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Discover the National Loon Center’s First Two Outdoor Exhibits


The future National Loon Center (NLC) in Crosslake, MN, will be a place of discovery through hands-on learning. Interactive exhibits in and around the center will inspire visitors to help protect loons and our freshwater ecosystems. Widseth is working with the NLC and scientists from across the country to design and install the outdoor exhibits.

Exhibit 1 – Loon Calls

The first NLC outdoor exhibit is all about loon calls. Loons are famous for their iconic calls, but how much do we really know about them? Do you know the difference between a contact call and an alarm call? The first exhibit has information about each of the four primary loon calls and interactive buttons that trigger audio examples. To learn even more about loon calls visitors can scan a QR code to access a video featuring loon biologist Dr. Walter Piper, who goes into detail on the science behind loon calls.

Visitors are also encouraged to take photos at the first exhibit to see how their wingspan compares to a loon’s. The average wingspan of an adult Common Loon is 46,” which is depicted to scale on the exhibit. Share your photos on social media and include #loonwings. Visit learn more about loon calls and enter the loon call contest! The first exhibit is located at the intersection of County Road 66 and County Road 3, near the entrance to the Cross Lake Recreation Area.


Exhibit 2 – Loons & Lead: What’s on the Line?

The second exhibit provides information about the negative impacts lead has on loons. Sporting activities like hunting and fishing don’t have to come at the cost of the environment in which they’re enjoyed. When lead tackle is lost to the lake, we’re the ones on the hook for its consequences. With the future of our loons and lakes on the line, what’s on yours? Similar to the first exhibit, visitors can scan a QR code to access a video for more information. Wildlife Veterinarian Dr. Mark Pokras explains the negative impacts lead has on loons and MN Fishing Hall of Famer Chip Leer provides recommendations on what you can do to be part of the solution.

Visit to learn more and put your old lead tackle in the drop box mounted to exhibit two. The second exhibit is located behind the public restrooms near the fishing dock in the Cross Lake Recreation Area. Future exhibits will be installed on the new boardwalks along the shore.


The National Loon Center received a grant from the Legislative-Citizen Commission on Minnesota Resources (LCCMR) to help fund the project.

The function of the LCCMR is to make funding recommendations to the legislature for special environment and natural resource projects, primarily from the Environment and Natural Resources Trust Fund (ENRTF). These projects help maintain and enhance Minnesota’s environment and natural resources.

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