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Friends of Prairie Wetland Learning Center awarded $50,000 Bremer Grant

June 29 was a big day for the Friends of the Prairie Wetlands Learning Center; Otto Bremer Foundation made an award of $50,000 to the group.

The grant was applied for in February of this year to support three positions for graduate interns. The interns would work with Prairie Wetlands Learning Center staff as well as teachers and students of Fergus Falls Public Schools Prairie Science Class (The PSC).

The Bremer Foundation supports the betterment of communities in Minnesota, North Dakota and Wisconsin by funding programs that promote increased economic, civic and social participation within the community.

Both PWLC and the PSC have become nationally recognized environmental and educational institutions for their growing history of connecting children and adults with the wonder and beauty of the natural world.

"The Otto Bremer Foundation grant will help to connect people with nature by increasing staff working with the Prairie Science Class, allow more classes from area schools to come for a day trip, and add two new environmental education components for PWLC: NatureWorks and Community Family Nature Clubs," said PWLC director Matthew Conner.

"The Otto Bremer Foundation has done a wonderful thing for many different people by funding our ability to reach more individuals," said Conner.

Because of this grant, four NatureWorks classrooms and four Family Nature Clubs will be established in the following area communities: Battle Lake, Pelican Rapids, Kensington and Morning Son School in Fergus Falls.

The Bremer Foundation Funds will provide funding for three of four interns who will work twice monthly with teachers who have been selected by the principal of their school to participate in the NatureWorks program for classrooms.

The Family Nature Clubs will be organized after school for families whose children are in the NatureWorks classroom. Area schools were selected from past school participation in PWLC programs. ??The PWLC is comprised of 330 acres of wetlands and prairies, and includes a visitor center with classrooms, exhibit hall and dining area, plus four miles of trails and 28 wetlands. It is located on State Highway 210 East, south of Fergus Falls, one mile from exit 57 off I-94. For more information, call (218) 998-4480, or visit ??The PWLC is part of the Fergus Falls Wetland Management District, managed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service). The Service is the principal federal agency responsible for conserving, protecting and enhancing fish, wildlife and plants and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the American people.

The Service manages the 150-million-acre National Wildlife Refuge System, which encompasses 560 national wildlife refuges, thousands of small wetlands and other special management areas. It also operates 69 national fish hatcheries, 63 Fish and Wildlife Management offices and 81 ecological services field stations. For more information, visit