St. Louis River Alliance open house, 4:30-6:30 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 17, DeWitt-Seitz Building in Canal Park, 394 S. Lake Ave., Suite 208.

The Great Christmas Bird Count, 8 a.m. Saturday, Dec. 21, McGregor Marsh SNA. Meet at Soo Line Trail access off of County Highway 8, South of Maddy Street, in McGregor. Call 218-735-3971 or go to

Courage Kenny Northland is seeking skiers and snowboarders to join our team of over 100 volunteers. No prior teaching experience necessary. New volunteers are paired with experienced volunteer instructors, with a typical ratio of 2-3 volunteers per student. Our participants range from 6 to 60+ years of age. You will receive complimentary lift tickets while volunteering, however you do need to provide your own equipment and helmet. Starting age to volunteer is 16 years old. The program runs from Jan. 7-March 5. Volunteer On the Hill Training offered from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Jan. 4-5 at Giants Ridge. Contact Beth Albrecht at 218-726-4834, ext. 3 or for more information.

Nordic Spirit Youth Ski League youth cross-country ski lessons, Sundays Jan. 5-Feb. 9, Spirit Mountain Nordic Center. Grades 4-8 from 1-2:30 p.m. and K-3 from 1:30-2:30 p.m. Cost: $20 for first child in family, $15 every child thereafter, maximum of $45 per family; includes trail pass, equipment if needed and instruction. Go to click programs and then other local programs to register. Registration and equipment fitting offered from 4:30-7 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 11, Spirit Mountain Nordic Center. Call Mary Jane at 626-2532 or email

Minnesota Master Naturalist Volunteer Training, 8 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Jan. 27-31, Long Lake Conservation Center, Palisade. 40-hour hands-on course with expert instructors and fellow learners – studying natural history, environmental interpretation, and conservation stewardship. Final certification comes with the completion of 40 hours of volunteer service. Register at

Sugarloaf Cove Nature Center has opened registration for the following courses:

  • Master Naturalist/Northwoods Course, Feb. 22-May 2. Class meets from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. every other Saturday (with a bit wider gap in March) for six sessions. Field trips will be incorporated into the scheduled class days. A capstone project is expected of participants, as well as the commitment to volunteer for 40 hours during the year. Cost: $295, includes course manuals and materials. Scholarships available. Visit Minnesota Master Naturalist to register.
  • Lost Forest/Master Woodland courses start March 31. Note: This is a year-long class with various dates. This comprehensive education program provides you with the resources you need to restore long lived conifers to your property, protect your trees from deer browse and keep your woodland healthy for future generations. Registration is now open. (You will be redirected to a University of MN Extension website). A rate of $275 includes the first two family members. Additional members may register for $50. The fee also includes a site visit to the participant’s woodland property, if interested, by one of the instructors.