Event and Program Descriptions

In Compliance with
Minnesota Executive Order 20-04, the
Sally Manzara Interpretive Nature Center
will be closed to the public from
5 PM March 17th, 2020
until we get further notice.


Admission to Lake Elmo’s Sunfish Lake Park and to the Sally Manzara Interpretive Nature Center are free of charge.   FREE events and programs are so marked.  Registration and  payment for most programs with fees is available on-line via Paypal, or contact the Event producer directly with the contact information shown.

(see summary of all activities at the bottom of this page)


FREE – come to the Nature Center for a free coffee, and see the exhibits.

Go to  https://www.inaturalist.org/projects/sunfish-lake-park to view the observations in the Sunfish Lake Park Project, or take pictures and upload them to the Project.



May Activities

Free Saturday May 9th 9 AM to 11 AM – Regular Buckthorn Removal day –

We have the loppers, gloves, and herbicide.  Please contact George for further information or questions at 651-757-5610.


Postponed until after we can open again – 

Bug Zone Presentation: A LIVE Insect Experience!

Bug Guy and Case

FREE – Bruce the Bug Guy presents a dynamic blend of Show ‘n Tell, storytelling, interesting facts and fun hands-on activities, including LIVE critters from the arthropod zoo.





 Postponed until we can reschedule

Free – – THE ART OF KEEPING CHICKENS IN FRIGID CLIMATES Presented by Bert Larson At this free workshop, learn everything you need to know about keeping Chickens including an easy solar coop construction that stays above freezing for less than $5 per year! Also learn about safety, sanitation, easy maintenance, using ordinary materials and equipment. If you are considering raising chickens or are already raising chickens, plan to attend. Instructor Bert Larson has raised Chickens, Pigeons, and Doves for many years. Bert will be available for a half-hour after class for Q&A.



Second Saturdays weather permitting – regular volunteer Buckthorn Removal day

(still on the schedule, will decide on April 10th if we need to postpone)

Wednesday May 20th 6:00 PM – Spring for Nature dinner with author William Kent Kruger at Lake Elmo Inn Event Center – click on  Fundraising Dinner tab to register and pay

UPDATE April 3rd ….Spring for Nature fundraiser scheduled for May 20th – We are in a holding pattern as we wait to see how the coronavirus pandemic crisis unfolds. We may be forced to reschedule our fundraiser until we can safely be together. A decision will be made soon, and posted here. In the meantime it is a perfect time to buy, download or borrow one or two of Wm Kent Krueger’s books so you can get acquainted with them, and see for yourself why so many are excited about his being our speaker.

Saturday May 23rd  7 AM Audubon Guided Birdwalk, 1-5 PM possible bird kite fly-off in support of Sustainable Stillwater’s bird city festival.  more certainty soon!

Saturday May 30th  10 AM – Monarch Butterflies with Carmen Johnson, Master Gardener

Saturday June 6th – 9:00 AM  Annual Sunfish Lake Park Family Nature Day, backup day Saturday July 18th

Thursday June 11th – 9:00 AM to 4:00 PM Flying Wild Plus workshop by Audubon MN – a learning experience about birds, for educators –

Flying WILD Plus: A program for ALL educators interested in using activities about birds and conservation to encourage learning in science and many other subjects.  We find birds nearly everywhere we look and birds can be excellent barometers for the health of the environment we share with them. Bird populations track changes in habitats, water, disease, and even climate. They play important roles in the ecosystems they exist in, such as pest control, seed dispersal, and pollination! We even find birds in cultural records throughout history in visual art, music, and literature. There’s no doubt that birds are important and worth learning about and protecting no matter where you live. In this workshop, participants will explore and experience a variety of unique activities focused on birds. Through activities involving language arts, social science and math experiences, coupled with community outreach and service learning applications, Flying WILD offers a whole-school approach to environmental education using birds as the focus. Targeted for the middle-school audience, though widely adaptable, Flying WILD offer practical hands-on classroom and outdoor field investigation experiences connecting real-world experiences in bird biology, conservation and natural history. Project-based classroom application, service learning and community involvement are encouraged through sections of the guide dedicated to the planning and implementing of bird centric festivals. Each participant will receive a copy of the Flying WILD: An Educator’s Guide to Celebrating Birds curriculum book as well as a complete activity kit from one of the workshop activities to use in their teaching environments. Light refreshments and a boxed lunch will be provided. Participants will also earn 6 hours of professional development credit or CCE’s.
WHO SHOULD TAKE THE TRAINING? The Flying WILD program is aimed at ALL educators who are interested in using hands-on activities about birds and bird conservation to encourage learning in science and many other subjects. This cross-curricular program has science as its core, but connects to language art, social science, math, physical education, and art. Flying WILD activities are correlated to the National Science Standards. Middle school age students are the focus of Flying WILD, but activities can easily be adapted to higher or lower grades. While the program is aimed at the formal school system, youth groups such as scouts, 4-H programs, nature centers and others can also use Flying WILD effectively.  Please enter your name and click “Submit” if you plan to attend:

Funding for this project was provided by the Minnesota Environment and Natural Resources Trust Fund as recommended by the LegislativeCitizen Commission on Minnesota Resources (LCCMR). The Trust Fund is a permanent fund constitutionally established by the citizens of Minnesota to assist in the protection, conservation, preservation, and enhancement of the state’s air, water, land, fish, wildlife, and other natural resources. 

ENRTF logo    LOGO-FlyingWild499x480.jpg

Saturday August 4th  9:00 AM – 4:00 PM Day of Spoons!

A day of spoons is meant to be a mid-summer opportunity for carvers to gather, carve and exchange ideas.

What to bring: Carving projects, tools and supplies. Folding chair, cooler with lunch and beverages, sunscreen and bug spray. Coffee, lemonade and ice tea will be available.

What to Expect: The nature center has large areas to gather and carve. Sunfish Lake Park also has over 200 acres of woodlands to explore.

In the event of rain, the nature center is available for carving indoors. The nature center also has bathrooms and classroom space. There is also a partial kitchen where light snacks will be available.

For more information on the location and facilities please Google appropriately.

Contact: John Neitge johnwe1@hotmail.com Cell: 763-645-6236

Saturday October 24th – 9:00 AM Annual Sunfish Lake Park Buckthorn Removal Festival