The Nest, an office for the National Loon Center in Crosslake, will open to the public soon in Crosslake Town Square.

The fun and educational venue will feature National Loon Center merchandise and information on the center's progress. As organizers continue to plan for the building of the state-of the-art facility at the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Cross Lake Recreation Area, the National Loon Center is actively launching several programs this year advancing loon and freshwater research and education.

Crosslake Community School students in Clare Thompson's online middle school environmental education/art class visited The Nest on Earth Day - Thursday, April 22. They studied Minnesota watersheds this year and best management practices to protect them. The end of the year culminated in two projects - an art project promoting watershed protection awareness and a civic project in which the students do an action to protect a watershed.

Some students chose the option to come to Crosslake and help with the shoreline restoration project for the National Loon Center for their civic project. Online program students who came to Crosslake are from New London, Ramsey, Duluth and the Brainerd lakes area.

They also got to tour Crosslake School, the physical headquarters of their school.

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Jon Mobeck, executive director of the National Loon Center, spent the day with the students discussing loons, the National Loon Center and shoreline restoration. They enjoyed a picnic at the dam. Then the students hung the art projects that they and their classmates created in The Nest.

The students added their own artistic interpretations of healthy shoreland and freshwater ecosystems. Their visions were based on a presentation on the loon center vision and a walking tour of the site where they talked about shoreland improvements and the considerations that one has when building a structure that complements the environment.