Gardens at the North Central Research and Outreach Center
1861 Highway 169 East, Grand Rapids, MN 55744
Next to Itasca Community College
University of Minnesota
No admission fee
Free parking near test plots
This research and outreach center was established in 1896. It is one of six such centers sprinkled around the state as University of Minnesota agricultural experiment stations. This location’s original purpose was to facilitate agricultural development of the “cut over” forested areas of northeast Minnesota. It’s goals are now broadened to include on-going research into specific horticultural endeavors. Cold hardiness is being tested in woody ornamentals and apples, along with fruits and vegetables, chrysanthemums and annual flowers. It was designated an All American Selection Display Garden in 1990. Plants are set out in rows or plots or hanging baskets rather than in more garden-like mixed beds, but visitors can observe and judge for themselves the merits of the cultivars being evaluated. Plants are labeled.