Water/Ways - Audubon Center of the North Woods

Established in 1968, the Audubon Center of the Woods (ACNW) is a private, non-profit 501(c)3 residential environmental learning center (RELC) and green retreat & conference center on Grindstone Lake near Sandstone, MN – 90 miles north of Minneapolis/St. Paul. We offer a great variety of outdoor and environmental education experiences for people of all ages – youth, families and adults – and are an ideal K12 school field trip and student travel destination. In addition to our on-site programs and camps, ACNW provides outreach programs throughout the region. All of our facilities are also available for rental – perfect for hosting your own retreat or conference at our beautiful 535-acre lakeside location.

Water/Ways - November 19, 2016 - January 1, 2017


Maple tree tap

Our Local Water Story

Our region is dotted with small towns, most with populations well under1,500. Water/Ways invites connections between residents and visitors who celebrate shared heritage and a love of our waterways. Opening the week of Thanksgiving 2016, we celebrate our relationship with water by hosting the Water/Ways traveling exhibit. In an effort to build partnerships and strengthen community involvement in a region where water is sometimes taken for granted, Water/Ways will highlight personal stories and understanding of our regional water resources and emphasizing our common responsibility for the safety of water, now and for future generations.

Through opportunities to learn more about our dependent relationships with water, some events will help citizens of all ages look back in time to better understand the history of the St. Croix Watershed. From the Ojibwe Prophecy, which explores the place where food grows on water, to the ways in which our rivers provided transportation through the fur trade, lumber, and immigration eras, our rivers have been a vital life source for all human time in the watershed. Water/Ways offers a broad canvas for agencies, organizations, clubs, businesses, and individuals to examine and share information about the non-renewable nature of our water resources as well as sustainability practices throughout the watershed. Communities can look forward in time to contemplate the kind of future we wish to have for generations to come. We are fortunate to live in a region where water is abundant. It is in our hands to cherish and protect it.

Northwest Company Fur Post

Events & Activities


May 18 — Drifting down the Kettle with the Skally Line: free community concert focusing on water (East Central School)

May 24 — Aquatic Invasive Species workshop for the general public (Hinckley)

May 26 — Aquatic Invasive Species workshop for the general public (Sturgeon Lake)

June-August — Watch for our traveling parade float coming to a summer event near you! (multiple locations)

Wednesdays in June (Sandstone Train Park) and Fridays Memorial Day through July — Art in the Park.  (Pine City Robinson Park)

August 12-14 — Quarry Days! (Sandstone Train and Robinson Parks)

September-OctoberWater Connections Poetry Contest, Sandstone Library

September 9-12 — Water Walk with Ojibwe Elder Sharon Day (entire length of the Kettle River)

September 17-18 — Fur Post Rendezvous, North West Company Fur Post (Pine City)

October 6-9 — Highway 61 Film Festival (Pine City)

October 15, 6 p.m. — Dinner at the Lake with Mike Ward, Superintendent of Voyageurs National Park ($35, RSVP required, Audubon Center of the North Woods)

November 11 — OSAC Water Art Exhibit. Old School Arts Center (Sandstone)

November 19, 3–5 p.m. — Water/Ways Exhibit Opening Ceremony (Audubon Center of the North Woods)

December 1–3 — Participate in the Heritage Summit and Kettle River History Forum hosted by North Woods and Waters of the St. Croix Heritage Area (Audubon Center of the North Woods)

December  31 — New Year’s Eve Dinner at the Lake (Audubon Center of the North Woods)

Railroad trestle over the Kettle River


Audubon Center of the North Woods
54165 Audubon Drive, PO Box 530
Sandstone, MN 55072
320-245-2269 or 1-888-404-7743


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