Sugaloaf North Shore Stewardship Association

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Daily Nature Programs

This summer, naturalist Margie, will be offering programs every Thursday through Sunday. Drop by and learn something new every day!

Thursdays starting June 25

Bird Banding: 7 am - noon (stop in any time):
Take a much closer look at songbirds! We will be banding birds and monitoring the populations of songbirds that nest and travel through Sugarloaf Cove and adding to the growing research on North Shore birds. Stop in to learn more about the banding process and its importance in understanding the lifespan, movement, and productivity of songbirds. Weather permitting.


There's No Place Like Home:
Explore Cook County
1 pm, June 26- August 7, and August 21

We all know Cook County is a special place. Here's an opportunity to have a more in-depth exploration of Cook County's special places with your neighbors. Each week will feature a new unique habitat or location which participants will explore with Sugarloaf's naturalist. If you participate in 5 or more sessions you will receive a North Shore field guide. Free. Sponsored in part by the Cook County Community Fund, an affiliate of the Duluth Superior Area Community Foundation.

June 26 - The Bog/Black Spruce Tamarack forest

July 3 - The Boreal Forest/Spruce Fir forest

July 10 - The Maple Hardwood forest

July 17 - The Aspen/Birch North Shore forest

July 24 - The Pine forest

July 31 - Rock and Cliff Environment

August 7 - Inland Lakes

August 21 - Lake Superior



Guest speakers: 10 am

See descriptions on left


Superior Rocks! 10 am
Sugarloaf Cove is an incredible place to explore geology. Step back in geologic time and learn about the formation of the Sawtooth Mountains and Lake Superior. Learn to recognize common rocks found in the area and the story of their formation. What does a Lake Superior agate look like? What about Thompsonite? It’s all here under your feet!


Sugarloaf Cove by Chris Sandberg

2015 Calendar of Events

Daily Nature Programs

See the column on the right for more information.

  • Thursdays - Bird Banding: 7 am - noon (stop in any time)

  • Fridays - There's No Place Like Home: Explore Cook County, 1 pm

  • Saturdays - Guest speakers - 10 am unless otherwise noted

  • Sundays - Superior Rocks! 10 am

Special Events


Cruise the North Shore

Saturday, August 8, 5:00 - 7:30 pm

Join us after our annual meeting for a scenic cruise along the North Shore aboard the Wenonah. Enjoy a 2-hour tour with naturalist Margie Menzies and fellow Sugarloaf supporters. Margie will point our interesting geologic features while you enjoy food, drinks and music.

Boarding begins at 5 pm at the Silver Bay Marina. Departure at 5:30 pm.

The tour includes beer, wine, hors d'oeuvres, and live music by the Two Harbor's Ukelele Group (THUGs). $50 per person.


Gunflint Trail Geology Exploration
Stepping back in time on the Gunflint Trail

Friday, August 14

$50 per person/ $45 for members

Join us for an adventure exploring what were once thought to be the oldest rocks in Minnesota, view fossil remains of the first forms of life on earth, the Gunflint Iron formation, as well as visible records of the aftereffects of the 2nd largest and 4th oldest meteor impact near Sudbury, Ontario, 480 miles from the Gunflint. There’s much more to the story, you have to see it to believe it!

Plan to meet at Sugarloaf Cove at 8:00 am and carpool for the trip up the Gunflint Trail. There will be some hiking involved in this exploration, so plan on appropriate outdoor gear and footwear, for sun, insects and weather. Participants should plan on bringing water for the day as well as a bag lunch. We will plan to end the day in Grand Marais between 4 and 5 pm with an optional dinner in Grand Marais before returning to Sugarloaf Cove.

Cost for course is $50 per person; $45 for Sugarloaf membersand includes informational materials and handouts.

Member or non member


Nature Journaling Workshop

Saturday, August 22

$20 per person/ $18 for members

Have you been inspired by all that you see and wish you had a way to keep these moments alive? Join me for the day as I share my sketchbooks, ideas and skills about sketchbooks, naturalist drawing, visual poetry. You will be supplied with a small sketchbook and variety of drawing and painting equipment for the day for your notes and exercises. There will be a short introduction to basic drawing.

Member or non member



Saturday Guest Speakers

Suggested donation: $2/person; $5 per family

Temporary Rock Sculptures with Peter Juhl

Saturday, July 4, 10 am

Bring along your family and be amazed by Peter Juhl's ability to balance rocks without glue, rods or any other adhesives. You are guaranteed to be amazed. We'll have lemonade and cookies on the porch. For a preview of what Peter can do visit


What the Soil and Water Conservation District Can Do For You
July 11, 10 am

Learn about what Soil and Water Conservation Districts are and how they can help you conserve the natural resources on your property.  Topics covered will include cost-share programs, tree sales, water quality monitoring, and grant-funded projects such as bank stabilizations.  Programs offered through the USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) will also be discussed.


The Big Picture - "Continental Drift" and Plate Tectonics

with Dick Ojakangas
July 18, 10 am

The idea that the continents have moved on Earth's surface has been around since the 1600s, but it was Alfred Wegener of Germany who really pushed the idea in the early 20th century. Most earth scientists rejected the idea, as there was no mechanism known that could cause such large-scale movements. In the 1960s seafloor spreading was documented, and soon the grand unifying idea of plate tectonics evolved as the successor to continental drift.

Join Dick as he gives an always entertaining talk about the movement of the earth below us. He will explain how Plate Tectonic Theory explains the origins of volcanoes, earthquakes, mountain ranges, island arcs, oceanic trenches, oceanic ridges, major faults, many ore deposits, and more!


Native Plants and Restoration Techniques
July 25, 10 am

This workshop will focus on restoration planning and techniques including examples of native plants appropriate for different habitats and light environments. The event will also include a tour of a restoration area at Sugarloaf Cove. Attendees receive a $5 Conservation Cash coupon to Buck’s Hardware Hank!


How to See in the Dark:
Monitoring Bats on the Superior National Forest

August 1, 10 am

The threat of White-nose Syndrome having huge impacts to native bat populations all over the country has been much in the news of late. Has White-nose Syndrome affected bats in Minnesota, what about the Superior National Forest? Learn from Superior National Forest Wildlife Biologist Peg Robertsen what White-nose Syndrome is, and how much of a threat this poses to bats in Northern Minnesota. Learn about the Northern Long-eared bat, and efforts the Superior National Forest is making to monitor the forest bat population. 


Annual Ice Cream Social and meeting
August 8, 1 pm

Each year we celebrate our annual meeting with an ice cream social and special speaker, Dick Ojakangas.


GEOLOGY OF MINNESOTA:The North Shore and More!

August 8, 1:30 pm after the general meeting

The rocks of the North Shore are the result of an abortive splitting apart or rifting of North America 1,100 million years ago, that created the Midcontinent Rift System. Lavas, mostly basaltic in composition, poured out onto Earth's surface from large fissures, creating a thick volcanic pile on the North Shore and an even thicker pile beneath Lake Superior. The flows of the North Shore all dip gently southeastward beneath Lake Superior, in contrast to the South Shore where they dip steeply to the northwest. The flows are not pillowed, showing that they were deposited on land rather than under water. And, how do rocks of Isle Royale fit into the overall setting? The copper/nickel/platinum mineralization in the Duluth Complex, intruded between the North Shore Volcanic Group and older basement rocks, is also part of the picture.  If you were to drive north up the Gunflint Trail, you would soon leave the volcanic rocks and cross the intrusive Duluth Complex (gabbro) and the 1,850 million-year-old Gunflint Iron Formation. At the end of the Trail is the 2,700 million-year-old Saganaga Granite.


In a Patch of Goldenrods with Larry Weber
August 15, 10 am

Join Larry as he takes you on a fascinating trip into a patch of goldenrods. You will be amazed at the creatures that call it home.


Nature Journaling Workshop
August 22, 10 am - 3 pm

$20/person; $18 for members; includes supplies

Have you been inspired by all that you see and wish you had a way to keep these moments alive? Join me for the day as I share my sketchbooks, ideas and skills about sketchbooks, naturalist drawing, visual poetry. You will be supplied with a small sketchbook and variety of drawing and painting equipment for the day for your notes and exercises. There will be a short introduction to basic drawing.

Member or non member


The Limits of the Universe: Neutrinos and Dark Matter!
August 29, 10 am

The Soudan Underground Physics Lab is doing internationally significant research in two major areas, neutrinos and dark matter. During this talk, you will learn what discoveries are being made at the lab and what these discoveries may mean. Our speaker, Allen Lipke, will take you on an engaging and fascinating tour that even non physicists will enjoy.



Sugarloaf: The North Shore Stewardship Association
6008 London Road
Duluth MN 55804

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Sugarloaf Cove
9096 Hwy 61
Schroeder, MN 55613
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