South view of the outdoor learning landscape

Learning Landscape

Welcome to our living laboratory

From native gardens to a green roof, the science lessons continue outside at the new Bell Museum. This living laboratory provides even more opportunities to learn about Minnesota’s biodiversity. Some of the outdoor features include:

Green roof and observation deck
Use a high powered telescope to explore the universe, and experience sustainable design through a green roof and photovoltaic glass railings.

Sustainable landscaping
Enjoy pollinator gardens and native wildflowers, grasses, shrubs and trees while learning about the importance of bees in nature and society.

Pond and gathering space
Rainwater collected from the museum’s roof–supplemented with well water–may one day maintain a community of plants, insects, amphibians, and other aquatic creatures.

Geology exploration area
Large boulders representing Minnesota’s major rocks types (basalt, limestone, sandstone, gneiss, etc.) encourage visitors to climb and observe.

Solar station
A sundial surrounded by a circle of engraved paving lets visitors observe the time of day, the time of year, and the four cardinal directions.

Gateway to campus

Follow the figure 8 interpretive walkway from the parking lot, through the museum and into the outdoor learning area. In the future, this loop will lead visitors to even more highlights of the St. Paul campus, including the Bee Research Lab, the Raptor Center, the Native American Medicine Gardens, Display and Trial Garden, and more.

Honey bee home

Did you know the Bell has kept honey bee colonies for over 20 years, and that we have been leading pollinator education for over 10 years? Our bees will be moving from the roof at the former building down to the ground floor in St. Paul, nestled in pollinator gardens and visible from our Education Wing.