Community Directory


Dodge Nature Center

Dodge Nature Center is the oldest-running nature center in Minnesota and a pioneer in environmental education. Dodge is a community-funded nonprofit organization offering 8+ miles of trails across 460+ acres of hardwood forests, wetlands, and rolling prairies within the cities of West St. Paul, Mendota Heights, and Cottage Grove.

Shepard Farm is Dodge Nature Center’s property in Cottage Grove and the nature center in your neighborhood. Only 11 miles from the heart of Woodbury, Shepard Farm offers 140 acres of greenspace for people of all ages to experience the outdoors and learn something new in nature. You and your family can:

  • Hike the 1-mile trail through 100-year-old woods, home to local wildlife and native plants
  • Step back in time with 1920s-era historic buildings, barns, and a small working farm
  • See farm animals in pastures and coops: cows, sheep, goats, chickens, turkey, and quail
  • Take classes inside the new Education Center, featuring a state-of-the-art teaching kitchen
  • Garden and grow in the community gardens—registration opens in January
  • Cultivate hives and produce honey in our season-long beekeeping class
  • Try your hand at blacksmithing in the forge, guided by instructors from Chicago Avenue Fire Arts Center

Come nourish your need for nature! Shepard Farm is open for all to hike and explore at no cost, sunrise to sunset, every day of the year. View our calendar to register for a naturalist-guided educational experience, class, or program.

Directions and Parking
Vehicles can access the property via a one-way road. Please enter from 70th Street South and exit on Jamaica Avenue. The paved lot offers ample parking for cars—please do not park in the school bus drop-off/pickup loop.

Pedestrians can enter Shepard Farm from paved trails along 70th Street South and Jamaica Avenue.

Before you visit, leave your dogs at home and bikes in the provided rack at the entrance. Read our Visitor Guidelines for more info.

Dodge Nature Center

Open every day during daylight hours


Facebook: @dodgenaturecenter
Instagram: @dodgenaturecenter

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