Recent Posts

  • Generations of Partnerships1

    Generations of Partnerships

    Story by Scott StowellA new thread began a tapestry 55 years ago at the University of St. Thomas. Will Steger showed up for his first day of class. Since then, teachers and students, mentors and friends, institutions and organizations, have woven into that fabric through generations of partnerships.“The reason I went to St. Thomas was because I wanted a close relationship with my teachers. That really paid off for me,” Steger said.Having received a master’s degree in education, [...]
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    Introducing our Board Members

     Forming a nonprofit board is serious work and no different than forming any team. Once you commit to your team, there’s no turning back. The board members at the Wilderness Center are a team of extraordinary individuals with exceptional and diverse talents. They are Jerry Stenger, Kimball Knutson, Peter Wahlstrom, Julie Ristau, Melanie Waite-Altringer and Craig Tarr.Whether assembling an expedition team or a board of directors, my process occurs in two stages. First, the initial [...]
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    Will Steger’s Solo Expedition 2017

    The departure point of this year’s solo will be 150 travel-miles northeast of Ely, Minnesota, in northwestern Ontario. I’ll start at Burchell Lake, the headwaters of the Waweag River. It features small creeks and streams that gradually increase in volume as the Waweag flows into Kawnipi Lake in the northeast sector of Canada’s Quetico Provincial Park.I chose this route because it offers the greatest challenge and the best opportunity to build new skills. The spring thaw appears to be [...]
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    A Closer Look With Arthur Levitt: Will Steger (Audio)

    Arthur Levitt, former chairman of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, interviews polar explorer and environmental activist, Will Steger, on "A Closer Look With Arthur Levitt."producer: Arthur Levitt +1-212-617-5560 or acloserlook@bloomberg.netRunning time 30:05
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    Architecture Students Render New Dining Hall Designs

    Story by Scott StowellPhotos by John RatzloffArchitects don’t view the world like everyone else. Somehow, they have an expanded perspective of relationships, whether with places or people. They’re fascinating and were especially welcome at the Steger Wilderness Center in 2016.Fourteen architecture students from the Dunwoody College of Technology in Minneapolis participated in a week-long “studio” at the Center last September. They had designs on—and for—constructing the Center’s [...]
  • Energy Team

    Steger Micro-Grid Wins International Award

    The micro-grid in the middle of nowhere has generated more than electricity for the Steger Wilderness Center. Phase 1 of the Center’s island-mode power project received worldwide recognition through the annual “Environmental Challenge Award” from Cummins Power Generation. Will Steger said the prestigious award is an affirmation that the Center is on the right track.The Phase 1 energy team.“Our mission is being recognized as sustainable and as a demonstration model. We’re doing what [...]
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    Youth Undergrowth

    When the gales of this summer’s big storm blew beyond the Steger Wilderness Center, it seemed to have trailered in its own recovery crew. A team from Summer Youth Corps (SYC) rode in just days later to help wrangle the aftermath.The Summer Youth Corps with Will Steger: (back row, L to R) Laura Pratt, Will Steger, Sam Lancaster, Kristi Yang, Hannah Weiss, Charlie Reber; (front row, L to R) June Roettger and Yang (James) Deng.SYC is a youth development program of Conservation Corps [...]
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    Building a Fantastic Bridge

    A pilot program that began two years ago at the Steger Wilderness Center has become a foundation and training ground for carpentry education, self-reliance and community. A crew of adult construction students from Summit Academy arrived at the center in July and a second team came in August for hands-on experience as part of their 20-week curriculum.The construction crew takes a lighthearted breather: (standing, L to R) Hassan As-Sidiq, Bronson Sjolie, Terrance Neal and Gabe Corbesi; [...]
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    Blowin’ a Hoolie

    Mark Sealy, the great meteorologist with MPR and the University of Minnesota, has a rag-bag of interesting and colorful weather terms and names from around the world. One of his favorites is “Blowin’ a Hoolie,” I believe he said it was Irish, an expression or description of a particular kind of a forceful wind that blows so hard it rattles your windows, shakes your shutters and walls. A hooligan wind. It has been two weeks since the storm of a half-century blew down a forty foot Jack [...]
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    Life Off the Grid Energy Conference

    To reach a bunch of students start with teaching the teachers. Such was the guiding principle for the first-ever convening of the “Life off the Grid Energy Conference” at the Steger Wilderness Center. A diverse group of middle school and high school teachers, college and technical school professors and deans, and specialists in the energy industry gathered as participants or presenters at the Center in June. The resulting enthusiasm spread like electricity through a web.The group paused [...]