Mission Statement: "To foster a greater understanding of the interrelationships between human beings and their environment."

What is the AELC?

Great Question! The AELC is the Agassiz Environmental Learning Center. Located in the heart of the Sand Hills of Fertile, MN, the Nature Center combines the best of nature study, conservation education, outdoor recreation, and environmental education. The AELC site covers 640 acres and includes over 10 miles of hiking/cross country ski trails, a campground, a deck overlooking the Sand Hill River and a nature center which provides restroom facilities and a meeting room for classes and community events. Before your visit, please check out some interesting facts about the Sand Hills!

What can the AELC do for my school?

The AELC provides a variety of natural resource conservation programs for students of all ages. Our school programs are hands-on experiences that take place in the unique outdoor environment of the Fertile Sand Hills. This outdoor “classroom” offers learning opportunities related to its diverse ecosystems including oak savanna, dry sand prairie, sand dunes, riverine communities, and lowland forests.

Check our our new Winter Curriculum - SnowSchool! It's sure to be be a winter hit!

What kind of family getaway is at the AELC?

The AELC provides many recreational opportunities for families and visitors of all ages. Whether you are interested in a family picnic on our deck overlooking the Sand Hill River, a leisurely stroll along one of our many trails, or a family reunion in the Nature Center building, the AELC can accommodate you!

The AELC has over 10 miles of trails that take our visitors through the unique scenery offered in the Fertile Sand Hills. You can stroll along the river to the Botanical Garden and then walk the edge of a prairie on your return trip. A rare experience awaiting visitors is a hike through the Oak Savanna - a prairie landscape with a mix of scattered oaks. Imagine the stories these gnarled 100-year-old burr oaks could tell of life in the Sand Hills.

Our Nature Center building also provides the ideal setting for gatherings of any kind. It is a beautiful location for family reunions, birthday parties, business meetings or community events.

Some of the other activities to be enjoyed at the AELC include camping, horseback riding, cross country skiing, geocaching and bird watching, just to name a few!!

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