A: Saint John's Outdoor University provides environmental and outdoor education through classes, events, and initiatives with the Abbey Arboretum, Saint John's University, and the College of Saint Benedict.
A: Saint John's Abbey Arboretum is more than 2,500 acres of lakes, prairie, oak savannah, and forest owned by Saint John's Abbey and surrounding Saint John's University.
A: The name "Saint John's Arboretum" always defined two things: a place and a program. The place is the more than 2,500 acres of land owned and cared for by Saint John's Abbey. The program is the environmental and outdoor education provided by Saint John's University. Our mission, vision, and activities remain relatively unchanged, but the new names reflect the true breadth and scope of what we do. In a nutshell, we outgrew our name. We believe that our new pair of names - Saint John's Outdoor University and the Abbey Arboretum - reflect and inspire who we are.
A: No. The land surrounding Saint John's Abbey and University is privately owned and managed by Saint John's Abbey. The Abbey welcomes the public to enjoy the trails and natural beauty of the land. For questions about land policies and land use, contact the Abbey Arboretum land manager, Tom Kroll.
A: To walk around the trails, nothing! We just ask that you do so during daylight hours and respect the land. To organize a tour for a larger group (for a small fee), please contact Kyle Rauch. If you are an educator, please check out our environmental education programs.
A: No. Saint John's Abbey Arboretum is a game refuge. No pets, bikes, or unauthorized vehicles are to be on the trails at any time. Review our current pet policy for more information.
A: You may ride your bike on any paved roads or trails. You may not ride you bike on any unpaved trails since the Abbey Arboretum is a game refuge. However the Lake Wobegon Trail runs close to campus and welcomes bikes, rollerblades, and pets.
A: Learn how to hold a bonfire and request firewood from the Abbey Arboretum.
A: If you are planning to hold a bonfire, you should follow these guidelines. For other land use queries, use the Abbey Arboretum land use request form. Contact Tom Kroll for questions or advice about your land use activity. Review a summary of current land use policies.
A: Report it to SJU Life Safety Services (320.363.2144).
A: Father Paul Schwietz, OSB was the founder of Saint John's Arboretum in 1997. He worked for many years to formalize the education and land stewardship programming, making it possible for it to grow into what we are today. Fr. Paul passed away in 2000. You may see a memorial dedicated to him in the oak savannah.
A: A membership to Outdoor U is a donation that supports our environmental and outdoor education programming for preK-12 students, college students, and the general community. Memberships also support land stewardship activities in the Abbey Arboretum. As a supporter, you also enjoy a variety of benefits, such as special invitations and discounts at most events, Sagatagan Seasons (our quarterly newsletter), and more! Your membership donation is a tax-deductibel donation to Saint John's University. Contact Jenny Kutter with additional questions.
A: Absolutely not. Memberships are open to everyone.
A: We always welcome volunteers! We send emails to our volunteer list when we need help, so sign up as a volunteer today! Check out our list of ongoing projects and let us know if anything interests you.
A: We're on the first floor of the New Science Center at SJU, in offices 104 - 110. We are generally open weekdays from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
A: More than 8,000 local preK-12th grade students visit the Abbey Arboretum every year as part of Saint John's Outdoor University's Environmental Education Program. Most of these visits involve a trip around the boardwalk loop, beginning and ending at the kiosk.
A: The prairie kiosk, located on the prairie just off of County Road 159, is a great place to find information about the Abbey Arboretum, or to stop from some shade in the inherently shadeless prairie! It is also the starting point for most of our preK-12 field trips that travers the 1.5 mile Boardwalk Loop.
A: You should contact us with your idea and we will work with you to see if using our logo is a good option.