Ernest C. Oberholtzer Foundation

A nonprofit organization

$2,335 raised

47% complete

$5,000 Goal

Ernest Oberholtzer lived on Mallard Island in Rainy Lake for most of his adult life. The Ober Foundation maintains and shares Ober's north woods home and share his wilderness advocacy legacy through program weeks throughout the summer. We use mostly volunteer labor to repair our historic rustic buildings on Mallard Island. We experienced historic flooding this last summer and all of our buildings were impacted except four. We achieved much this summer, but have more flood mitigation work ahead in the spring.

Each summer about 130-135 people come to Mallard to volunteer during a work week or to participate in a program week. Themes of the weeks typically involve nature, the arts, music, Anishinaabe cultural teachings and practices, history.  Our guests have access to our collections and stay in rustic historic cabins. We are a living museum that offers cultural teachings and practices with our Elder in Residence. 

In 2022, our historic site experienced a historic flood. We were able to save our collections and our buildings came out of the flood better than we thought, but we still have work ahead. We rewired a good portion of our electrical system to be flood resilient in the future. 

In efforts to be more flood resilient with our collections, we are moving one part of our book collection to an Mallard Island Annex library in International Falls at the Backus Community Center! The books that we are moving were housed in a flood prone building. Moving the books will allow us to share this special collection with more people over time. We took a crisis and made it into an exciting opportunity!

Donations right now are meaningful for the foundation as we work through flood mitigation, set up our little library for the community in the Falls, and a long range project to restore the historic stone walls that surround Mallard Island. 

Organization Data


Organization name

Ernest C. Oberholtzer Foundation

Tax id (EIN)



Arts & Culture Environment Volunteer


12697 177th Street North
Marine on Saint Croix, MN 55047


651 867 4649

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