St. Olaf Natural Lands

Post Consumer Brands has donated 30 acres of land off Industrial Drive to St. Olaf College. (Photo courtesy of Penelope Hillemann)

Post Consumer Brands is donating 30 acres of land in Northfield to St. Olaf College.

The land, which is located at 1550 Industrial Dr. south of Hwy. 19 and along the far west side of the company’s north and south distribution centers, will be used for research as part of the school’s environmental studies program and will remain open to the public for hiking and other recreational activities.

Post Consumer Brands has been a part of the Northfield community for nearly 95 years, since moving production of its original Malt-O-Meal hot cereal to the city in 1927. Over the years, the company has grown with the community and today employs more than 600 team members across two manufacturing plants, the Campbell Mill and Ames Mill, and two distribution centers in the area.

As neighbors, Post Consumer Brands and St. Olaf College have a longstanding relationship, and the land donation opportunity was identified jointly by both teams while evaluating their future operational plans.

“This was an excellent opportunity for St. Olaf College, the city of Northfield and our team here in Northfield to make the best use of the land and further improve our community,” said Henry Albers, Post Consumer Brands manufacturing manager at Campbell Mill. “We’re looking forward to seeing how St. Olaf students and city residents use the space, both academically and recreationally.”

“We look forward to using this area as part of our educational program at St. Olaf. In addition to providing the opportunity to study and manage local forest and stream ecosystems, this beautiful area will serve as a space for exercise and spiritual and emotional renewal,” said Professor of Biology and Environmental Studies Kathy Shea, who oversaw the St. Olaf Natural Lands for many years, and Professor of Biology and Environmental Studies Charles Umbanhowar, the current director of the St. Olaf Natural Lands.

St. Olaf College will begin efforts to restore and enhance the land in the coming year. Students will use the area for conservation studies and research, contributing to a broader understanding of the local ecosystem.

The public hiking trails that currently run through the property will continue to be maintained for local residents and visitors to enjoy.

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