Stewardship Initiatives


Saint John’s Abbey relies on our dedicated volunteers to assist with the above and many other volunteer opportunities. Sign up for our email list if you are interested in receiving notifications about volunteer opportunities.

Prescribed Burns

Prescribed burns help suppress the growth of trees and invasive species, and they encourage the growth of native prairie plants, birds, mammals, and butterflies. Prairie plants thrive in fires because they have protected root systems up to 15 feet deep. Following a burn, prairie plants burst with new growth and flowers.

Controlled Archery Deer Hunt

A large number of deer over-winter in the Abbey Arboretum, and if that influx is added to a high local population, the result is over-browsing of the tree seedlings, shrubs and annual forbs. The goal of the annual deer hunt is to assure a deer population level that will allow both adequate regeneration of the forest and a healthy deer herd on the Abbey lands.

Saint John’s Maple Syrup

Since the early 1940’s the Saint John’s community has participated in this annual rite of spring. Get an overview of our current maple syrup operation, its history, news, and learn how you can volunteer to help out!

FSC certification

Beginning in 2003, Saint John’s was one of the first Minnesota private landowners to obtain FSC® certification (FSC® – C008922), the highest standard in forest stewardship.  Certification continues today under a group certificate manage by The Nature Conservancy (NC-FM/CoC – 000238).

Avon Hills Initiative

A community based organization located in central Minnesota committed to preserving the rural and natural character of roughly 50 square miles of land in Avon, St. Joseph, Collegeville, and St. Wendel Townships.