The nature center is open – check “Hours and Location” page for details – 

The trails in the Park are pretty clear, with an occasional fallen tree. The steeper trails have some erosion, watch your step there.   The City has been regrading the entry road and parking lot, and has added signs to indicate the direction of travel.  Please drive slowly and carefully.

There is no admission charge to the Park, which is open dawn to dusk. Admission to the nature center is also free. Generally the nature center is open to the public weekday mornings from 9 AM-Noon and Monday, Wednesday and Thursday afternoons Noon to 4 PM, and Saturdays from 10 AM-3 PM.  It is also open by appointment for groups. You may call the nature center at 651-408-2838 to reach the receptionist during open hours, or leave a voice mail at any time.

To see our Spring Brochure, click on this link:

SMINCBrochure Spring 2019FINAL

Times of events and programs are shown on the Calendar (click on tab above).  For a more complete description of each event, and sign-up instructions, go to the “Event and Program Descriptions” tab.


Buckthorn Removal day is the Second Saturday – please come and help remove buckthorn from 10 AM to Noon.  Here is a picture of the buckthorn removed on Saturday August 10th – if anyone needs a few pieces of heavy buckthorn log, come and get them as soon as you can – the City removes them fairly quickly.


Come and see the Three Sisters Garden (Native American agricultural tradition) where corn, beans and squash grow together and help each other, and provide a balanced diet. Here is a comparison of the original planting June 3rd, and July 11th:


and the Prairie Planter Eagle Scout project which installed 29 planters to showcase the species of prairie plants used to restore the Sunfish Lake Park prairie in 2010. Here are pictures when the boxes were first installed, and on July 11th. They change every week as blooms come and go and seeds appear.


The latest resident at the nature center’s Big Birdhouse is a goldfinch!  Stop over and  take your family picture with him.



The Rain Garden has been completed and is doing its job nicely – the overflow from the primary area to the secondary area works too.



For volunteer opportunities, go to Volunteer or Intern page.

The Friends of Lake Elmo’s Sunfish Lake Park rely on donations to operate the Sally Manzara Interpretive Nature Center as a community resource within our Mission.  We have also officially “Adopted” Sunfish Lake Park in the Lake Elmo Adopt-a-Park Program.

Emy and turtle pic crop jpeg 11-21-17

Watch this video to see Emy wink!


Check out our YouTube Channel:

highlights:   Shane’s first Video Virtual Trail Walk – we plan to do seasonal video trail walks to show to visitors who are unable to physically walk the trails:

Kim – Bobcat Operator Extraordinare Spring 2018: