Sugarloaf was established in 1993 by citizens concerned with a proposed safe harbor or marina at historic Sugarloaf Cove in Schroeder, Minnesota. Although the initial successes of the organization were at the Cove, the mission of the organization, first known as the Sugarloaf Interpretive Center Association, has always been inclusive of Minnesota’s entire North Shore of Lake Superior. Under the critical early guidance of the late governor Elmer L. Andersen, Sugarloaf succeeded at “win-win” activities on the shore, including the successful preservation and restoration of Sugarloaf Cove and early efforts to coordinate environmental and interpretive groups on Lake Superior’s North Shore.
As part of early restoration efforts, surveys of the natural features of Sugarloaf Cove were conducted in 1995 and 1996. You can view these reports here.
Sugarloaf has had tremendous success preserving, restoring, and interpreting Sugarloaf Cove. What had been a heavily used industrial site is now a thriving natural preserve, with restored native habitats and over 5000 people per year visiting to enjoy and learn from the setting.
However, the need for preservation, restoration, and interpretation of Lake Superior’s North Shore is far broader than Sugarloaf Cove. Over 1500 private landowners are the stewards of 75% of the shoreline. Without sufficient outreach and assistance, even the most well intentioned landowner struggles to be part of restoring native habitats.
In 2005, Sugarloaf expanded its mission to include outreach to Minnesota’s entire Lake Superior North Shore. This is reflected in the new name, adopted in 2006: Sugarloaf: The North Shore Stewardship Association.
Today Sugarloaf continues to offer programs at Sugarloaf Cove and is an active partner in forest restoration efforts along the North Shore including the North Shore Forest Collaborative and the Arrowhead Invasives Team.
For a more detailed history of Sugarloaf, see a Brief History Timeline 2018 (PDF)