Today: Bryan Wood, executive director of the Audubon Center of the North Woods, a nonprofit environmental learning center in Sandstone, Minn.

 

Reading

“Bee Time: Lessons from the Hive” — it is a fascinating look at the world of honey and wild bees, and our need to change our agricultural systems to support a healthy, vibrant planet.

 

Following

My heart is wrenched by what is happening with children being separated from their parents on the U.S.-Mexico border. It is a humanitarian crisis that needs to stop at once.

I am also following the PolyMet and Twin Metals mine proposals in northern Minnesota. Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness and Lake Superior, two amazing global water resource gems, are severely threatened by this proposed sulfide mining, whose environmental effects are much more severe than the iron-ore mining we as Minnesotans are accustomed to.

Directing

The center’s expansion. The last 12 months have been exciting. We have added nearly 250 acres to our campus. We received a generous gift of 107 acres adjacent to our north boundary from long-time donors. The land will become an organic farm. We have the unique ability at our center to make growing and raising food an integral piece to our education efforts for adults and children — while serving it in our dining hall to our learners. The possibilities are limitless for us with this new endeavor. We also received 140 acres of land adjacent to our east and south borders through Conservation Partners Legacy grant funds. We will preserve these lots from development and increase our teaching spaces, habitats and recreational opportunities. These additions now put our campus at more than 780 acres. It has been quite a year for our K-12 schools program, too. We’ve added 11 new schools to our attending school groups. Nearly 100 schools and 5,000 students visited the center this past school year.

 

Watching

My wife and I just finished watching the BBC series “Sherlock” and loved it! It was clever and engaging, and we watched the whole series in a couple weeks. We also enjoy watching “The Late Show with Stephen Colbert” as he gives on-point comedic takes on what is happening with our country.

Listening

I’ve been enjoying the Lumineers and more Trampled by Turtles. We are going to a concert of theirs this summer and are trying to get more familiar with their songs.

Doing

Lots of fishing at our local lake with my kids, ages 7 and 4, as well as family bike rides, and whiffle ball in the back yard. We also are looking forward to a family trip out west this summer to several national parks and monuments. We are visiting the Badlands and Black Hills, Devils Tower and Yellowstone. It will be a special trip for me as my parents took me on this trip when I was the same age as my children. I can’t wait to share these beautiful places with them and create lasting memories. We are so lucky to have all the national parks we do in the U.S., they are a real treasure for us all.