Established in 1958, the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum has evolved into a captivating 1,200-acre public garden in Chaska, Minnesota, enchanting over 500,000 visitors annually. This verdant sanctuary is a testament to the intersection of horticulture, art, education, and research, providing a haven for nature enthusiasts and scholars alike.
Gardens & Collections: A Botanical Extravaganza
The Arboretum’s charm lies in its diverse offerings, boasting 28 specialty gardens, 44 plant collections, and over 5,900 unique species, cultivars, and hybrids. Each garden is a meticulously curated masterpiece, showcasing the beauty of nature in various forms. As visitors traverse the paved paths, they encounter the Oswald Visitor Center and Snyder Building, housing a Gift & Garden Store, art galleries, a conservatory, event spaces, and a horticultural library stocked with rare books. The Farm at the Arb adds a rustic touch, featuring a restored red barn, a bee and pollinator center, and the innovative Myers Education Center. Check this out.
Education: Nurturing Minds and Souls
At the core of its mission, the Arboretum is committed to education. Annually, it conducts in-person and online classes for over 20,000 adults and children. A dedicated learning center on-site and outreach programs in local schools engage children with hands-on, K-6 science standards-based programs that draw inspiration from plants and nature. The Nature-Based Therapeutics program, facilitated by professionals, connects visitors to measurable improvements in health and well-being through immersive experiences in the Arboretum.
Research: A Hub of Botanical Innovation
Affiliated with the University of Minnesota’s College of Food, Agriculture, and Natural Resource Sciences (CFANS), the Arboretum is globally recognized for its woody plant and fruit breeding research programs. Notably, it played a pivotal role in introducing the Honeycrisp apple to the market and has developed over 160 cold-hardy plant varieties at the Horticultural Research Center. The Plant Conservation Program at the Arboretum is dedicated to preserving rare and native plant species in Minnesota, managing a seed bank that includes terrestrial native orchids, carnivorous plants, cacti, and more.
Support: A Community-Powered Oasis
Operating 363 days a year, the Arboretum thrives on the support of its visitors, donors, and a robust membership exceeding 30,000. With an operating budget fueled by these contributions, the Arboretum relies on the dedication of nearly 1,000 volunteers who generously offer their time in the gardens, within the buildings, and at special events. This collective effort transforms the Arboretum into a dynamic and engaging space, ensuring its vibrancy year-round.
The Minnesota Landscape Arboretum is not merely a collection of gardens but a living testament to the harmonious coexistence of nature, education, and research. It beckons visitors to embark on a journey of discovery, offering a sanctuary where the beauty of the botanical world intertwines seamlessly with the pursuit of knowledge and the joy of community engagement.