In 2011, we helped the Y permanently protect nearly 300 acres at Camp Miller, which supports outdoor opportunities for more than 2,000 youth each year. Conserving these acres also protects valuable land that has been a top priority for the Minnesota Department of Natural Resource’s Aquatic Management Area Acquisition Program.

Outdoor Experiences For Children

The YMCA’s goal is to provide a positive experience for campers that promotes growth in mind, spirit and body. Through participation in a variety of outdoor recreational and educational activities, kids will gain a sense of key community values including trust, respect, cooperation, teamwork, leadership and independence

During their visit, campers can take part in any or all of the following activities: swimming, canoeing, archery, field sports, kayaking, nature hikes, fishing, sailing, arts-n-crafts, rock climbing, horseback riding, rifle safety and marksmanship and more.

Environmental Significance

Located near the town of Sturgeon Lake in Minnesota, about 45 miles south of Duluth and two hours north of the Twin Cities, this property is part of the Aquatic Management Area Acquisition Program and was a conservation priority for the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources.

A conservation easement purchased by the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources will preserve the property’s diverse ecosystems and critical wildlife habitats, including 4,350 feet of sensitive shoreline on Sturgeon Lake, one of the headwaters for the St. Croix River watershed. The 300 acres includes an abundance of high quality, near-shore fishery spawning habitat.

The area’s aquatic resources, ecosystems and associated uplands are crucial to maintaining the state’s clean water legacy and preserving important habitats for a variety of species including white-tail deer, ruffed grouse, wild turkey, bald eagles, salamanders and a variety of songbirds.

The surrounding communities not only will benefit from cleaner water but also can access the land for recreational use. The land will be open in designated areas for activities including fishing, hiking and limited bow hunting.

“Conservation of Camp Miller not only provides public access and protection of sensitive resources, but it also will help the Y provide outdoor experiences for youth and adults,” 
— Tom Duffus, Upper Midwest Director for the Fund.