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.

We will be closed July 4th so everyone can attend the Lake Elmo Kiddie’s Parade at Noon

New- FREE -SMINC is hosting Tai Chi with Paul Ryberg Wednesdays at 10 AM – for more info click Events tab, or contact Paul at

Annual Sunfish Lake Park Family Nature Day

Our annual Sunfish Lake Park Family Nature Day took place June 4th, and the participants enjoyed a beautiful day. Even though the commercial weather predictions for Saturday were quite variable all week, our resident meteorologist Dave assured us the Saturday would be great, and it was! There were over a dozen education stations and over a hundred participants.

Mask Policy Updates Effective March 11th: Following the CDC and MDH guidelines, our Board has determined that masks are no longer required while visiting inside the nature center. You may choose to wear a mask at any time based on your personal preference. We will continue to provide masks to anyone who would like to wear one. Masks are available at the reception desk. This policy will be reviewed regularly as guidance changes.

Trails are beautiful this week, Summer is here! The tiger swallowtail butterflies are flying around, and so are the first mosquitos. The animals and birds are active so visit us and see how many you can find. 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!!

Summer Camp Registration Available – one Spot Available

Visit the Summer Camp Registration tab above for details – August 8-11, 9 AM – 12 Noon “Butterflies and Bees” for 6-8 year-olds. Please email with any questions you may have.

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 on November 3rd 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.

Activities to DownloadChrista’s new Nature Journal Pages were just 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.

Or think Spring and plan a DO IT YOURSELF POLLINATOR GARDEN– 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.