The 655 miles of undeveloped shoreline, diverse species and ecosystems, and rare geology of Voyageurs National Park’s wetlands have been designated as Outstanding Resource Value Waters by the Minnesota Legislature. Water covers over a third of the park's 218,000 acres, and the park's interior is accessible only by boat.

Voyageurs Conservancy is launching a new initiative to provide meaningful and reliable opportunities in the park to connect Minnesota youth, young adults, and their families to Voyageurs National Park by learning about the park's waters, wildlife, forests and skies, and by engaging in park preservation. This programming will ensure increased access for younger and more diverse audiences, and an ongoing partnership with park neighbors will empower them to care for the park.

The Voyageurs Classroom will establish new partnerships with schools and colleges and grow volunteerism. The park will deliver bolstered environmental education programs to help remove barriers, making it easier for a wider and more diverse audience to experience the park, including:

-- additional programs for K-6 students, including floating classroom experiences that enable students to access the park's interior and provide hands-on enrichment on ecology, history and geology, and virtual learning.

-- an expanded Teen Ambassador initiative focusing on youth from local, urban, and tribal areas, enabling students to participate in single and multi-day park excursions centered on the changing lakes and forests, and environmental careers. 

-- the Field Fellows program for undergraduate and graduate students that enables contributions to educational programs, field work, and conservation efforts.

-- in-park education and recreation events for families, especially from neighboring communities.

Through these initiatives it is hoped that future Voyageurs stewards will be more representative of diverse communities.

Lottery dollars, through the Environment and Natural Resources Trust Fund, are helping to fund this initiative. A portion of every dollar played on lottery games helps preserve and protect Minnesota’s amazing natural resources. When you play the lottery you help make Minnesota an even better place to live. Learn more about how we are playing our part for Minnesota’s environment.