The Sally Manzara Interpretive Nature Center is open for visitors

Our hours are Monday through Saturday 9 AM to 4 PM, Sunday 10 AM to 4 PM


Fall Programs – visit Programs and Events page tab above

Check our programs schedule and register for fee based events at:

Buckthorn Removal is back in season – Annual Sunfish Lake Park Buckthorn Removal Festival is October 22nd.

Come at 9:30 AM with your team, or join a team, and help with this work. Workers get free lunch of buckthorn-roasted hot dogs, chili, chips, and beverages, a concert by Don, and camaraderie!

Our Summer Camp Program was a big success. Over 100 campers enjoyed the small group sessions. It went so well that we are already putting together a summer camp program for 2023. Clink on our Summer Camp News link above for more information. Below is a picture of the murals that were painted during Art Mural Camp.


Sunfish Lake Park Trails are beautiful this week, it is now officially Fall and a few of the trees are starting to change color. The green color is removed from the leaves and the other colors are left behind. Trees do that to recover materials from the green chlorophyll molecules for re-use next Spring.

Stop at the reception desk for a scavenger hunt sheet, a trail map, and other information, or check out kid’s binoculars, magnifying glasses, etc… Complimentary Coffee and Tea are available.

Help needed. A few more reception volunteers are needed. If you, or you and a friend, enjoy talking with people and providing information, and would like to help, please email Please contact Connie at 651-491-3853 and she will try to convince you to give it a try – with no obligation!!

When you walk the trails in Sunfish Lake Park, look for the navigation signs and the QR code/compass direction indicators. The QR code links to the Trail Info page on this website, which will provide specific information about each marked point. The compass will help us who are directionally challenged to find our way, even on cloudy days!

If you plan to use the biking trails, please check for trail condition information. The Lake Elmo City Council voted to accept the Sunfish Lake Park User Group recommendation that there should be no hiking on the bike trails (also known as one-way single-track or mountain bike trails) and no biking on the multi-user trails, which are reserved for hiking, horseback, nature walks, skiing, snowshoeing, etc. The intent was to improve trail safety for all users by reducing the travel speed differences. User compliance will be appreciated by all.

The Sunfish Lake Park Trail User Group met September 12th to consider recommendations to the Lake Elmo Parks Commission for trail improvements. If you are interested in participating in this group, please email

Activities to DownloadChrista’s new Nature Journal Pages have been added – check them out !! We are offering free downloads of nature-based activities – click on “Activities to Download” in the tabs above. These activities include illustrated nature Scavenger Hunt sheets, Nature Journal pages, Word Find Puzzles at different levels of difficulty, other Games, and Trail Guide information.

It is not too soon to Think Spring – as you are doing your Fall yard work, plan a DO IT YOURSELF POLLINATOR GARDEN for next year- attract and nourish pollinators. Click here to find links to various websites that provide help in setting up a pollinator garden on your own property – small or large! Information about native plant gardening is also found in the linked documents.

For volunteer opportunities, go to the 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 according to our Mission Statement.  Please click on the “How to Donate” page and help us if you can.