Agassiz Dunes Scientific and Natural Area (SNA)/Agassiz Environmental Learning Center (ELC)

 

Features: Two interesting sites are located near Fertile. Both locales preserve remnants of Minnesota’s only dunefield associated with Glacial Lake Agassiz. The ELC is owned and managed by the city of Fertile and consists of a 640 acre natural area. There is an interpretive center, a campground and ten miles of trail through riverine forest, blufflands, oak savannah and prairie. The SNA is managed by the Minnesota DNR. The SNA is 417 acres and contains dry prairie and oak savannah communities.

 

Best Times To Visit: April through October.

 

Birds To Look For: Sharp-tailed Grouse, Greater Prairie-Chicken, Sandhill Crane, Upland Sandpiper, Marbled Godwit, Wilson’s Phalarope, Marsh Wren, Clay-colored, LeConte’s and Nelson’s Sharp-tailed Sparrows and a variety of migrant songbirds.

 

Notes For Birding The Area: The Sandhill River is a good corridor for songbirds in migration. The Learning Center offers trails and a rustic campground that are open every day. Call ahead for a program schedule and nature center hours.

 

Contact: Supervisor, DNR Scientific and Natural Areas Program, 500 Lafayette Rd., St. Paul, MN 55155, 651-297-2357. www.aelcfertile.org and www.dnr.state.mn.us/snas/sna00972