Open House - featuring a woodland fire, cozy treats and star gazing

Our annual winter open house is a great way to get out of the house and into nature, meet new friends and celebrate the amazing land and night sky in the St Croix Valley.

During the day enjoy the land surrounding the Education Center. In the evening enjoy a short walk to a small campfire with s'mores, and hot drinks and desserts in the Education Center. Peak at the stars through the Joseph J. Casby Observatory's eight foot long, 10" TMB Apochromatic Refracting Telescope. At 7:00 P.M. there will be a short discussion and Q&A with Belwin's Artist in Residence, Tamsie Ringler, and Minnesota Astronomical Society member Merle Hiltner. (See details below.)

PLEASE NOTE: Due to extremely wet conditions we are asking folks able to walk up the hill to park in the lower lot, closest to our offices. Please leave the upper lot for those who are not as agile. (Thank you.) There will be some spots of ice as well as mud. Bring a flashlight and all weather hiking boots.

Schedule 11:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m. Trails Open to the public at the Belwin Outdoor Science' Education Center. Please follow parking signs.

6:00 p.m. - 9:00 p.m. Open House at the Belwin Outdoor Science' Education Center

7:00 p.m. Program Speakers: Tamsie Ringler, landscape and community artist, and Belwin Artist in Residence, and Merle Hiltner, Minnesota Astronomical Society member and committee member of the Joseph J. Casby Observatory located near belwin's Education Center

Tamsie Ringler "The earth is a form in space ­ a sphere of life in the vastness of the universe. We can begin to understand its rarity when we look at the other planets in our own solar system and consider the countless light years to any other solar system thought capable of sustaining life. The earth is our only home and its biodiversity our family, we must conserve it."

Tamsie Ringler is a landscape and community artist who teaches sculpture at the University of Minnesota. Her work can be viewed at

Merle Hiltner "I have been a MAS member since 2005. Served on the board as a Board Member at Large and as Vice President. I am currently on the Joseph J Casby Observatory Committee and Facility Director at the Eagle Lake Observatory as well as serve on the MAS website Web Team.

"My day job is Architectural CAD drafting and design. With this background I was the designer of the JJ Casby Observatory as well as several other of the MAS buildings. I also lead construction on the observatory at Belwin as well as the Sylvia A Casby Observatory and HotSpot Classroom at the MAS Eagle Lake Observatory in Baylor Regional Park."

Please RSVP below so we don't run out of treats. Thank you!


Registrations are not required for this event, but if you would like to let us know that you plan to attend, you may do so below:

Please include yourself in this number.

Event Details

February 18th, 2017
from 6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.


Education Center
1553 Stagecoach Trail South
Afton MN 55001

Open To

This event is open to Everyone

If you have any questions about this event, please email: