Walter J. Breckenridge Chapter
Izaak Walton League of America



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Dr. Walter J. Breckenridge


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Blue Bird Trail
by John Fraley

Since 1988 the Breckenridge Chapter, IWLA maintains and monitors a bluebird trail consisting of 12 nesting boxes in Oxbow Creek Park which is just east of Jackson Middle School in Champlin, MN. There are two small prairie areas in the Oxbow Creek Park separated by a low wooded area. The nesting boxes are in the northern of the two prairie areas.

The 2016 bluebird nesting season had a fairly normal start. The first bluebirds of 2016 were observed in mid to late March. Nesting activity was not observed until mid-April and was in full swing in May and June. For the 2016 season three of the 12 boxes had bluebird eggs ranging from 2 to 5 eggs. Fledgling counts for the 2016 nesting season for this trail was 10 bluebirds, 33 tree swallows, and 7 house wrens.

Rainfall in the summer of 2016 was quite plentiful. The bluestem and other grasses grew tall and quite dense. Again orange Butterflyweed and lavender Wild Bergamot were the most common wild flowers observed. Collected data is reported to the Bluebird Recovery Program of Minnesota at the end of the nesting season.

Updating the Chapter House - The Kitchen Remodel task force has been meeting for the last three months. Good progress has been made toward choosing a general plan, appliances, floor coverings, cabinets and counters. The wonderful news is that we are the recipients of donated labor by Brad Larson (an Ikes member) and John Stock, cabinetmaker. (For details click here.)
The fireplace repair has also been discussed, and A.J. Spanjers will be donating all materials to complete that project. It is anticipated that work on both projects will be completed near the end of July. 

We are very fortunate to have members who have made considerable financial donations. This is a time in the life of IWLA where we all have an opportunity to make a donation to these two large capital projects. As we are a 503(c)(3) corporation, your donation is tax deductible.

Buckthorn Removal - A total of 23 energetic showed up on October 27 and November 3, 2012 to attack this invasive and destructive plant. The change in the Breckenridge Chapter woodlot is dramatic. Many small buckthorn plants remain, but the increased light and space will provide native shrubs and flowers growing space. The Chapter may reintroduce some native plants next spring. We’ll need to continue working a day or two each fall to remove the smaller buckthorn plants, but the largest and thickest stands have been eradicated. Many thanks to all that have been involved with this two year project!

Rain Garden - Under the supervision of Larry LaFontaine the Chapter has established a rain garden to prevent erosion from cutting away the bank of the Mississippi. This project has proved very successful in preserving the river bank and is maintained as a natural landscape for the Chapter House.  

Wetland Preservation in Champlin and Brooklyn Park. Individual members have advocated for sound conservation measures through council meetings and lobbying legislators
Monarch Butterfly restoration
Legislative Advocacy - Members are encouraged to prepare position statements and resolutions, meet with and write letters to assist government agencies in protection of our natural heritage and environment.




Partnership with Riverview Specialty School and Kids for Saving the Earth - In past years members spoke to students and conducted field trips.

Eagle Scout Bat House Project - The Chapter supported Christian Dube, a member of Boy Scout Troop #3542 on his Eagle Scout project. In an effort to promote the bat population in Oak Grove Park he constructed and placed bat houses. See Christian's report on this project. (10/13/09)
Wood Rill Field Trip - See photos from our field trip to Wood Rill Scientific and Natural Area

Citizen Biological Survey - John Rust set up a website to record contributors' wildlife sightings and view what others have seen. That website is no longer active, but you are welcome to record your sightings at



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W. J. Breckenridge Chapter, IWLA
8816 West River Road
Brooklyn Park, MN 55444
763-561-5364 (Please leave message)