Volunteer Activities

Volunteers provide assistance to the Arboretum in many ways. Some volunteers participate in scheduled work days, working with a group to complete projects such as invasive species control, trail maintenance, collecting seed or planting trees or shrubs. These events are generally hosted on the third Saturday of each month. Other volunteers select independent projects and may conduct a bird or plant inventory, monitor a rare species, or lead field trips. If you would like to offer your time or expertise, please contact Arboretum Director Nancy Braker or attend one of our group events. We send out announcements and reminders of our activities, so please let us know if you would like to be on our email distribution list.

Arboretum Volunteer Work Events

Seed collecting
Volunteer Work Events:
Generally the third Saturday of the month (excepting January, June and December).
Volunteer in the Arboretum!  Work events are generally held on the third Saturday of the month, and commonly include activities such as tree planting, seed collecting or removing invasive plants.  Specific project and meeting location will be announced in advance of the event. We also plan other work events on an "as needed" basis.

September 16, 2017. Saturday, 9:00 a.m. - noon
River Clean Up in coordination with Cannon River Watershed Partnership.  Meet at the entrance to the Lower Arboretum along Hwy 19 near Carleton's West Gym. We suggest long pants and closed toe shoes that can get wet and muddy. We will supply gloves and garbage bags. We will be walking the riverbanks of the Cannon and Spring Creek and shorelines of Lyman Lakes to pick up various kinds of litter - prizes to the most unique litter found!  If you intend to float the river in your own boat please make sure you bring the required number of PFD's for your boat occupants.  We are not able to provide shuttle transportation.

Wednesday Evenings through September 27, 2017.
Seed collecting for our forest and prairie restoration efforts. Meet at the Arboretum Office, 710 Three Oaks Drive. Wear long pants and closed toe shoes, a long sleeved shirt is recommended for bug protection.  We will supply needed tools and gloves but please bring your own water. Cancelled if raining- no notice will be sent out, use your own judgement.

Please note that all seed collecting events are scheduled based on seed being ready to harvest!  To be kept up to date of cancellations, please consider joining our volunteer email list by contacting Nancy Braker (nbraker@carleton.edu). We send out a notice a few days beforehand if we need to cancel.


September 13,  5:30 p.m. - 7:00 p.m.
September 20,  5:30 p.m. - 7:00 p.m.
September 27,  5:30 p.m. - 7:00 p.m.

Future Work Events:

October 21, 2017: Help protect newly planted trees from the ravages of deer and rabbits over the winter!  These native Arb mammals need to eat something, but we prefer it not be our newly planted trees. We will be doing maintenance on the tree tubes that protect the stems and adding a small paper bag to the growing tip if the trees have grown tall then the protective tree tube. Meet in the Upper Arb at the bridge over Spring Creek on the paved trail, just down hill from the intersection of Oak and Second Streets. This entrance is near the tennis courts at the edge of Bell Field.

November 18, 2017, Activity to be determined.

Meeting Locations-Arb Office and Upper Arboretum

We generally ask volunteers to meet up with us at one of two locations: the Arboretum Office, and the bridge over Spring Creek. The bridge over Spring Creek is located near the Arboretum entrance at 2nd and Oak Streets, near the Carleton College Tennis courts. On this map, if you zoom out until two marked points are visible, the upper marker denotes the Arboretum Office, and the lower marker denotes the Spring Creek bridge.

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The following information would have been displayed on a map:

  • Arb Office
    44.4667913579066, -93.1490941643551
  • Upper Arb Volunteer Meeting Location
    Second Street
    Oak Street
    Northfield, MN 55057
    44.459210728367, -93.1468357443646