Minnesota Association of Resource Conservation and Development Councils, Inc.




Norris Camp Interpretive Center, 

Conceptual Master Plan Completed


Mission: Facilitating community and economic development with careful balancing of natural resource stewardship

Serving the Minnesota counties of: Beltrami, Clearwater, Hubbard, Lake of the Woods, Mahnomen, Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe, Red Lake Band of Chippewa, White Earth Nation

Recent Projects Undertaken:

  • Conduct a grazing management workshop
  • Update the soil tunnel and use at educational events
  • Completed the Biomass Gasification Plant at Northern Excellence Seed
  • Provide grant search assistance to Bemidji Farmers Market
  • Assist Lake of the Woods School Forest Committee
  • Mahnomen Fire Department grant assistance
  • Anishinaabe Traditions Youth Program
  • Work jointly with CERTS on energy conservation and development


Feature Project

The Agassiz Lowlands Environmental Learning Area (ALELA) stemmed from a vision of the Lake of the Woods School Forest Committee to revitalize its school forest program. In 2009, ALELA earned its official status in the MN School Forest Program. ALELA covers approximately 110 acres immediately adjacent to the Lake of the Woods K-12 School. Teachers and students are utilizing this outdoor classroom on a weekly basis, and ALELA is also open to the public. The Environmental Learning Area offers teachers, students and community members an opportunity to discover the wonder of experiencing learning in an outdoor classroom setting. The School Forest Committee, along with the support of many other agencies, private donors and organizations, has accomplished the following:

  • Restored degraded borrow pit with topsoil and native seed and created a 6-acre wetland complex
  • Secured funding to shear brush and conduct a prescribed burn on 32-acres to enhance habitat
  • Rescued showy lady’s-slippers and transplanted them on site
  • Cleaned up debris on site
  • Developed trail routes
  • Constructed an outdoor classroom and boardwalk
  • Secured funding for a trail kiosk and interpretive signs
  • Developed ready-to-use curriculum and provided a "Teaching in Your School Forest" training


Board of Directors

Patty Beckel

Jerry Cole

David Geray

Dan McNamee

Darwin Sumner

George Swentik

Corryn Trask