From State Parks to the Superior National Forest, public lands make up a large portion of Minnesota's northwoods. People travel from near and far to visit the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness and the waterfalls of north shore of Lake Superior, to hike, paddle, camp, hunt and fish, ski and snowmobile. By getting involved with stewardship activities, either through participating in a volunteer project or making a donation, you can help ensure that these public lands are preserved for the enjoyment of future generations.


We partner with the US Forest Service and other local organizations to offer variety of volunteer opportunities. Contact us to inquire about a particular project.


Your donation allows us to continue to offer volunteer opportunities that benefit forest health and promote recreation in northeastern Minnesota.

Become a Northwoods Volunteer!

Join the Northwoods Volunteer Connection and other volunteer stewards in caring for our public lands. It’s easy to dedicate a few hours of your time or your whole trip to the Superior National Forest and Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness to giving back. Check out our volunteer packages to learn more!

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Package #1 -

The Casual Conservationist

No extra equipment necessary! Spend a few minutes assessing your campsite on your Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness trip and you can make a difference. All you need is a check list and an extra trash bag! Contact us to learn more.


Package #3 -

The Steadfast Steward

Are you ready to take the next step and get your hands dirty on an extended volunteer trip? Interested in building a boardwalk or learning how to use a crosscut saw? Join one of our multi-day wilderness projects (below) or get a groups of friends together and we’ll plan one just for you!

Food reimbursements provided.


Package #2 -

The Trail Titan

Interested in spending a few hours giving back on your next trip to the Superior National Forest or BWCAW? We provide you with the tools and know-how to take on a trail/portage clearing project of your own. No previous experience needed!


Package #4 -

The Solitude Seeker

Work in group of two to help assess visitor use and opportunities for solitude in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness. Travel specific routes and complete a simple survey to document visitors you encounter.

Food reimbursements and free entry permit provided.


Northwoods Volunteer Connection Summer 2019 Volunteer Projects

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Adopt an Entry Point!

Individuals, groups or organizations can adopt BWCA Wilderness entry points to help with on-going stewardship.



Banadad Trail clearing weekend

Saturday, October 26: Meet at Poplar Creek B & B at 8:30 to pickup your lunch and trail assignment. Several groups clearing areas will be assign and we can car-pool or hike to the starting locations. Bring gloves, saftey glasses and trail clearing gear (some equipment will be provided).

The address of the Poplar Creek B & B is 11 Poplar Creek Drive, Grand Marais, MN 55604.


Border Route Trail Association fall Clearing Trips

The wilderness sections of the Border Route Trail run above and along several border lakes and provide spectacular overlooks to those lakes. Trail clearing consists of removing brush and downed trees and in the wilderness is done with hand tools: crosscut saws, loppers, and scythes.

October 10 - 13: Gunflint Road to East of Bridal Falls - Mechanized trail clearing trip. The group will be staying at Heston’s Resort on Gunflint Lake.



September 25 - 27: Crow Creek Wrap-Up Project -- Handrail and step construction at Crow Creek

October 5 - 6: Blue Blaze Blitz -- Remarking blue and white blazes on trail


MPCA Citizen Water Monitoring

The MPCA’s Citizen Water Monitoring Programs provide a unique opportunity for people across the state to monitor the water quality of their favorite lake or stream with no prior experience needed – just a love of water. Volunteers can even return to the same lake or stream and monitor it year after year, summer after summer.  Citizen water monitors provide a level of consistency in data collection that is unsurpassed, and the depth of knowledge they gain through the program is incredibly valuable to lake and stream management initiatives at the state and local level.

Furthermore, citizens don’t just collect data, they help state and local groups achieve results. Citizen-collected data help identify and restore polluted waters across the state. They also kick start local initiatives like shoreline restoration or stormwater cleanup projects.  In Minnesota, citizen-collected water quality data is both empowering and effective.

With 69,000 miles of rivers and over 12,000 lakes, Minnesota needs more volunteer monitors across the state to help track the health of our waters. No prior experience or training is required, and MPCA provides all the necessary equipment and training free of charge.

Visit the Citizen Water Monitoring Program website for more details and to sign up!