Saint John's Abbey Arboretum

arboretumSince its founding in 1856, Saint John's Abbey has been guided by the Benedictine principles of stability, hospitality and stewardship. In 1933, the abbey lands were designated as a state wildlife refuge. In 1997, the longstanding principle of stewardship led the monks to designate the abbey lands as a natural arboretum with a focus on conservation, education, research and spiritual renewal.  

John Geissler, Abbey Land Manager  |  320.363.3126  |  108 New Science Center



arboretum overlooking Abbey church

Abbey Conservation Corps

"Volunteers contributing time, talent, and treasure for the next generation." The Saint John's Abbey relies heavily on the contributions made by our surrounding community to help maintain our natural lands. We have set several initiatives this year to help achieve our long-term goals.

stone gate in fall

Stewardship Activities

Saint John's Abbey is dedicated to preserving the native landscape surrounding Saint John's Abbey & University. Prescribed fire, oak regeneration, invasives species removal, a controlled deer hunt, and an active logging operation are among the tools used to care for the land.


Land Plans & Policies

In keeping with the Benedictine Values, Saint John's Abbey is pleased to share our home with you where you may observe nature and be physically and spiritually refreshed. As a guest on this private property, please be respectful of our policies and this land which we consider sacred.

fsc certificationForest Certification

Saint John's Abbey has received certification from the Forest Stewardship Council® for responsible forest management. The forest management plan includes tree planting, sustainable timber management and more.

solar panelsAbbey Energy Solar Farm

Measuring 27 acres and 3400 kW, Saint John's Abbey solar farm provides almost 20% of Saint John's annual energy needs (enough to power 600 homes annually). Three  installations since 2009 provide opportunities for education and research. Read more in the summer 2017 issue of Sagatagan Seasons.

saint john's maple syrupSaint John's Maple Syrup

Saint John's Abbey began making maple syrup in 1942. Today, hundreds of volunteers help tap trees, collect sap and cook the syrup each spring. With the help of Saint John's Outdoor University, the syrup operation also provides opportunities for education with tours and the annual Maple Syrup Festivals.

avon hills initiativeAvon Hills Initiative

A community-based organization committed to preserving the rural and natural character of the avon hills region, roughly 50 square miles of land in Avon, St. Joseph, Collegeville and St. Wendel Townships.