The Northland Arboretum encompasses over 500 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. The Arboretum owns a beautiful Norway Pine Plantation on the north end of the expansive property and leases land from Crow Wing County behind the Westgate Mall. The Nature Conservancy owns nearly 200 acres within the Arboretum’s boundaries . . . one of Minnesota’s primary examples of Jack Pine Savanna.
Open dusk to dawn seven days a week to offer respite to residents and visitors. Sit in the gazebo, linger on the bridge, stroll along a path or wind through the winter woods on skis—whether you have an hour or a day, tranquility will surely enhance your visit.
There are many magnificent gardens to view including the Garden Gazebo, where many beautiful weddings have been held. They also have other gardens that feature a memorial wall, water fall and aquatic plants, which have been identified for easy viewing. The Northland Arboretum with its beautiful gardens, has been featured by Jason Davis on his show “On The Road Again”.
This site 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. Depending on the season, enjoy marsh marigold, blue flag, hoary puccoon, birds-foot violet, prairie phlox, pipsissewa, black-eyed Susan, blazing star, harebell, aster, swamp milkweed, lupine, cardinal flower, cosmos, coneflower and a host of other cheery comrades, along with water lilies, native orchids and ferns dotting the landscape.
Bluebirds and butterflies flitting about, a replica of Monet’s garden pond and backyard wildlife landscaping sites make this songbird sanctuary special. It will be easy to see why this oasis in the midst of city has been designated as an Important Bird Area (IBA).