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 legacy of wilderness education. 
We at the Listening Point Foundation are excited and ready to step into our next 20 years of existence 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. 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...


  • We had a successful Annual Sigurd F. Olson Birthday Luncheon at the Town & Country Club in St. Paul, MN on April 13th! Almost 100 folks gathered to celebrate another new year with the Listening Point Foundation. Good food was had, funds were raised for our continued mission of preservation and education, 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!
  • Monthly Blog — We will be publishing a monthly blog with with art from our Artist-in-Residence programs, wilderness essays from our local highschool and community college scholarship programs, and thoughts from our Board Members and visitors.
  • 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 spreading Sig's legacy in our world today.

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.Listening Point Foundation, Inc. shared a photo.
“Unless man develops a feeling for his environment and understands it; unless he becomes at one with it and realizes his stewardship; unless he appreciates all of the intangible values embraced in his environment, he does not and cannot understand the basic need for conservation.”

In Chicago of 1954, Sigurd Olson attended the Izaak Walton League of America’s National Conservation Convention. In his talk called, “Those Intangible Values,” Sigurd’s speech is a reminder to take a step back from bustling life and find your intangible thing.

To read the entire speech, visit: https://buff.ly/2M59LfN
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!


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