Blueberries, bird dogs, plant diversity: Namekagon Barrens offers unique summer programs

Unique wildlife area nestled between upper St. Croix and Namekagon Rivers hosts events focused on special features.




2 minute read

Namekagon Barrens. (Greg Seitz, St. Croix 360)

The Namekagon Barrens Wildlife Area (NBWA) is a 6,428-acre property located in the far northern portions of Burnett and Washburn Counties in northwestern Wisconsin. The wildlife area’s northern edge is at the intersection of the Douglas, Burnett, and Washburn County lines.

This Wildlife Area is a small section of rare “barrens” ecosystem, part of the Northwest Sands that stretch from Lake Superior to St. Croix Falls. The topography and features of this area were formed by a glacier more than 14,000 years ago as it retreated slowly to the north. The sand and periodic fire have created a land of beauty and a home for a great variety of plants and animals.

Our Friends group supports conservation of the NBWA’s pine/oak barrens habitat which is a remnant of those in the far larger Northwest Sands ecosystem. This habitat is globally rare and imperiled. Friends’ support includes influencing local and state government decisions, providing funds for DNR conservation plans, and supporting volunteer and educational activities related to NWBA conservation.

Blueberries on the Barrens

Sat, July 16, 2022
8:30 AM – 12:00 PM

Join us at the cabin for our annual festival. The day kicks off with scouting for blueberries at 8:30, with presentations and fun things to do at the cabin throughout the morning. Lunch provided! More information.

How many Plant Species in a Square Meter of Barrens Habitat?

Sat, July 30, 2022
8:30 AM – 11:30 AM CDT

Compare different areas within the Barrens to see how many different species are present in a square meter of ground cover. More information.

Sharp-tailed Grouse and Bird Dogs

Thu, August 18, 2022
8:30 AM – 11:30 AM

Watch experienced bird dogs and their trainers work their way through the shrubs and ground cover to search for Sharp-tailed Grouse. More information.


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Blueberries, bird dogs, plant diversity: Namekagon Barrens offers unique summer programs