Carpenter St. Croix Valley Nature Center

12805 St Croix Trail S
Hastings, MN 55033

Homeschool ClassesField Trips

Phone: 651-437-4359

With property on both the Minnesota and Wisconsin sides of the scenic Saint Croix River, Carpenter St. Croix Valley Nature Center preserves wildlife habitat while providing educational opportunities. Hiking trails wind throughout the tall pines, oak savanna, restored prairies, wooded ravines, around the apple orchard, and along the river of the 425 acre main property north of Hasting, MN. Wildlife abounds in the restored prairie and wooded bluffs on the 300 acre Wisconsin nature preserve. With over 10 miles of hiking trails, 3.5 of which are paved to accommodate persons with mobility limitations, you will see a vast variety of plant and animal communities.

One of the highlights of your visit should be the Apple Orchard. The orchard began as a passion of Thomas and Edna Carpenter in the early 40’s and continues today! The mission of the modern day orchard is to grow high quality produce in an ecological and sustainable manner, proudly grown with integrated pest management techniques. Besides apples, the Apple Shack has lots other goods for sale. The fall bearing raspberries ripen and are ready to be picked from late August until a hard freeze (usually October); pumpkins, gourds, squash, honey, and decorative corn will be available later in September. The Apple Shack also offers a large selection of jams, jellies, syrups, salad dressings, and delicious apple salsa. Wildflower honey is extracted from the bee hives in early September and is available while supplies last.

Hours of Operation: Daily, 8am–4:30pm

Homeschool Classes

Homeschool environmental education programs are offered throughout the school year for both children ages 5 through 9 years and children ages 10 years and older. Program topics varying seasonally and include an outdoor portion, so dress appropriately for the weather.

Reservations are required for all programs. Call 651-437-4359 for reservations.

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Field Trips

Professional staff conduct quality environmental education programs designed for hands-on learning in the outdoors. A sample of available class topics include Flowers & Pollination, Rocks & Minerals, Water Erosion, Wilderness Survival, Birds & Banding, Maple Syruping, Weather & Phenology.

For more information, call the Nature Center at 651-437-4359. Reservations for the upcoming school year can be made after August 1. Reservations for summer programs can be made after January 1.

Target Age Range: preschool through adult

Minimum Group Size: minimum of 10 students or $40 minimum fee
Maximum Group Size: 20 students per naturalist, maximum of 60 students total

Cost per Child/Student: $4/student
Cost per Adult/Educator: $5/adult (free for certified teachers and PCAs)

Cancellation Policy/Cancellation Deadline: $50 deposit is required to reserve a date and time. If a group fails to give at least 2 weeks advance notice of cancellation, the deposit will not be refunded.

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Information subject to change. Please check with Carpenter St. Croix Valley Nature Center for the most current information. Last updated on Mon, Aug 15, 2016.