Mississippi Headwaters Audubon Society

A nonprofit organization

$2,077 raised by 23 donors

100% complete

$2,000 Goal

Click here to participate in our 'Help Spearhead- 2023 campaign!

The Mississippi Headwaters Audubon Society (MHAS) is one of Bemidji’s most enduring environmental conservation organizations. We were founded in 1977 as a non-profit 501(c) (3) organization through the efforts of concerned Bemidji citizens who saw the need for a strong environmental voice in the area. Today the chapter represents over 250 members living throughout north central Minnesota. 

The mission of MHAS is to “foster personal connections to and stewardship of our natural world”. 

We do this by:

  1. Managing a 466 acre preserve and education facility called the Neilson Spearhead Center.
  2. Hosting a nature camp called "The Young Naturalist Program" each summer where kids get a hands-on nature experience! Approximately 100 youth per year attend YNP.
  3. Providing opportunities for nature-inspired study and research.
  4. Leading community projects and events that connect people with nature.
  5. Advocating for local conservation of important habitats and ecosystems.

Neilson Spearhead Center - A 'Walden Pond in the North Woods'

Nestled alongside beautiful Spearhead Lake, the 466-plus acre Neilson Spearhead Center is a jewel in the forest. The entire shoreline of this tranquil lake is natural: from the lake's emergent vegetation to the forested uplands, bogs and wetlands. There's something for everyone; something to discover, to appreciate, to cherish, and to preserve. 

Vision:  The Neilson Spearhead Center is a place for experiential nature education, scientific research, quiet reflection, and contemplation; where one develops a sense of wonder and joy for nature and the importance of wild places.


  1. To maintain the integrity of the natural communities present on the NSC property. 
  2. To provide and be a resource for education in environmental science, nature-based experiential learning, and personal growth.
  3. To conduct and be a resource for research in areas of environmental science.
  4. To provide opportunities to create personal connections and a sense of place with nature.

NSC was deeded to MHAS in 1985 for ecological research and environmental education. Since then, our Young Naturalist Program has reached hundreds of area young people with a unique combination of experiential learning activities and nature education. Many other school, youth groups, and community organizations use the Center for programs. 

Come explore nature with us! Hike our trails; paddle Spearhead Lake; enjoy the solitude; or participate in one of our community-based initiatives like Birds, Bees & Butterflies - Bemidji.

Organization Data


Organization name

Mississippi Headwaters Audubon Society

Tax id (EIN)



Education Environment Community


PO BOX 193


218 444 8672

Social Media