US Sens Amy Klobuchar and Tina Smith recommend National Loon Center for federal funding

CROSSLAKE — The National Loon Center received the support of U.S. Sen. Amy Klobuchar and Sen. Tina Smith, each of whom made a request recently to the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration, and Related Agencies, for $3,500,000 in congressionally directed spending to help construct the world-class facility in Crosslake, according to a news release.

When completed, the facility will create dozens of jobs, stimulate the local and regional economy and position Minnesota and the Midwest as a national leader in loon and freshwater conservation. The center is already actively advancing nationally significant loon and freshwater research and education as it prepares for a scheduled opening in 2024. The subcommittee, chaired by U.S. Sen. Tammy Baldwin of Wisconsin, where the National Loon Center funds important loon research, will select projects for funding as early as July 28.

“The support of Minnesota’s two U.S. Senators is deeply appreciated and applauded,” said National Loon Center Executive Director Jon Mobeck,” in a news release. “It shows their commitment to preserving loons, lakes and a way of life that is unique to the wild north, while supporting a significant visitor amenity that will provide quality jobs and equip future conservation leaders.”

The request to Minnesota’s Senators received broad bipartisan support from many current and former state and federal representatives as well as from key partners such as Audubon Minnesota and the National Eagle Center in Wabasha.

In its leadership role, the National Loon Center will connect and amplify loon and freshwater research and conservation efforts occurring across the nation. The high-tech facility will incorporate an exciting array of immersive and interactive educational exhibits to engage diverse audiences, while promoting and celebrating responsible recreation and enduring stewardship of lakes. Toward that end, the National Loon Center launched its 31-foot StewardShip for free educational tours on Crosslake every Thursday, Friday and Saturday through Sept. 24.

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The National Loon Center completed the installation of a system of boardwalks and docks at the Cross Lake Recreation Area – one of the state’s most popular U.S. Army Corps of Engineers campgrounds. The Cross Lake site is an ideal place to encourage responsible recreation and celebrate loons and lakes, the loon center reported.

The vision for the center was launched in 2017 when the Brainerd lakes region recognized it needed to both preserve and celebrate the lakes and loons.

To support the National Loon Center’s mission, visit

www.nationallooncenter.org

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