Minnesota Valley Refuge Friends

A nonprofit organization

100% complete

$2,500 Goal

Minnesota Valley Refuge Friends is the citizen support group of the Minnesota Valley National Wildlife Refuge. Headquartered in Bloomington, the Refuge continues for 70 miles along the Minnesota River to Henderson. Since its founding in 1976 by motivated residents, it has remained free and open to everyone.  With more than 46 miles of trails and two visitor centers, our Refuge is unique in its urban setting — tucked within the shadows of the Mall of America and the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport — and is within walking distance of public transit. 

Our mission

Minnesota Valley Refuge Friends is dedicated to supporting the Minnesota Valley National Wildlife Refuge in its mission to "conserve, protect, and enhance fish, wildlife, plants and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the American people." We do this by raising awareness, recruiting volunteers, and securing money for activities at the Refuge, including
  • Environmental education activities that provide interns the opportunity to grow and develop as conservation leaders while teaching area grade school students about nature in nature;
  •  Free transportation to and from the Refuge for schools where at least half of the student population receives free or reduced lunches through our Blue Goose Bus program;
  • Events at the Refuge, including the Minnesota Bat Festival, Latino Conservation Week, Bloomington Culture Fest, Urban National Wildlife Refuge Day; 

  • Clean up, invasive species removal, and native planting on Refuge lands; and

  • Friendly faces and support for visitors at Refuge information desks. 

During the pandemic

As Minnesota Valley Refuge Friends, we continue our mission in supporting the Refuge but, like everyone, with a twist. Interns and students have conversations about careers in conservation via web conferencing. Events that can be held are now virtual. While Blufftop Nature Store at the Bloomington Education & Visitor Center — our primary funding source — has remained closed since March, our Refuge has seen a FIVE-fold increase in visitors as they seek refuge in the Refuge. We're excited to be kicking off new ventures, including a new urban birding mentoring program for youth. We also secured major funding from new donors to rethink the Bloomington visitor center's gallery space as well as study chloride's impact on a restored river trout stream in the Refuge. 

Give to the Max Nov. 18 with a Match!

Your donation during Give to the Max will be matched throughout the day (see the top of the page to determine if we have a live match). Our goal this year is to raise $10,000. In return, you'll receive a subscription to Currents, our free monthly e-newsletter, access to activities and events, and, when the visitor centers reopen, a 10% discount on select merchandise at our Blufftop Nature Store. Thanks to Endodontic Professionals, Hilton Minneapolis-St. Paul Airport, My Credit Union, and Refuge Friends board members who contributed matches totaling $3,250. 

Thank you in advance for your support. We hope to see you soon at the Refuge!

Organization Data


Organization name

Minnesota Valley Refuge Friends

Tax id (EIN)



Education Environment


3815 American Boulevard East
Bloomington, MN 55425



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