National Loon Center


To create and maintain a National Loon Center in the heart of Crosslake, MN as the lead research and recreation attraction established to preserve and restore loon habitat through important public and private partnerships from the local to the national level.


The state of the art facility would include an indoor loon habitat attraction, a loon research center, offices and facilities for the Chamber of Commerce and the United States Army Corps of Engineers (US ACE), exhibits for the Crosslake Area Historical Society, the Train Museum and a historical re-creation of the dam and a retail gift store. Surrounding the facility will be a shoreline restoration project demonstrating positive actions for restoring loon habitat and applying clean water initiatives. Also included will be the installation of public and camper docks with consideration for the precious shoreline.

Timeline for Community Input

Fall and Winter 2017
Volunteers will be working with the Minnesota College of Design lead by Professor Virajita Singh and her team (Professor Richard Graves and graduate student Joe Polacek) to define the scope and scale of this facility. Additionally, the National Park Service awarded the National Loon Center a grant to help with planning the parks and trails surrounding the shoreline restoration, docks, Center, and connections to the City of Crosslake.

Winter and Spring 2018
Efforts will continue with the University of Minnesota through the Department of Applied Economic lead by Dr. Bill Gartner and his team to research the marketing and feasibility of the proposed Center. A parallel project will also be underway and Initiative Foundation and the Brainerd Chamber of Commerce to develop the Business Plan.

Summer (June 1) 2018
All of the necessary planning and work will be completed to make a formal application to the United States Army Corps of Engineers requesting use of the Crosslake Dam day-use areas for this project as well as US ACE participation in the entire project.

Summer (July 10) 2018
Work is beginning to make the National Loon Center a reality! Fund raising efforts will begin and estimation for completion date could be as early as 2021! Stay tuned.


There is overwhelming support from both public and private sectors. Applications, grants and funding sources for 2017-18 phases have been numerous and generous. Grants have been received and pledged from the University of Minnesota, National Park Service, National Join Partners Alliance, Crosslakers, Crosslake/Ideal Lions, National Loon Center Foundation, Initiative Foundation and private donors.

Partners, Collaborators and Funders

Brainerd Lakes Area Chamber of Commerce, Brainerd Lakes Area Economic Development Corporation, City of Crosslake, Crosslake Area Historical Society, Crosslake Community School, Crosslakers, Initiative Foundation, Minnesota Department of Natural Resources Nongame Wildlife Program, National Joint Partners Alliance, National Loon Center Foundation, National Park Service, State Senator Carrie Ruud, Train Museum, University of Minnesota (Extension andCenter for Sustainable Building Research in the College of Design), US Army Corps of Engineers, US Congressman Rick Nolan, US Fish and Wildlife, Crow Wing County Lakes and Rivers Alliance (LARA).

Please follow us at

Send your contact info/email to to get updates.

Contact for Leasing Opportunities and Building Sales

Interested in leasing space in Town Square? Click here to send us a message.

35770 Allen Ave. Suite #1, P.O. Box 642
Crosslake, MN 56442