Schedule a tour
Conservatory staff can provide guided tours upon request to university courses or groups, as well as to public groups. To request a guided tour, please fill out this form at least three weeks in advance. We will do our best to accommodate your requests, but note that as a university teaching facility, we prioritize the needs of University of Minnesota courses.
Tours are generally 45 minutes to one hour, depending on the size and engagement of the group and include a guided walk through both the public Display side and the private Collection side of the Conservatory.
The ideal tour group size is 15 adults, but we can accommodate up to 20 adults in one tour. If you have more than 20 adults in your group, please plan for multiple tours.
Children above five years old are welcome for tours, but we require a child to adult ratio of at least 4:1 for children under 9. Please aim for a child to adult ratio of 10:1 for children above 10.
Please note that the Conservatory pathways are currently too narrow to safely accommodate wheelchairs.
The CBS Conservatory & Botanical Collection currently does not charge an entrance or tour fee. However, we strongly encourage and greatly appreciate donations for tours to the general public. Donations are a major contributor to our ability to remain open to the public. Please consider making a donation here.
The Conservatory & Botanical Collection is a working teaching and research facility. As such, there are wet and slippery floors, open ponds, hard edges, and spiny or poisonous plants. Please always pay attention to your surroundings and move attentively through the Conservatory for both your own safety and the well being of our living collection.
Directions and Parking
The CBS Conservatory & Botanical Collection is located at 1534 Gortner Avenue, St. Paul, MN 55108 inside of the Plant Growth Facilities West Building on the Saint Paul Campus of the University of Minnesota.
The University’s Campus Connector stops at the corner of Dudley and Buford. Walk one block north along Gortner Avenue to the Plant Growth Facilities West Building and follow the Conservatory signage.
The University’s St. Paul Circulator stops on Gortner in front of the Christensen Laboratory. Cross Gortner to the Plant Growth Facilities West Building and follow the Conservatory signage.
The northbound 87 bus stops at the corner of Gortner and Dudley. Continue north along Gortner Avenue to the Plant Growth Facilities West Building and follow the Conservatory signage.
The southbound 87 bus stops on Gortner in front of the Christensen Laboratory. Cross Gortner to the Plant Growth Facilities West Building and follow the Conservatory signage.
Direction From Minneapolis or St. Paul via I-94
Take exit 236 for MN-280 N, then take the Larpenteur Ave Exit. Turn right (east) onto Larpenteur Avenue and continue to Gortner Avenue. Turn right (south) on Gortner and continue to 1534 Gortner Ave Plant Growth Facilities West
There is no dedicated parking for the CBS Conservatory & Botanical Collection on the university campus. Parking is generally available in the Gortner Avenue Parking Ramp. After parking, walk three blocks north along Gortner to the Plant Growth Facilities West Building and follow the Conservatory signage.
See the Campus Parking Maps for more information, and note that lot 161 is a contract lot only; if you park there without a permit the university will ticket you.