Saint John's Outdoor University

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Saint John's Outdoor University (the program) provides outdoor and environmental education through classes, events, and initiatives with the Abbey Arboretum, Saint John's University, and the College of Saint Benedict. Saint John's Abbey Arboretum (the place) is more than 2,500 acres of lakes, prairie, oak savanna, and forest owned by Saint John's Abbey and surrounding Saint John's University. The shared vision of Saint John's Outdoor University and the Abbey Arboretum is to celebrate the unique beauty and richness of God's creation in central Minnesota and foster the Benedictine tradition of land stewardship, education, and environmental respect.

The Program
Saint John's Outdoor University is a private, non-profit, and member-supported organization that provides a wide array of environmental education and outdoor recreation experiences for people of all ages. Outdoor environmental education classes are available for public, private and home schools grades preK-12, families, community groups, adults, service groups, and other interested individuals. Opportunities for community members during the year include Maple Syrup Festivals, summer prairie wildflower walks, moonlight snowshoes, plant sale, and groomed cross country ski trails. Students, staff, and faculty at the College of Saint Benedict and Saint John's University are able to take advantage of leadership training, wilderness trips, environmental education, and outdoor recreational events.

Saint John's Outdoor University Mission

Saint John's Outdoor University provides environmental and outdoor education in pursuit of:

  • Environmental literacy and connections to the natural world that motivate responsible environmental decisions;
  • Leadership development and personal growth through experiential learning;
  • Sustainable land use and conservation
  • Learning, recreation, and spiritual renewal in the Abbey Arboretum and other great outdoor spaces.
  • The Place
    Saint John's Abbey Arboretum is a natural arboretum, dedicated to the preservation and restoration of Central Minnesota's native and increasingly rare habitats. Uniquely located on the terminal moraines of the last glacial age, Saint John's 2500 acres abounds with a diversity of ecosystems. These include prairie, oak savanna, wetlands, and hardwood forest. Over the last few decades, the Abbey Arboretum has undertaken the extensive Habitat Restoration Project (HRP) working to restore 60 acres of wetlands, 50 acres of prairie, and 40 acres of oak savanna.

    Over 20 miles of trails await exploration, including a beautiful 1.5 mile loop trail that winds through 6 foot tall prairie grasses, across the wetlands on a 900 foot floating boardwalk, the dappled shade of the oak savanna and northern hardwoods. With such diverse conditions, the variety of plants and wildlife make this area a treat to visit through all the seasons.

    For more information contact:
    Saint John's Outdoor University
    Saint John's University
    New Science 104
    2346 Science Drive
    Collegeville, Minnesota 56321-3000
    Phone: 320-363-3163
    Fax: 320-363-3202

    Saint John's Outdoor University
    Topic Areas: 
    Target Audience: 
    Grades Pre K-12
    Geographic Location: 
    All Minnesota
    Library loan: 
    Is training required?: 
    Contact(s) or order information.: 

    Saint John's Outdoor University
    Saint John's University
    2346 Science Drive
    New Science 104
    Collegeville, Minnesota 56321-3000
    Fax: 320-363-3202

    WWW Link: (Add http://):