top of page

Mon, Jul 08


Carleton Arboretum Trail, Northfield, MN

July 8th, 2024 Evening Tour of the Carleton College's Cowling Arboretum and Jo-Ryo-En Japanese Gardens

Join us for a delightful evening touring these two beautiful Northfield gardens! This is a carpool. event

July 8th, 2024 Evening Tour of the Carleton College's Cowling Arboretum and Jo-Ryo-En Japanese Gardens
July 8th, 2024 Evening Tour of the Carleton College's Cowling Arboretum and Jo-Ryo-En Japanese Gardens

Time & Location

Jul 08, 2024, 5:15 PM – 9:00 PM

Carleton Arboretum Trail, Northfield, MN, Oak St and 2nd Street East, Northfield


About the Event

Some info about our evening togethter!

The Carleton Arboretum and the Jo-Ryo-En Japanese Garden are located on the picturesque college campus of the Carleton College which is nestled on the east side of Northfield. A short 20 minute drive south of Lakeville. The Arboretum dates back to over 100 years ago which makes it one of our nation’s oldest restorative areas. Our tour of the Arboretum will be led by the Arboretum Director, Nancy Braker, Carleton Class of 81. We are also going to tour the Japanese Garden, the “Garden of Quiet Listening” on the campus grounds; our tour guide for this is Margit Johnson.

A little history about the  Cowling Arb:

The “Arb” consists of approximately 800 acres of land adjacent to the College and was created under the leadership of President Donald J. Cowling and Professor Harvey E.Stork in the 1920s. Professor Stork and Superintendent of Grounds D. Blake Stewart (“Stewsie”) were responsible for much of the early development of the Arb, and their influences can still be seen and felt in many places. Stork and Stewsie were remarkable land managers, and it can be argued that they were among the nation’s first restoration ecologists. In particular, their planting of upland forest trees and wildflowers in the Upper Arb (Stork Forest) decades ago is now coming to impressive maturity.

The Mdewankaton and Wahpukute Dakota people inhabited the Northfield area, and a major trading path passed through the Lower Arb and crossed the Cannon River in the vicinity of the Waterford mill site. As pioneers moved westward, this path became a military road. It was abandoned in 1856 when the first bridge was built across theCannon River in the young town of Northfield. Carleton was founded in 1866, but it would be more than 50 years before the college purchased the land now known as the Arboretum, and in the meanwhile, part of the area on the north side of Highway 19 was used as a city dump.

Please click on the links below for fabulous information!

For the complete History, follow this link: About the Arb

List of Flowers and Species at Arboretum:This is an AMAZING Reference Guide! List of flowers  at this garden

For a map to help you navigate: Arboretum Map

A little history about the Jo-Ryo-En Japanese Gardens:

The design as well as the construction of this garden was accoplished by David Slawson between 1974 and 1976  with the assistance of Peter Smith and Marshall Gittler '76. Dr. Slawson received his doctorate in Japanese literature and aesthetics and studied in Kyoto, Japan with Kinsaku Nakane, one of Japan's foremost garden designers. Slawson presented his garden plan to Mr. Nakane and received high praises for his excellence in applying the principes he had been taught.  Slawson regards the landscape as an art form. At the Carlton garden, the natural beauty of the landscape is seen in the asymetry and basic simplicity of  garden design. 

Read more about this garden by following this link: Jo-Ryo-En 

Itinerary of the evening:

5:15 Meet and carpool from the Park and Ride at Kenrick Ave and Hwy 70 in Lakeville (20941 Kendrick Avenue, Lakeville)

6:00 Arrive at the intersection of Oak and Second Street East, Northfield  where members will park. We will meet with Nance Braker, Director of the Arboretum here. There is a gate at that intersection and the beginning of the trail system for the Arboretum.

6:00 - 7:00 Arboretum Tour

7:00 - 7:15 Walk 1.5 blocks to the Japanese Garden. Nancy will walk with us to make sure we meet up with Margit, our tour guide for the Japanese Garden.

7:15 - 7:45 Visit the Japanese Garden with Margit Johnson

7:45 We can relocate to the nearbyCentral Park (between 3rd and 4th Streets), where there is a porta-potty and picnic tables. This

is about 4 blocks from the Japanese Garden.We will have refreshments and a Short LAGC

Business meeting.

8:15/30 Head home

***When you Register, please indicate whether or not you plan to carpool and if you are carpooling, if you are willling to be a driver.

Share This Event

bottom of page