US Army Corps of Engineers
St. Paul District Website Website

National Loon Center Facility, Public Docks and Shoreline Protection Project, Crosslake, MN: Review Outgrant Request (REC, ENS)

Published Sept. 24, 2019
Updated: Sept. 24, 2019

The Cross Lake Recreation Area is located at 35507 County Road 66 in Crosslake, Minnesota.

The National Loon Center Foundation, a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt non-profit organization, is proposing a National  Loon Center Facility, Public Docks and Shoreline Protection Project on U.S. Army Corps of Engineers land at the Cross Lake Recreation Area. The proposed Loon Center building includes a main entry to collect an entry fee, lobby, displays, kitchen for concessions and events, rooftop wet bar, gift shop, aquarium, restrooms, indoor and outdoor classrooms, laboratory, office space, conference rooms, fountains and fireplace. Three public dock facilities are proposed with an unspecified number of slips, a floating boathouse, sauna, outdoor showers, rain garden and nature-based play station. Also proposed is the development of shoreline protection zones with plantings and a boardwalk. The proposal includes modifications to the Corps project office and upgrade of the sewage dump/lift station to increase capacity.


The National Loon Center Foundation has presented a Land Use Application requesting a lease of the day use area at the Cross Lake Recreation Area. The St. Paul District is in the process of evaluating the application in accordance with the governing instructions to make an objective determination of how this proposed project fits in the master plan and affects the Corps’ flood risk management, recreation, and environmental stewardship mission and current users of the project.

The evaluation criteria include:

  1. Consistent with federal project purposes?
  2. A reasonable connection to the federal project’s natural and other resources?
  3. Consistent with the land use classification and resource management objectives in the project master plan?
  4. In the public interest?
  5. Justified by public demand (market study)?
  6. Economically viable (feasibility study)?
  7. Meets the recreation demands created by the project itself while balancing natural resources requirements?
Project Sponsor/Customer

The project sponsor is the National Loon Center Foundation.


The estimated cost of evaluating this proposal is $86,000 cost reimbursable real estate administration fees. As of March 1, 2019, the St. Paul District is in receipt of $21,250.

The cost of project construction is projected to include $4 million from the state of Minnesota Environment and Natural Resources Trust Fund (pending legislation), $1.75 million from non-state funding and $850,000 from private philanthropy. State of Minnesota funding is pending receipt of lease and legislative action in May 2019.