The Thomas Irvine Dodge Nature Center was founded in 1967 by Olivia Irvine Dodge. A pioneer in environmental education, Dodge was one of the first nature centers in the state of Minnesota. For 50 years, Dodge has developed an expansive environmental education curriculum delivered to hundreds of thousands of school children in our surrounding communities. Utilizing the inherent beauty and complexity of the natural world, combined with a passionate staff committed to excellence, Dodge strives to inspire a sense of wonder, excitement and appreciation in all those who experience our programs.
Located on 460+ acres in the heart of West St. Paul and Mendota Heights, and now also in Cottage Grove, Dodge provides a glimpse into the diverse and beautiful natural heritage of St. Paul. Through our prairies, hardwood forests, lakes, wetlands, miles of hiking trails, a working farm, orchard and bee apiary, Dodge offers a variety of unique experiences for people of all ages. Its many landscapes provide the outdoor classrooms for more than 40 different curriculum topics for visiting school groups, space for exploring preschoolers attending our premier preschool, community education on evenings and weekends, day camp programs for school-aged children, miles of hiking trails and prairie and oak savanna restoration projects.
Open to the public seven days a week, our eight miles of trails are open to hiking from sunrise to sunset. Come and experience Dodge for yourself. Print out maps and directions. We look forward to seeing you soon!