Open this winter – check “Location and Hours” page for details

SMINC in Dec 2018 IMG_2976

Nature Center is open this winter!


Welcome to the newest nature center in Minnesota – the Sally Manzara Interpretive Nature Center located in Lake Elmo’s Sunfish Lake Park. There is no admission charge to the Park, which is open dawn to dusk. Admission to the nature center is also free. You may call the nature center at 651-408-2838 to reach the receptionist or leave a voice mail at any time.

During the holiday period December 20-January 2 our hours are limited. Generally the nature center is open weekday mornings until noon, and Monday and Thursday afternoons, some other open times, or by appointment for groups.

The Sunfish Lake Park Buckthorn Festival was November 10th from 10 AM to 2 PM.       70 Buckthorn Warriors competed on six teams to remove buckthorn! Then everyone lunched on unique foods, enjoyed accordion music, and played buckthorn games.  We were assisted by the Munch Bunch goats – see video clips below –

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.

Pictures taken at the nature center can be viewed at the “Picture Gallery” tab above.

For volunteer opportunities, go to Positions Available tab.

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

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


Monarch Butterfly emerging from its chrysalis

The Munch Bunch goats help with buckthorn removal :