Giving Back to
the Wilderness


The Boundary Waters Wilderness gives so much to us. In order to protect and preserve it, we work with partners and volunteers to give back to the wilderness. Unfortunately, due to federal budget cuts, it’s not possible to do all of the maintenance and restoration work needed in the BWCAW without the help of volunteers. That’s why it’s critical to develop relationships between nonprofit groups, volunteers, the Superior National Forest, and outdoor retailers to find people who can help.


Superior Wilderness Volunteer Connection

The Superior Wilderness Volunteer Connection (SWVC) is a collaborative program between the Friends and the U.S. Forest that trains and deploys volunteers to complete restoration, maintenance, and education projects in the BWCAW and Superior National Forest. By partnering with wilderness rangers, volunteers are able to accomplish significant amounts of work that contribute to the long-term ecological health of the BWCAW. Since 2010, volunteers have spent more than 4,000 days in the field maintaining over 450 miles of portage trails, 6,700 campsites, and 660 latrines.

To learn more, contact Jamie Lowe at or visit

Science and Monitoring

To ensure that management decisions that affect the Boundary Waters are rooted in sound science, the Friends launched a new science program in 2016 to help close information gaps about the lands in and around the BWCAW. At the core of this effort is a citizen science initiative that engages volunteers in data gathering and resource monitoring activities that is used to inform the development of sound environmental policy. The Friends’ science program also works to strengthen and build professional connections with the scientific community here in Minnesota and nationally, to ensure that the Friends’ advocacy efforts are informed by current, relevant research.

Brews & Canoes

Brews & Canoes is a signature event series that brings together wilderness enthusiasts to connect with one another, get inspired to plan their next adventure, and take action to help protect the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness.


Donate – Your donations support the Superior Wilderness Volunteer Connection and other service programs we conduct throughout the year. Make a contribution today.

Volunteer – To find out more about SWVC or to express your interest in volunteering, contact our volunteer coordinator.

Attend an event – Learn more about our work and connect with other BWCAW enthusiasts. View our event calendar for a complete listing of upcoming opportunities.