public policy

Through its public conferences, forums and symposiums, the Arboretum is known to bring the latest cutting edge research and thought leaders to address current topics. Join practitioners, policymakers, community leaders and concerned citizens looking to understand the implications and impact related to the critical issues of our day.

Check this page regularly to find out more about upcoming public symposia such as:

Clean Water 
Healthy Food
Urban Agriculture
Sustainable Schoolyard Gardens
Nature Based Therapeutics
Extension Master Gardeners 


The Arboretum wants YOU!

If you or your business are interested in contributing to one or several of these larger-scale events through Financial Sponsorship, In-Kind Product Sponsorship, Promotional Endorsement, or as part of a Planning Team, please contact: 
Jill Leenay at or General Information at

Public Policy Programs

Q. What is the Arboretum's role in public policy?
A. Good policy comes from an informed citizenry. Invested with a strong desire to make the world a better place for ourselves and future generations, we look to expand our knowledge and understanding of today's critical issues that relate to our mission. The Arboretum provides a public forum in a nature rich setting where members, community leaders, policymakers, citizens, and other stakeholders connect with one another and today's foremost scholars, authors and experts from around the globe. Count on the Arboretum to bring you the very best in programs designed to inspire and enrich our engagement with our natural surroundings and the collective community in which we live!

"Very relevant topic! Fabulous speaker in a wonderful setting! Please keep me on your mailing list!"
-M. Larson, Conference Attendee

"The program was excellent and networking opportunities very rewarding!"
-A. James, Symposium Participant

"A wonderful backdrop for thoughtful reflection, great conversations and encouragement to go forward!
-M. Robertson, Roundtable Participant

Product Sponsor for Symposia & Public Policy Events:
Great Harvest Bread Co.Minnetonka Location


September 15, 2017
Pollinator Summit


June 23 & 24, 2017
Minnesota Extension Master Gardener Statewide Conference

March 3, 2017
2017 Minnesota Schoolyard Gardens Conference
New Places to Grow

October 26, 2016
2016 Nature-based Therapeutic Conference
A Kinship of All Creatures: Broadening our knowledge of Human-Animal Interactions

October 27 and 28, 2016
2016 Healthy Foods Summit
Food, Microbes, and Health

September 22, 2016
2016 Clean Water Summit

Green Infrastructure for Clean Water
Rethinking Redevelopment and Retrofits

August 18, 2016
2016 Pollinator Summit
Planting Solutions

June 24 & 25, 2016
Minnesota Extension Master Gardener Statewide Conference

April 23, 2016
2016 Urban Waters Forum

Taking Action to Protect Our Lakes and Streams

April 22, 2016
Earth Day at the Arboretum

Getting to the Root of Water Conservation

Friday, March 4, 2016
Schoolyard Gardens Conference
An Ecosystem of Learning, Sharing Common Ground

September 15, 2015
2015 Clean Water Summit

Reconnecting Rainwater and Groundwater in our Communities

August 13, 2015
Pollinator Summit 2015
Designing for Pollinators - Enhancing Our Communities

June 26 & 27, 2015
Minnesota Extension Master Gardener Statewide Conference
Our Plants, Our Planet, Our volunteers

April 25, 2015

Shallow Lakes Forum
The Role of Plants in Shallow Lake Management

April 22, 2015
Earth Day at the Arboretum
Building Sustainable Lawns for a Better Planet

February 27 & 28, 2015
2015 Schoolyard Gardens
Everyone in the Garden

September 26, 2014
Nature Based Therapeutics Conference

Speak! The Quality of Interactions Between Humans and Animals

September 11, 2014
Clean Water Summit
Green Infrastructure for Clean Water:
Costs & Benefits to Our Communities

April 22, 2014
Earth Day at the Arboretum
Protect the Pollinators!

March 7 & 8, 2014
Urban Agriculture Resource Fair
Digging Deeper

February 28, 2014
Schoolyard Gardens Conference
Cultivating the Future

October 14 & 15, 2013
Healthy Foods Summit
Food & the Environment:
Healthy Planet, Healthy People

September 12, 2013
Clean Water Summit
Green Infrastructure for Clean Water:
The Essential Role of People!

June 8, 2013
Photography Symposim:
Conservation Through the Lens

March 14 & 15, 2013
Nature Heals Conference

February 22, 2013
Sustainable Schoolyard Gardens Conference

February 15 & 16, 2013
Sustainable Agriculture Summit

October 1 & 2, 2012
Healthy Foods Summit
Minnesota Leaders in Food and Health

September 13, 2012
Clean Water Summit
Green Infrastructure for Clean Water: The Essential Role of Soil

October 10 & 11, 2011
Healthy Foods Summit
Optimizing Food Systems For Human Health 

September 8, 2011
Clean Water Summit
Green Infrastructure for Clean Water:
Trees, Roots and Their Role in
Stormwater Management

May 16 & 17, 2011
Richard Louv & The Nature Principle

September 30 & October 1, 2010
Food for Thought - Healthy Foods Summit

September 16 & 17, 2010
Clean Water & Climate Adaptation Summit

October 2 & 3, 2009
Youth Voices Conference

September 24 & 25, 2009
Land Conservation & Clean Water Summit

May 16, 2009
Eat Yourself Healthy: A Spring Retreat at the Arboretum: Deliciously Changing Your World One Meal at a Time

November 6, 2008
Children in Nature: Healthy Development by Design

June 5, 2008 
"Climate Change Adaptation & Biodiversity Conservation: A Minnesota Response"

April 4, 2008
"Nature, Children and Families: A Necessary Connection"

March 13, 2008
"Adapting Community Infrastructure To Climate Change:  Solutions for Stormwater Management and Community Forests"