Wildlife Education and Visitor Center

 

When planning a trip to Crex, be sure to include a stop at the Crex Meadows Wildlife Education Center first!  From late March into early November, the Center is open seven days a week, weekdays from 8:00 am to 4:30 pm and on Saturdays and Sundays from 10:00 am to 4:00 pm. November through March the center is open on weekdays when the Wisconsin DNR staff is here.   Pamphlets and maps are always available from the rack outside the Center.

The Center opened to the public on April 13th, 2002 and was funded by monies raised by the Friends of Crex.  

The Center is located at the junction of County Rd "D" and  County Road "F".  At the front of the building you will find a prairie garden with many of the prairie grasses and wildflowers found in the wildlife area.  Many of the plants are labeled to help you with identification.  This area was created and is maintained by Friends of Crex (FOC) volunteers.  Also notice the brick walk with bricks purchased by donors to honor friends and family.  Proceeds from the sale of these bricks were originally used to help build the Center and new funds are now put towards the Endowment Fund which was set up in 2003 as a source of perpetual funding for programs at the Center.

The grounds at the Center include a paved handicapped accessible walkway through prairie plantings.  Check out the bird houses at the beginning of the walkway for nesting bluebirds and flickers.  Behind the Center is a boardwalk and nature trail complete with interpretive signs and a raised platform overlooking a sedge meadow at the north end.  The boardwalk was built in 2004 and goes over a pond constructed by the local chapter of Ducks Unlimited for educational use.

 

Inside the Center you will find a "History of Crex Meadows" exhibit including museum-quality artifacts, two Blue-ray DVDs featuring Crex Meadows and its wildlife, a habitat diorama, a replica of a 1930's era hunting shack complete with items that would be found in a hunting shack, mounts of ducks, owls, and other wildlife that may be found in the area, and handouts of maps and pamphlets about Crex Meadows. Staff and volunteers are available to answer your questions. Our Bog Shoe Gift Shop features field guides and wildlife-related books, natural landscaping gardening guides, children's books and toys, t-shirts and caps, and postcards.

Other facilities include staff offices, a 52-seat auditorium equipped with audio-visual booth, a kitchen and two large classrooms.  These facilities are used by the Friends of Crex and the DNR, and are also occasionally available for group meetings and events.  To reserve space at the visitor center, call 715-463-2739.  Fees vary depending on the size of the group and the purpose of the activity.

 At the Center we host:

  •  wildlife seminars

  • field trips for area schools

  • opportunities for badge-earning for scout groups

  • a Wildlife Festival in October

  • special topic wildlife programs

  • wildlife and nature related movies

  • an annual benefit dinner for the Endowment Fund

  • a photography contest

  • nature photography classes

  • tours of the wildlife areas

The fee per person for tours depends on the length of the tour and the number of staff needed per group. These tours are dependent on staff availability. Our wildlife biologist and interpretive naturalist also work with schools and youth groups.  Please email information@crexmeadows.org or call (715) 463-2739 for more information. 

 

BUILDING USE POLICY:  The Crex Meadows Wildlife Education and Visitor (CMWEVC) is a state owned building which may be used by a variety of groups and organizations for a variety of purposes.  This policy sets the general conditions by which the building may be used.  This policy is also in effect for the other buildlings at the Glacial Lakes Grantsburg DNR Headquarters at Crex Meadows.
 
General Policy:  First priority for use of the building will be given to the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) and Friends of Crex (FOC).  After the needs of the DNR and FOC are met, consideration will be given to other groups in the following priority:
 
1.    Non-profit groups having goals and purposes compatible with the DNR and FOC.
2.   Other groups and organizations determined acceptable by the FOC Board of Directors and the DNR Liaison.
 
Priority will be given to groups wishing to use the building during normal business hours (i.e. weekdays, 8am to 4:30pm) and during the less busy times of year (i.e. winter and summer).  Groups wishing to use the building after normal business hours or on weekends may be denied based solely on the availability of staff to open, close, and monitor use of the building.
 
The building may be used for meetings, training, education programs and other similar activities deemed appropriate by the FOC Board of Directors and DNR Liaison.  It may not be used for political or religious purposes (although operational meetings by church organizations may be allowed), for the purpose of generating income for a private party or business (i.e. commercial purposes), or for private celebrations such as weddings, anniversaries, class reunions, etc.  Use of the building may be denied at the discretion of the FOC Board and the DNR Liaison.
 
The use of tobacco is not allowed in the building. Serving of food and beverages is allowed but must be approved prior to use of the building.
 
Obligations of users:     Users most take reasonable precautions to insure the building is kept clean, not damaged and are responsible for any damage, cleaning costs, missing items, etc. resulting from their use of the building.
 
Fees:     Although there is no set fee for the use of the building, users are requested to make a donation to the Friends of Crex.  A range of suggested donations is given below:

$25:  Small group (10-20 people) using the building for a half day, serving beverages and snacks
 up to:  $500 Large group (50+ people) using the building for a full day with catered meals

In addition, a moderate cleaning/damage deposit may be required.

Fees may be waived at the discretion of the FOC Board and DNR Liaison.

 


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***This website is brought to you by the Friends of Crex, a non-profit organization

dedicated to SUPPORTING WILDLIFE AND WILDLIFE EDUCATION at the crex meadows complex***

FRIENDS OF CREX, INC.   102 EAST CREX AVENUE, GRANTSBURG WISCONSIN 54840   (715) 463-2739         www.crexmeadows.org

All photos are used by permission and are the sole copyright of the photographer