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 regraded  the exit 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.


The Annual Sunfish Lake Park Buckthorn Festival is coming up on Saturday October 26th!  Again this year, teams will compete to to remove buckthorn for a couple of hours and then all the workers will get a free lunch. We fill have music, buckthorn games, and lots of fun!  Get a team together from your workplace, neighborhood, or church, or join a team.  Please call George for more information, 651-757-5610.

Regular 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.IMG_3543

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 picture of the garden on July 11th, and some of the vegetables harvested in early August:

IMG_3379three sisters harvest IMG_3565

The Prairie Planter Eagle Scout project 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 in mid-summer. 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.





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: