Our community is growing.

And you can be a part of it!

Founded in 1998, Listening Point Foundation is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization dedicated to preserving Listening Point and advancing Sigurd Olson’s wilderness philosophy.
Listening Point was a place of connection for Sig, continually renewing his sense of wonder and gratitude for the natural world. Honoring that legacy, our vision is to foster people’s connection to wild places by inspiring them to find their own listening point.
We at the Listening Point Foundation are excited and ready to step into the future with fresh ideas and new energy. Explore this page to find out what is happening in our community and how you can be a part of the action!

Learn more about Sigurd Olson, Listening Point, and the Listening Point Foundation below. 

2019 Calendar

  • March 30 — Board Meeting – Ely, MN
  • April 13 — Annual Luncheon – St. Paul, MN
  • June 1 — Board Meeting – Ely, MN
  • July 26-28 — LPF Booth at the Blueberry Arts Festival – Ely, MN
  • September 6 — Annual Northwoods Dinner – Ely, MN
  • October 26-27 — Strategic Planning & Board Meeting – Ely, MN


To keep you connected throughout the year!


Our free, twice-yearly newsletter reaches thousands of people every year, recording the history and activities of the Foundation in print and digital form. Many exciting things are happening here at the Listening Point Foundation, so…

Sign up for your free newsletter here!

And browse our previous issues and read the most current one online!

Interested in Volunteering?

Join us!


Do you live in Ely, or live here seasonally? Do you come to visit every year? 

Whether once a year or on a regular basis, we always appreciate an extra pair of hands! We have a strong group of volunteers and could not do our important work without them. 

We also have seasonal and yearly opportunities for larger group service projects. 

Learn more about our numerous volunteer opportunities here

Coming Soon

Exciting things are ahead...


  • Give to the Max Day is Thursday, November 14th! Listening Point Foundation is registered and ready to roll for Minnesota’s annual charitable giving holiday. Every penny counts! Early giving begins on November 1st. Learn more here!
  • We had a successful Annual Northwoods Dinner at the Grand Ely Lodge in Ely, MN on September 6th! Over 90 people gathered to celebrate another successful summer the Listening Point Foundation. Good food was had, funds were raised for our continued mission of preservation and keeping Sig’s wilderness philosophy alive, and guests enjoyed the presentation by a group of local Minnesota filmmakers. More information will be coming soon regarding their upcoming documentary, “This Wild Land: Defending the Soul of the Boundary Waters.” Watch the preview here!
  • Artist in Residence Program — More details and guidelines will soon be released about our Artist in Residence Program. For now, contact us if you are interested!

Follow Us!

As we continue connecting people to the value of wild places through Sig's legacy.

Historical photographs, thoughtful quotes, upcoming events, interesting articles, and all sorts of updates…
Keep track of what’s going on at the Listening Point Foundation by following us on Facebook and Instagram! 
Note: We enjoy featuring photos of our world up here in Ely, MN, but we respect the privacy of our guests and visitors. We will only publish photos of people with their express permission and will do our best to properly credit photographers and our sources.
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Listening Point Foundation, Inc.
Listening Point Foundation, Inc.
Today is Give to the Max Day here in Minnesota! So, why is that important?

If you're reading this, you're probably at least a little familiar with Sigurd Olson, and you've likely heard about his beloved, rugged retreat at Listening Point in northern Minnesota. Maybe you've even been there on one of our volunteer-led tours, or you've imagined it through reading Sig's book Listening Point and looking at our photo gallery.

The peaceful magic of that place is real. We've had 7th and 8th graders after quiet reflection tell us that they don't want to leave. We've had grandparents and grandchildren ponder life and the big questions while sitting out on the Point and in the cabin. We've had families, students, and individuals come from all over the world to learn first-hand about the life and legacy of Sig, and be exposed to his wilderness philosophy that had a lasting impact on so many major wild places in this country and Canada.

In this busy, hectic world, we all need a quiet space to think and reflect. Sig knew it through his experience of the wilderness, and felt called to share that feeling through his writing.

That's what we try to foster here at LPF. That connection to quiet, wild places. Those moments of pause when taking deep breaths that help us appreciate the natural world. We do it by inviting people to come and experience Listening Point for themselves. Encouraging them to connect with where they are. And by sharing Sig's poetic words and keeping his timeless (and still extremely relevant) ideas about the importance of wilderness alive.

But we couldn't do any of it without your support. We are over 90% donor-funded, and we know that every little bit counts! So please, consider donating to Listening Point Foundation today on our Give MN page (link below). If you do, we have a chance of collecting extra funds through special drawings throughout the day, and all of it will help keep our mission and vision thriving!

If you're already a donor, and many of you are, thank you! We couldn't do any of this without you. If you are not yet a donor, your consideration is appreciated. We thank you all for your support!

Sigurd Olson (1899-1982) was a well-known environmentalist, award-winning conservation activist, and best-selling author. Though he lived in Ely, Minnesota and took numerous trips within the Quetico-Superior wilderness, he traveled widely and influenced the creation and preservation of natural areas across the country. Learn more about Sigurd Olson here.
Sigurd Olson created Listening Point in 1956 as a private retreat on the shores of Burntside Lake. It became widely known and celebrated after Alfred Knopf published Olson’s book, “Listening Point” in 1958. Learn more about Listening Point and how to visit here.
Founded in 1998 by Sig’s younger son, Robert K. Olson, the Listening Point Foundation continues to promote Sigurd F. Olson’s legacy. Located in Ely, MN, the Foundation headquarters in the Olson family homestead, and continues to preserve Sig’s Writing Shack and the Listening Point property, along with providing educational tours and opportunities to the community. Learn more about the Listening Point Foundation here.

Keep the legacy alive by donating

We are working hard to create a sustainable financial future for the Listening Point Foundation.

 Your donation helps us keep the mission alive and the Foundation moving forward. You can also make a lasting impression by donating a brick to our patio engraved with a message of your choice. Learn more by clicking below!


Start on: 12:00 AM

  REGISTER HERE!   Come explore our winter wonderland! All ages are welcome to join in on one of our Snowshoe Tours to Listening Point as part of the Ely Winter Festival, February 6th-16th, 2020. Admission is FREE ~ donations gladly accepted. Friday, Feb 7 @ 1:00 PM Saturday, Feb 8 @ 10:00 AM Saturday, […]