Oak Leaves
Hartley Nature Center
Natural History. Stewardship. Sustainability.


The effects of beaver activities are ecologically beneficial. There’s much evidence that their ponds increase habitat for many song birds. Many of these birds are rapidly declining due to habitat loss.

In the park, beaver activity is the apparent reason the former farm fields are now not covered with exotic invasive plant species, but largely with native species that are useful to native wildlife.

Beaver activity is still present as mainly seen in some fresh tree cuttings every year around Hartley Pond. The most extensive effects of beaver was in 1979 & 1980s when beaver had flooded the 1918 vegetable farm fields, creating the present wet meadow and shrub swamp when the dams were not maintained and the water levels went down to the present levels.

The level of beaver activity in the beaver lodge in the shallow waters of the west end of Hartley Pond is unknown. Some fresh looking sticks were seen on top of the lodge a few years back. In the winter of 2008 there was an apparent active lodge, dam and pond west of Hartley Pond in Tischer Creek. In 2009 & 2010 more construction was apparent in the same area. Young beaver have never been seen in and near Hartley Pond, but adults are seen every year. Otters seem to be using the lodge in Hartley Pond occasionally when they visit every year.

Beaver works in Hartley Park:

Beaver chews and cuttings -

Hartley beavers have also chewed and downed much larger trees in the area around the pond.

Beaver lodge -

Ski or snowshoe to the west end of Hartley Pond to get a closer look at this well constructed structure.


Canal dug out by beavers -

Canals reach out to distant sources of wood and food, and allow beavers to bring it to the pond more easily and safely.

Hartley Nature Center

3001 Woodland Ave
Duluth, MN 55803


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Monday-Friday: 9-5
Saturday: 10-5

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Miller Hill Subaru, Duluth, MN Subaru