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:: Welcome

Prairie Woods Environmental Learning Center is a regional center for environmental education and outdoor recreation located in beautiful Kandiyohi County in west-central Minnesota.   Thanks for visiting our website!!   We provide an exciting array of hands-on learning adventures for all ages, as well as beautiful facilities for meetings and special events.   Give us a call and let us customize a program or event for your group. 

Current information and photos



Current News and Events

Up-coming Events

Our April 23rd, Earth Day Celebration was a huge success thanks in part to the wonderful weather, participants, exhibitors that shared their knowledge and event/financial partners. Thank you!

PACT for Families, Natural Resource Conservation Service, DREAM Technical Academy, Hawk Creek Animal Shelter, Pheasants Forever, Willmar Bikes, Willmar CVB, Willmar Community Education, Roger Strand and his wood duck knowledge, PWELC Special Hunt, Joe Schsefbauer and his snakes, DNR Fisheries, New London Food Co-op, MN Solar and More, Prairie Pothole Consrvation Assoc., MN Master Gardeners, NLS 4-H, Kandiyohi County AIS, Little Crow Anglers, Joe Bee Honey, John White and his Art of Erosion exhibit, Steve Erickson and Larry Levin and their archeaology display, Izaak Walton League, US Fish & Wildlife Service, NLS National Honor Society Students.

Thank you event partners!
Middle Fork Crow River Watershed District, North Fork Crow River Watershed District, MN Pollution Control Agency, and Kandiyohi County Soil and Water Conservation District  

All equipment rentals Fat-tire bikes, will be handled on a reservation basis. Please call for your reservation at least 24 hours in advance. If you would like to reserve equipment for the weekend, please call by noon on Friday. We will not have regular trailhead hours. So, call today for your 2 hr equipment rental 320-354-5894. ($5/youth, $10/adult member, $20/adult non-member)

PWELC is Hiring - Part-time Program Facilitators - Interships also available


  • Deliver programs to diverse groups, pre-school through senior citizen;
  • Assist with and lead EE activities such as Pond Study, Birds, Agriculture, Native Cultures, Insects Safari, Predator & Prey, and many more;
  • Teach and supervise canoeing, xc skiing, snowshoeing, orienteering, geocaching and more;
  • Train to work on the Challenge Course, with high events and a climbing wall;
  • Assist with trail work and stewardship of building & grounds; 
Desired qualifications:
  • At least one year of college or university study in a relevant field;
  • Experience working with children or young people;
  • Love of the outdoors, and sharing the outdoors with others;
  • Knowledge of nature and awareness of environmental issues;
  • Ability to do physically strenuous outdoor activities.
Call 320-354-589 or email Kory Klebe at kory.k@prairiewoodselc.org to apply.

Introducing our new Executive Director!
Click here for an introduction to Jennifer Swenson, the new executive director of the Prairie Woods team. She joined the team on Jan. 17th.

Current office hours are:  8am-2pm, Monday thru Friday. 

Click on "Programs and Events" above to check out our calendar of interesting and fun programs.   
Check Facebook for recent photos and 
other updates.

Prairie Woods on the go!   The Big Canoe, the  Prairie Woods Pinnacle- mobile rock climbing tower, the enviro-puppet theatre and the Yellow Boats Project will be busy throughout the region this summer getting kids up off of the couch and into the great outdoors.   Click on the Facebook link to see photos of some of the planned and past activities and give us a call to schedule a PWELC program for your group or community festival.
Remember.... We Deliver!  If you can't come to us, we'll come to you.
Give us a call if you would like to have the big canoe, portable climbing wall, Yellow Boats, xc skis, snowshoes, teambuilding, a variety of environmental ed. programs or the LORAX puppet show come to your school or community event.

***WE WANT YOUR SHOES!   Please donate your gently worn shoes to PWELC for our WorldWear fundraising project.  donate shoesAsk us about how your school can easily earn Prairie Woods Bucks by collecting shoes for re-use and recycling. Click here for the World Wear Agreement.  

Nothing at PWELC "just happens."  Good things happen only when people like YOU help to make them happen.   Please support our work with donations of time, talent or funds and join us for some of the exciting programs and events throughout the year. 

Our mission:
To promote an individual and shared commitment to the responsible use, management, and preservation of our natural resources.

We offer customized programs and facilities that help people learn to live well with self, others and the environment.
*Environmental Ed. programs for pre-K thru grade 12 and adults
*Challenge course and teambuilding programs for schools, athletic teams, youth groups, families and corporate groups
*A 500 acre campus featuring: rolling glacial terrain, seven miles of hiking and xc ski trails, prairie, woods, and wetlands.
*Great classroom and meeting spaces powered by wind, solar & biomass.
*Outreach programs featuring a 34' voyageur canoe, 26' portable climbing wall, and "Lorax" puppet show.
*An award-winning YES! program which is mobilizing youth-led energy action projects across Greater Minnesota.

Give to PWELC Prairie Woods Enviornmental learning Center              

Give to PWELC YES! Youth Eco Solutions YES!

What else to do in the area? Check out the Willmar Area Lakes Visitor Guide.