Founded in 1958, The Minnesota Landscape Arboretum is a 1,200-acre public garden in Chaska, Minnesota, that attracts more than 500,000 visitors per year. Best known for its beautiful display gardens, nationally recognized tree collections, protected natural areas and research activity, the Arboretum is easy to explore via paved paths, such Three-Mile Walk and Three-Mile Drive, which are open year round. Many miles of wooded trails, stone pathways and routes for cross-country skiers and snowshoers provide access to the healing power of nature in all seasons.
Gardens & Collections
The Arboretum has grown dramatically over the years to include 28 specialty gardens, 44 plant collections, more than 150 permanent works of art, 200 staff members and a stunning array of 5,900 identified and labeled plants.
The Oswald Visitor Center and Snyder Building at the Arboretum include a Gift & Garden Store, three art galleries, a conservatory, event spaces and a horticultural library with rare books. The Farm at the Arb, which sits on a high hill on the grounds, is home to a restored red barn, a bee and pollinator center and (coming in 2023) an adult education center and the statewide headquarters of the Master Gardener Volunteer Program.
As part of its mission, the Arboretum offers educational classes — in person and online — for more than 20,000 adults and children every year. A dedicated learning center on Arboretum grounds — and outreach to area schools — provides children with fun, hands-on, K-6 science standards-based school programs that use plants and nature as inspiration. Popular online programming and outreach programs spread the Arboretum’s reach across the state among all ages. A professionally facilitated Nature-Based Therapeutics program based at the Arboretum connects visitors at the Arboretum as well as those in the community to experience measurable improvements in their health and well-being.
As a part of the College of Food, Agriculture and Natural Resource Sciences (CFANS) at the University of Minnesota, the Arboretum is world-renowned for woody plant and fruit breeding research programs, including the commercial introduction of the Honeycrisp apple and more than 160 cold-hardy plant varieties developed at the Arboretum’s Horticultural Research Center.
The Plant Conservation Program based at the Arboretum works to promote the conservation of rare and native plant species in Minnesota, including a seed bank for plants native to Minnesota such as terrestrial native orchids, carnivorous plants, cacti and more.
Every year, the Arboretum relies on its visitors, donors and members (more than 30,000) to fund its operating budget. Nearly 1,000 volunteers give their time generously every year in the gardens, throughout the buildings and at special events to make the Arboretum a fun and engaging place 363 days a year.