Students walk through campus

The Landscape Arboretum at Winona State University

Purpose and Vision

Nestled within the Mississippi River’s Driftless Region in Winona, the Island City in southeastern Minnesota’s river bluff country, is situated Winona State University. Over 150 acres of campus and nearby forested bluffs constitute the newly designated Landscape Arboretum at Winona State University that has been established for the purpose of supporting public enjoyment, education, recreation and scientific study.

An important educational tool for WSU’s educational mission, the Arboretum will become a “living laboratory and classroom” for student and faculty research as well as for education within the region. Plant material is being labeled with both their scientific and popular names, and features a host of additional information accessible by smartphone via a QR code. Additionally and importantly, the Arboretum provides an aesthetically pleasing and supportive environment for student learning at WSU.

Presently in the planning and development stage, the campus arboretum has bold plans to become a regional arboretum featuring trees and plants native to the southeastern Minnesota region. Most species of trees native to Minnesota are already available for public enjoyment and the campus is adorned with both native and commercial species of flowers and grasses in addition to several memorial gardens. For decades, the WSU campus landscape has been a destination for visitors from near and far who seek to enjoy and learn more about the rich diversity of the landscape characterizing the southeastern Minnesota Mississippi River valley.

Educational tours, outreach education classes and workshops, special events and volunteer opportunities, are among the plans being developed for WSU’s arboretum. Contact WSU Landscape Arboretum Director Gerald Landby at for more information about programs, volunteer opportunities and donor support.

A Living Laboratory and Classroom

The goals of the Arboretum are to:

  • Promote public appreciation of and education about the natural history and ecology of the southeastern Minnesota Driftless Region through classes, workshops, seminars and public tours
  • Promote student and faculty research and other educational opportunities using the campus Arboretum as a “living classroom and laboratory”
  • Promote compatible outdoor recreational activities consistent with the purpose and guiding principles of the arboretum
  • Continually develop the collection of native and non-indigenous plant species that are compatible with and contribute to the bio-diversity of the southeastern Minnesota biome
  • Model sustainable and ethical land use policies and practices