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The Northland Arboretum encompasses over 400 acres in the heart of Brainerd/Baxter, Minnesota. This member-supported, non-profit organization was founded with the closure of the Brainerd Landfill in 1972. Left untouched, the 40-acre landfill site now supports a prairie restoration project that is full of native grasses and plants.
Explore over 12 miles of trails year-round. In the spring the Arboretum becomes a popular place for bird enthusiasts. It is easy to see why this oasis, truly the Central Park of the cities Brainerd & Baxter, has been designated as an Important Bird Area (IBA). Summer and fall bring many hikers and trail runners to the Arboretum. In the winter trails are groomed for skiing and the Arboretum is one of the most popular places in town for Nordic skiing and snowshoeing. Educational classes and community events are offered year-round to share our love of nature with the community!
The Arboretum has a mosaic of habitats including grasslands and restored prairie, jack pine forest, wetlands, a stream, shrub bog and of special importance, a 200-acre jack pine savanna. Native jack pine and bur oak dominate the sand plain, but beautiful gardens of wild and cultivated flowers have been carved into the setting. There are many magnificent gardens to view including the Memorial Garden, multiple butterfly gardens, the Rain Garden and the Prairie and Gazebo Gardens, where many beautiful weddings are held. The Arboretum also hosts a Giving Garden that donates food to the community, an orchard, and a large vegetable area where classes are held for children and adults that want to learn more about fruit and vegetable gardening.