Saint John’s Arboretum announces new name

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November 29, 2013

Saint John's Arboretum, the environmental and outdoor education arm of Saint John's University, today announced that it has changed its name to Saint John's Outdoor University. The more than 2,500 acres of Saint John's Abbey land, where much of the education programming takes place, is now designated as Saint John's Abbey Arboretum.

Founded as a natural arboretum in 1997 by the Rev. Paul Schwietz, OSB, of Saint John's Abbey, Saint John's Arboretum has been dedicated to environmental education, land stewardship, and spiritual renewal for the last 16 years. It uses field-based science education, outdoor family events and leadership and team-building activities to give people the tools to learn, experience, enjoy and ultimately make responsible decisions for their favorite outdoor spaces.

"Although our mission and vision remain relatively unchanged, we have a new name to reflect the breadth and scope of what we do," said Saint John's Outdoor University Director Tom Kroll. "Our work has grown beyond what we could have imagined in the beginning. We believe that our new name - Saint John's Outdoor University - reflects and inspires that growing vision of ourselves and our place in the community."

Saint John's Outdoor University's most significant and popular programs include:

  • Providing preK-12 classes  with a hands-on, outdoor science education that reached more than 8,400 students in 2012;
  • Collegeville Colors, Maple Syrup Festivals, Collegeville Kidstock, the Living in the Avon Hills conference and many more events, lectures and volunteer opportunities that more than 5,000 community members take advantage of annually.
  • Leadership training, wilderness trips, environmental education and recreational events for students at the College of Saint Benedict and Saint John's University.

Saint John's Outdoor University is a member-supported organization.  Upcoming events, opportunities to get involved and more information can be found at 

About Saint John's Outdoor University and the Abbey Arboretum

Saint John's Outdoor University provides outdoor and environmental education through classes, events and initiatives with the Abbey Arboretum, Saint John's University and the College of Saint Benedict. Saint John's Abbey Arboretum is more than 2,500 acres of lakes, prairie, oak savannah and forest owned by Saint John's Abbey and surrounding Saint John's University.