Arboretum News

12 Things to do in March 2021

Savor the last of winter and watch for early signs of spring this month at the Arb.

COVID-19 Update: All members and visitors need to make a reservation in advance of their visit to the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum. Find updates and information here.

Snowshoeing as the snow falls. Photo by Tom Duevel.

by Liz Potasek

March provides your last chance to soak up the beauty of winter, and your first opportunity to note the coming spring. Take one last trek on our Winter Trails, taste the Arboretum’s sweet Maple syrup and find renewal at a Spring Yoga Retreat with us this month. Connect with us online and in-person to celebrate the changing of the seasons.

1. MapleFest Pancake Breakfast To Go

8 a.m.-2 p.m. March 27

Join us for MapleFest, the Arb’s annual celebration of maple trees and maple syrup. This year’s event includes a pancake breakfast to go and a self-guided walking tour.

Due to COVID-19 precautions, our MapleFest breakfast will be served to-go. Each breakfast includes 3 pancakes, 2 sausage links (vegetarian options are available), maple syrup and butter. Reserve your breakfast by March 21, and plan on picking up your food during your designated time slot. If the weather cooperates, we encourage visitors to picnic with their pancakes on Arboretum grounds. (Note: Indoor seating will not be available, and outdoor spaces are not sanitized.)

The pancake breakfast is $15 for Arboretum members and $20 for non-members (and it includes Arboretum admission). Make MapleFest reservations by March 21 to pick up your breakfast on March 27.

In addition to enjoying pancakes with maple syrup, stroll through a self-guided digital tour with maple-syrup-themed stops. Starting March 1, you’ll be able to access the tour on our Arboretum digital map using your smartphone. 

2. Shop for Arboretum maple syrup & tree tapping supplies in the Gift & Garden Store.

Last year’s early spring weather provided ideal conditions for maple sap to flow freely. The Arboretum collected record amounts of sap to create pure maple syrup, which is available for sale in the Gift & Garden Store. Buy a bottle to bring home or pair it with a Sturdiwheat pancake mix (also available in the store) to make a sweet gift. 

The Gift & Garden Store also carries supplies for tapping maple syrup, as well as a variety of maple syrup-themed reference, cookbooks and children’s books. Stop by anytime this month to enter to win a maple syrup-themed gift basket from the Gift & Garden Store by guessing the number of planted maple trees at the Arboretum.

3. March in the Maples: Sweet Journey from Sap to Syrup

Available online March 1-31

Learn how sap from the Arboretum’s maple trees is turned into delicious syrup through free online activities, videos and quizzes for all ages available during the month of March. Explore a step-by-step Maple tree identification guide, get a behind-the-scenes look at turning maple sap into maple syrup and try a “sappy” taste test. Visit z.umn.edu/ArboretumMaple starting March 1.

When the snow begins to melt, we go on Snowdrop watch! These tiny flowers are among the first to bloom each spring. Photo by Christopher Hall.

4. Notice nature at the Arboretum

We’re offering expanded access to our grounds this winter by maintaining Three-Mile Walk and Three-Mile Drive for use all season long. We also maintain cross-country ski trails and snowshoe trails as long as there’s a good snow pack. Find daily updates on our trail and drive conditions. Snowshoe rental is available in the Oswald Visitor Center.

While you’re out exploring the grounds, look for trees with winter interest, highlighted on our Arboretum digital map. Click on the blue tree icons to read about Concolor Fir, Blue Beech, Eastern Redbud and more, and see where specific trees are located at the Arboretum. 

As the snow begins to melt, watch for Snowdrops. These delicate flowers, grown from bulbs, are among the first visible blooms of the season, and they signal that spring is on the way.

5. Flora and Fauna: Life at the Arboretum

Available online through March 31

The Arboretum Photographers Society’s 13th annual juried show features pictures of plants and animals taken at the Arboretum in the last year. Take a virtual tour of the show, and consider purchasing a print to display in your own home. 

A sign of spring: Our gardeners transplanted thousands of pansy and snapdragon plugs from Wagners in our greenhouse on Feb. 24, so they’ll be ready to brighten up the gardens in April. Photo by Erik Lemke.

6. Minnesota Plants: A Spring Webinar Series

7-8 p.m. Tuesdays, March 2-May 25 (virtual)

Join local horticulture experts for a closer look at the plants that grow in Minnesota in this series of 13 live online classes. Explore collections, backyards and gardens from your home as you learn more about trees, perennials, edible plants, houseplants and more. Gain a greater appreciation of the green that makes Minnesota so beautiful, and get tips and tricks for your own garden. Classes will be available to watch live online or as a recording. Access to the entire series is $30 for members and master gardeners and $40 for non-members.

7. Spring Yoga Retreat 

8 a.m.-noon March 21 (virtual)

Renew and refresh your yoga practice with a full morning of classes led by talented instructors from our yoga partner studios: Spirit of the Lake Yoga, Good Vibrations Yoga and Yoga 4 You. Classes will include slow flow and balance that have been staples of the Yoga in the Gardens series, but also introduce new classes, such as Iyengar, Ashtanga and Yoga HIIT.

Registration for the Spring Yoga Retreat is $25 for the virtual experience via Zoom.

In addition to the Spring Yoga Retreat, enjoy us for yoga classes throughout the month as a part of our popular Yoga in the Gardens series.

8. Breakout Creations: DASKARONE Art of Graffiti

Through March 14, Reedy Gallery

Don’t miss this solo exhibit from Minnesota artist Peyton Scott Russell. Explore graffiti as a fine art form, movement, source of communication and enhancement to communities. Peyton’s vibrant imagery reflects his fine art training fused with societal and personal reflections. Learn more about Peyton’s work and the show in this recording of a Feb. 13 Facebook Live event with Peyton in the Reedy Gallery at the Arboretum.

Golden orchids, by Carol Wingard, is a part of the Minnesota Water Color Society’s spring exhibition in the Arboretum’s Reedy Gallery.

9. Chroma: Minnesota Watercolor Society Spring 2021 Exhibition

March 18-April 15, Reedy Gallery

Awaken your senses and explore this juried exhibit featuring work from the Minnesota Watercolor Society. Discover how layers and intensity of color play a role in bringing an artist’s inspiration to fruition, and get inspired by color. This annual spring juried show will be judged by artist and professor Carl Oltvedt.

10. Online classes

Explore your interests or develop a new hobby with a variety of online classes, highlighting art, cooking and photography. The Books in the Garden online book club also starts this month.

11. Seed Packet Coloring Sheets

Available online

We’re adding to our collection of coloring pages with a new series highlighting Seed Packets from the Andersen Horticultural Library’s collection. Download the seed packet pages, as well as coloring pages highlighting the library’s Flora and Fauna Illustrata Collection.

Photo by Todd Mulvihill.

12. Register for the Bud Break 5k Run/Walk and Kids 1k Run

May 2, Farm at the Arb

Bud Break 5k Run/Walk and Kids Fun Run registration is open! Make fun plans for May 2 by registering for the Arb’s annual Bud Break 5k, which is moving to the Farm at the Arb. Whether you want to participate virtually (and score a t-shirt) or time your run, there are lots of different options available. Register the kids for a 1k fun run, and they’ll get a t-shirt, too.

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