The arboretum was founded in 1973. It currently comprises approximately 130 acres and incorporates the three major eco-systems in Minnesota–tallgrass prairie, deciduous woods and coniferous woods–plus wetlands, horticultural gardens, historic areas and teaching facilities. It is home to countless species of birds, mammals, reptiles, amphibians, insects and many other animals. This special area of the College provides a natural setting and opportunity for education, stewardship, reflection and recreation.