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Bring the Kids Back Outside

Perhaps the most important mission of the Mary Jo Wegner Arboretum and East Sioux Falls Historic Site is to share our passion for nature with the future stewards of our land. Fostering a child's interest in nature is the best way to preserve our investment.

The Arboretum appeals to the senses by allowing kids to feel the wild grass between their toes and the soil in their hands. They can explore the scents of different plants and hear birds calling from the trees. They can see the leaves change colors and experience the rush of racing through a forest of trees.

Connecting children with nature creates a pathway to longer hikes, healthier bodies, and deeper family relationships. Appreciating nature instills the importance of preserving wildlife and a desire to take care of special places.

Come, Discover with Us!

The Mary Jo Wegner Arboretum and East Sioux Falls Historic Site is rich with evidence of the past and provides plenty of ways to discover the history of the area. When you stroll through the lush Arboretum, you'll find all kinds of wonders tucked away on the site:

  • Gardens

    Featuring a wealth and variety of plant life, both native and exotic.

  • Trails

    The trail system leads visitors along old railroad beds, wagon and town roads, and the Big Sioux River.

  • Native Plant Communities

    Interpretive exhibits explain the significance of the dry prairies, wetlands, woodlands, meadows and a floodplain forest.

  • Landscaped Areas

    Maintained landscapes provide for recreational use, including wedding gardens, a schoolhouse, and a picnic area.

  • Cultural Resources

    Historic quarrying and stone cutting operations and the former East Sioux Falls town site provide a rich variety of cultural features.

  • Mabel & Judy Jasper Educational Center

    The Mabel and Judy Jasper Educational Center recreates the L-shaped schoolhouse that once stood in East Sioux Falls. Inside, the historical classroom gives visitors an opportunity to step inside history and see how students learned in country schools.

  • Town Site History Pavilion

    An open-air pavilion with displays on local history explain the operations of the Jasper quartzite quarries in the area.