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Welcome to the newest nature center in Minnesota –  The Sally Manzara Interpretive Nature Center is being built in Lake Elmo’s Sunfish Lake Park

Construction progress, roof sheathing and windows installed by mid-December – temporary heat turned on January 10th 2018

roof sheathing and windows complete Dec 15 - north east corner

Emy and turtle pic crop jpeg 11-21-17

Do you have interesting photos taken in Sunfish Lake Park? We are gathering non-copyrighted images to display in the exhibits  in the nature center. Please send photos to

See Shane’s Video Virtual Trail Walk –


Groundbreaking Celebration Flyer:  pdf of poster with social icons 8-22-2017


Sally Manzara Interpretive Nature Center Features:

  • Building will have about 3000 square feet interior space
  • First Floor A.1 main floor
  • Mezzanine Level  A1A mezzanine level
  • North and East elevations A2 East and North Elevations
  • Exhibit space, activity space, social space, gift shop, and restrooms
  • Programs for All Ages: Pre-school to Seniors, and for special groups
  • Exhibits: Interpretation of Nature on a Local Scale,
  • Internships in Scientific and Administrative Areas,
  • Volunteer Opportunities

Our Mission:

  • Stand as a symbol of the Stewardship of our community for its natural surroundings and heritage,
  • Serve as a focus of community activities related to outdoor life,
  • Provide a place where people of all ages can learn about the unique natural history and ongoing ecology of Sunfish Lake Park,
  • Teach general environmental awareness via specific local examples,
  • Honor the agricultural heritage of Lake Elmo.

Brought to you by:

Friends of Lake Elmo’s Sunfish Lake Park

a Minnesota nonprofit corporation.

The Friends of Lake Elmo’s Sunfish Lake Park was registered as a nonprofit corporation of the State of Minnesota on October 10, 2016. The organization was founded to build and operate a nature center in Lake Elmo’s Sunfish Lake Park in the memory of the late Sally Manzara, who loved this park. The Sally Manzara Interpretive Nature Center will be more than a building with exhibits, it will be alive with programs and learning opportunities for people of all ages.

Sunfish Lake Park

History of Sunfish Lake Park

Land Trust Conservation Easement, 2009 (pdf)

Park Areas and Features (pdf)

Location and Hours