system, education equipment and materials, ADA-compliant trails, native landscaping, wetlands education dock, interpretive signage, and much more.
The Learning Center classrooms and trails now host thousands annually, including…
Partner school students who come for hands-on, standards-based lessons
Home-school students, scout and 4-H groups, families coming to explore
Attendees of refuge events like the fall Wildlife Festival and Spring Celebration
Refuge Photography Club monthly meetings and events
Conservation organization meetings and training sessions
Shoppers at the Eagle’s Nest Nature Store
Folks who just want some time to themselves in a natural setting
We invite you to come see for yourself!
For more information about the refuge’s nature education program, click here.
The Oak Savanna Learning Center is located at 16797 289th Ave NW, Zimmerman, MN 55398. (Enter from County Road 9.) the Oak Savanna Learning Center is open only for refuge events and nature education classes.
Photo by: Bruce Ellingson
Did you know?
Over 5,900 visitors passed through the OSLC doors in 2017!