• A recent visitor to the Carleton College made Arboretum staff take notice. Not for any particular celebrity status, but that the visitor had been absent for 78 years!  Owen McMurtrey ‘12 spotted the long lost visitor recently and rushed back to campus to report his find to the Minnesota Ornithological Union – the organization that tracks bird sightings in the state.

  • Fall Mushroom Field Trip

    25 October 2008

    Details regarding the Fall Mushroom Field Trip.

  • Arboretum Volunteer Work Day, Saturday, October 18, 9:00 a.m. – 12 noon.

  • The public is invited to participate in a special mushroom hunting field trip on Saturday, Oct. 25 beginning at 9 a.m. in the Carleton College Cowling Arboretum. Led by arboretum director Nancy Braker and library technology coordinator Eric Hinsdale, participants can enjoy the splendid fall foliage in the arboretum and search for some of the lesser-known inhabitants of the arboretum—mushrooms. Fungi of all shapes and sizes and varieties will be uncovered during a gentle two-hour hike over primarily gravel or grass trails, with occasional forays off trail for observations. The field trip is free and open to the public.

  • The Carleton College Cowling Arboretum will host “An Evening on the Prairie,” Tuesday, August 26, beginning at 6:30 p.m. Led by Nancy Braker, director of the Cowling Arboretum, the event is free and open to the public.

  • Carleton College, along with Waterford Township, has announced a plan for the replacement of the “Iron Bridge,” located over the Cannon River on Canada Avenue in Waterford. The single-lane bridge is number one on the State of Minnesota’s deficient bridge list and the Minnesota Department of Transportation (MNDOT) has placed a high priority on its replacement.

  • Along with Waterford Township, Carleton has announced a plan for the replacement of the iron bridge located over the Cannon River in Waterford. The single-lane bridge was built in 1909 and is number one on the State of Minnesota’s deficient bridge list. The College has agreed to allow its replacement to be built and maintained on about two acres of Carleton land.

  • Annual Arb Bird Count this Saturday!

    13 May 2008

    At this time of year, the arb serves as an important stopover point for many migrant bird species.  Check them out soon, before they continue northward, or are obscured by spring foliage!  Among the species recently reported in the arb are Yellow-rumped Warblers, Orange-crowned Warblers, American Redstarts and Blue-gray Gnatcatchers.  Most of these small, colorful birds are neotropical migrants which have spent the winter in Central or Southern America, and are currently en route to their nesting grounds in Canadian boreal forests.

    In addition to these temporary visitors, the arb is also full of recently returned birds here to stay for the summer.  Baltimore orioles can be spotted in pairs, beginning the process of constructing their distinctive, hanging nests.   Male Red-winged Blackbirds are staking claim to pieces of marsh and shore-line, hoping to attract females with their territory and song.  Eastern Bluebirds have colonized many of the bird boxes established in the arb.  And now for a piece of bird trivia: Bluebirds (and, for that matter, all birds that appear blue in color) don’t actually have any blue pigments in their feathers.  The blue that we perceive when looking at these birds is actually the result of structural color, or the physical alteration of light achieved by certain feather structures.  If you looked at a backlit Bluebird feather, it wouldn’t appear blue at all, instead it would be a dull brown.

    Just as a reminder, this Saturday is Carleton’s annual arboretum bird count, and everyone is welcome to participate!  Meet at the tennis courts parking lot in the lower arb at 6 am with your binoculars and field guide, if you have them.  Email arb director Nancy Braker (nbraker) with any questions.

  • Nancy Braker, formerly the director of conservation of Baraboo Hills and western uplands for The Nature Conservancy in Wisconsin and a 1981 graduate of Carleton, has been named the Director of the Cowling Arboretum at Carleton College. Braker is charged with increasing the role of Carleton’s Arboretum in conservation, education, and in the sustainability of its lands. She will manage and develop all of the natural and educational resources within the arboretum, maintain and extend the restoration of native communities, initiate a long-term planning process for the arboretum, supervise arboretum staff and student workers, and maintain the trail system.

  • Buckthorn Menace Project Completed

    15 October 2007

    From Sept. 20–Oct. 13, 2007, the Upper Arb hosted “The Buckthorn Menace,” an environmental art installation. During the course of the project, campus and community volunteers worked with artist Jim Proctor to clear the invasive plant species buckthorn from the installation site and render the plants into large-scale sculptures. The installation will stand for a full year to allow viewing over the four seasons. It will be dismantled in October 2008, and the project sites will then be restored as needed by planting indigenous trees and shrubs.To learn more visit the Buckthorn Menace web site.