The North American Bear Center is a wonderful organization focusing it's efforts at educating the public about black bears and other wildlife native to northern Minnesota. The facilities are beautiful and the staff outstanding. I'm proud to be a volunteer.
I have been to the NABC several times in the past year and will happily go back again and again. The displays are educational and easy to understand. Knowledgeable and friendly staff and volunteers are available to explain everything. It's a family friendly place with displays and interactive areas just for kids. Honey, Ted and Lucky, the resident bears, provide an up close look at an animal that most people will never see in the wild. I'm looking forward to the opening of the educational center next spring.
I have been affiliated with the North American Bear Center as a volunteer since 2010 when I was enticed into watching a live den cam of a female bear (Lily) giving birth to a singleton cub (Hope). It was love at first sight as I learned more and more about the nature of these intelligent, shy creatures. I watched with pride as the Center grew from one man's dream (Lynn Rogers, Ph.D) to a national treasure of black bear education and advocacy. The NABC is currently home to four ambassador bears enjoying nature in a 2-acre habitat and has expanded to include not only bear exhibits, but also those depicting Northwoods flora and fauna in all seasons. It has developed highly successful international volunteer and internship programs and has created outstanding educational programs for both adults and children. It is an honor to be associated with this highly acclaimed, world class educational center that is meeting its mission of replacing myths about black bears with facts.
I have been a remote volunteer (and donor) for four years and have been enriched by all I have learned along the way. Although I live out of state, I am dedicated to the mission of the North American Bear Center - to replace misconceptions about black bears with facts. I have visited the Center numerous times and am continually impressed and educated by the range of exhibits and programs - from the Cub Room for children to nature trails for all, behind the scenes photo tours, multi-media exhibits, life-size mounts, and a vast array of educational displays.
And, of course, a chance to view ambassador bears Ted, Lucky, Honey, and Holly as they live their bear lives in a beautiful 2-acre enclosure including waterfalls and pond.
One day is simply not enough.
Initially founded in 2007 as bear biologist Dr. Lynn Rogers' lifelong passion, the NABC is a forward-thinking organization. It has grown to create programs that reach beyond its walls - traveling black boxes for educators; daily podcasts on the activities of the ambassador bears in residence; live Web cam from the enclosure; a family-friendly Web chat room where fans become friends; international speakers bureau and volunteer program; nightly updates by Dr. Rogers himself, and so much more.
Run to Ely to visit the North American Bear Center, or at the very least, tune in!
The NABC represents an entity that has truly made a difference in the world of nature and bears in particular. It is a place of learning, a people-oriented visiting area to see bears in a large living environment where one may see bears as they live in a totally safe place. It is not 'the wild'; it is as close as anyone can observe from a safe place. Their organization is admirable. During the time I volunteered, we viewed instruction videos, it was all so easy and doable; they have first class people working there, several who have applied their already honed skills in their previous careers, to this organization. They are all passionate and their mission is clear. I support this organization wholly in passing on all that I've learned wherever I can; as well as in the form of donations. I also support Doc Rogers' work, inspite of the 'forces' that have targeted his research, which interestingly strengthened the thought that bears are not those vicious predators that 'hunters' have made them out to be. The education and outreach programs have been superly run, and the school children who were lucky enough to see the den cams with mothers and their newborn cubs, will have a special memory and hopefully be inspired to continue the worthy mission of more bear education.
This is a wonderful place for both children and adults to learn about bears. I've been to the NABC every 4 years and will continue to return. It's a long drive for us, but well worth it. The displays are fantastic and they are now adding another addition to the NABC...a large northwoods ecology exhibit.
The 4 ambassador bears are free to roam on 2.5 wooded acres with natural food to forage on and many trees to climb. There is a beautiful pond for them with a bridge and 3 waterfalls. It's really fun to watch the bears from an outdoor balcony or from the expansive indoor viewing window. I can't say enough about how I enjoy watching the bears interact.
I've been a volunteer den watcher for 4 years and have learned so much about mother and cub behavior. Each mother has her own individual way of caring for her cubs. I feel very appreciated for the work I do. I also volunteer on Lily the Black Bear Facebook page for the Bear Facts and Fun group adding educational information in a creative format. As humans continue to encroach on black bear territory, we need to understand these beautiful gentle creatures. The more we learn, the more we can peacefully coexist. The NABC is a great place to learn and have fun at the same time.
I learned about the North American Bear Center when the live birth of a cub named "Hope" was broadcast on the internet. Since then getting to the NABC was on my bucket list. Even though it's about an 8 hour drive from here, my husband and I have been to the North American Bear Center twice and it's been an enriching experience with so much to see and learn. You can easily spend a day browsing through the photo gallery, watching bears through a large viewing window, and watching the excellent videos. There is also an exhibit area for kids. With humans encroaching into bear territory, the center educates people about how to coexist in harmony with black bears and highlights the work of the black bear researchers. I highly recommend taking a trip there.
I have been a den watcher since the winter of 2012. Seeing how mother bears take care of and interact with their infant cubs has been an invaluable experience. If not for the work NABC is doing I would still think black bears are vicious, people-eating beasts. But seeing how tender and loving momma bears are with their babies has gone a long way towards dispelling my previous notions about black bears. I would not change the experience I've had working as a den watcher for the world.
This is my third year of volunteering for the North American Bear Center and I plan to continue! What a wonderful place! Everyone is friendly and informative. They are dedicated to educating the public about the North American Black Bear and coexisting with them. Dr. Lynn Rogers and Sue Mansfield do amazing work..... Love them!
As soon as you walk in the doors to the NABC, you will see many smiling faces eager to answer any questions, and to guide you through the many exhibits that are at the center. These folks are eager to educate all visitors and not just information on the black bear, but a wide variety of creatures as well, polar bears, wolves etc. You will not regret your visit to the NABC!
The North American Bear Center has a wealth of information, but we have so much more to learn. Even Dr. Rogers will tell you after over 44 years of research, he does not know everything about black bears. A visit to the NABC in Ely MN will be well worth your time. Please support the new Education Building. Every little bit helps.
As a volunteer I am so looking forward to my visit to the NABC in 2014. I can't wait to see the resident bears,Honey,Lucky,and Ted. The addition of Holly Bear in December is so exciting,and I can't wait to see how she reacts to her new "friends". I have been following the research of Dr. Lynn Rogers,and Sue Mansfield for four years now,and have learned so much about the North American Black Bear through their education,and webcams,and will continue to support them 100%.
The den cams, websites online updates, emails, and of course the wonderful NABC building itself give so many opportunities to learn about black bears. Since the age of 3 I've loved bears. This wonderful non-profit organization has provided so many learning opportunities. Through Dr. Rogers' and Sue Manfields research many myths have been unraveled about bears partically the ones portraying Black Bears in a negative light. Through their education we can co-exist with these magnificent animals. I've had the opportunity to not only volunteer as a Den cam monitor but to also attend Dr. Rogers' Black Bear Field Study program. The learning experiences that I have had are amazing.
This is the most amazing animal research group. They have done so much to educate the public as to the real personalities of the North American black bear and showing us that they are gentle, shy creatures. I am a 6th grade teacher in So. Calif. The work of the NABC/WRI has been a mainstay in my science curriculum because of the real life/real time information my students have learned. I still have students from the first year the den webcams were shown (Lily and the birth of Hope) who contact me each year to tell me they too are still learning and following the bears. My students all feel they are part of the research as we all learn together. I can't say enough about Dr Rogers, Sue Mansfield and the other people with the NABC. Outstanding biologists as well as very ethical people.