It’s exciting to hear that plans to build a National Loon Center in north-central Minnesota have cleared a crucial hurdle after lawmakers in the 2019 legislative session set aside $4 million to construct the research and education facility in Crosslake. The site will be modeled on the popular National Eagle Center near Wabasha, Minn., offering a boardwalk, docks, laboratory space and classrooms for both the public and scientists to watch and study one of North America’s most charismatic birds.
Where is it going you ask? It will be built near the shoreline of the busy Crosslake campground, which sits on land owned by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, but will not displace any campsites. While loon populations are relatively healthy in Minnesota, they’re threatened by habitat loss as well as lead and mercury poisoning, so something like this is a very welcome addition to the lakes area.