Field Trips

Students    Ski Tracks   Prairie Flower   Matt Elbert and Carol Myint Organize Seeds  

Arboretum staff host occasional public field trips.  Check back often to see what is on our schedule.  If you have a topic that you would like to see addressed on a field trip please use our comment form to let us know!

Upcoming field trips:

Dragonflies of the Arboretum - Saturday, September 22, 2018, noon - 1:30 p.m., Arboretum Kiosk in front of the Carleton Recreation Center.

Why are dragonflies considered to be among the most dangerous predators on the planet? How long to they live? Where do they go in the winter? To have these and all your Odonata-related questions answered, join the Student Naturalists on a Dragonfly Walk

Goodhue County Prairie Remnant Field Trip - Sunday, September 23,2018,  1:00 p.m. – 4:30 p.m.

The term "prairie remnant" refers to a site that has never been plowed for agriculture or been disturbed in other ways that disrupts the soil and plants to a great extent. The majority of our local landscape was prairie at one time but we have lost more then 99% of our original prairie to other uses. These areas provide habitat for plants and animals not found elsewhere, and are often used as a place to collect seed to restore this rare habitat in other locations. This field trip is being held jointly with the Minnesota Driftless Chapter of The Prairie Enthusiasts. Learn more about this organization by visiting their web site.

Field trip leader: Nancy Braker. Contact the field trip leader with any questions., 507-222-4543.

1:00–2:30 - McKnight Prairie

The address for the McKnight Prairie site is 207 310th Street Way, Randolph, MN 55009.  There is an address marker at the entrance and field trip participants should drive in through the gate and Nancy will be there to direct parking.  See the map on our web site for directions or follow this link to Google Maps:

The 35-acre McKnight prairie has been owned and managed by Carleton College since the mid-1960’s and is now permanently protected by a conservation easement through the MNDNR prairie bank program.  Rare plants found here include Kittentails (Bessyea bulli)i, and Prairie Bush Clover (Lespedeza leptostaychea).  Enjoy the fall wildflowers of gentians, goldenrods and asters and learn about the restoration and management work that brought this heavily grazed and partially plowed site back to an intact and functioning high quality prairie.  Management at this site has included re-seeding, burning, brush cutting, herbiciding of trees and brush, selective weeding and goat grazing.

3:00–4:30 - Umbanhowar Prairie. This is a privately owned site and not open to the public at other times.  Please respect this property owners privacy.

The address for the Umbanhowar Prairie is 35531 10th Ave, Dennison, MN 55018.  Field trip participants should park in the driveway area, being careful not to block the homeowner’s access to their garage.  Follow this link to Google Maps:

This 50-acre prairie has been owned by the Umbanhowar family for 30 years and is also protected through a prairie bank easement. A section of the site once was covered with second growth forest and other areas were heavily grazed and/or sprayed with 2,4-D. Management included removal of the trees and other woody species, burning, spot spraying and hand-pulling of invasive species, and cattle grazing has helped recover the site. Expect to see asters, goldenrod and a wealth of milkweed as we tour the area with the landowner.