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Weekly Updates

  • ArbNotes

    If you’ve been for a walk in the Lower Arb during the past year, you’ll have noticed various barren-looking regions that were covered by conifer plantations, until recently.


    ArbNotes: Getting Squirrely

    They are all around us. Small and easily overlooked, but always present: the thirteen-lined ground squirrel. This little critter lives in prairies, and can be found all over the prairies of the arb.

  • ArbNotes | "ArbNights": Star-Gazing in the Arb

    Night time is one of the most beautiful and peaceful times in the Arb, and yet few people are aware of what the Arb has to offer at night.

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    ArbNotes: "Chicken of the Forest" and Other Fall Delicacies

    “Plum and custard wood trich,” “Shimeji Funnel Cap,” ”Cinnabar Chantarelle,” “Rosy Gomph”: what species to do these names refer to? That’s right: these are all mushrooms that thrive in northern woodlands like the Arb.

  • A beaver.

    ArbNotes: Love in the Arb?

    The Carleton Arboretum is often thought to be a great place for a romantic walk. But there may be more love brewing in the Arb than one would initially think.

  • During fall, eagles from the North and West use the Cannon as a guide to reach the Mississippi.

    ArbNotes | Abundant Buzzards: The Legacy of a DDT Ban

    Between the 1940’s and early 1970’s, DDT, an industrial insecticide, was used extensively throughout the United States to control crop pests and to help eradicate malaria.

  • Carleton's Arb


    If you have recently taken a walk through the Arb prairies, you probably noticed the golden grasses swaying in the breeze and a few vibrant purple asters hiding in the thatch but did you realize that you were walking through one of the most diverse and endangered ecosystems on the planet?

  • Ask Mickey: Help Figuring Out What to Eat During Mealtime

    Making good food choices helps you avoid unwanted pounds, work and sleep better, and form healthy eating habits that will help you live longer.

  • The white trout lily


    Now that spring has finally arrived, the leaves have returned to the trees and flowers to the ground! It’s the perfect time to get out into the arboretum and look around for spring wildflowers.

  • The songs of the Yellow-rumped Warbler can be heard around campus.


    After a seemingly eternal winter and some late snowfalls, it’s finally looking and feeling a lot more like spring in Northfield. One of the most noticeable harbingers of the new season is the sudden outburst of birdsong around campus.

  • burn break


    Monday of last week, Arboretum staff, student workers, and community volunteers kicked off the prescribed burn season in the Arb with a small fire in the 2003 prairie of the lower arboretum. Known as a burn break, it didn’t cover a full zone, or much acreage, but rather burned along a mowed path in the prairie to improve its ability to act as a firebreak in subsequent burns.

  • Siberian Squill


    Although the mid-week snow (in May?!?) may cast doubts on the presence of spring, the brief warm spell was enough to unleash some hopeful signs. Many of the trees are starting to bud, and if you venture into Stork Forest, many of our spring ephemerals are blooming!