Cedar Valley Arboretum & Botanic Gardens

Season Wrap-Up

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I went out to the Arboretum yesterday afternoon to make a few wreaths for a local Salvation Army fundraiser event I’m attending this afternoon.  And it is c-c-c-c-cold out there!  My how a few weeks have changed things.  It was definitely not as enjoyable to make those wreaths as it was at our November 13th wreath making class!

With the cold comes the official end of our 2010 season at the Arboretum.  Officially our season is April through October, but if we are lucky we have several weeks (Or this year, an extra month!) to work on projects.  With the end of each season, I like to make a list of projects completed and tally up volunteer hours for the season.  What a successful season it was – and it is safe to say we took leaps and bounds in growing the Arboretum!

 Every year our goal is to provide the best visitor experience possible by showcasing gardens that are well-maintained and designed.  Along with diligently working to keep our current gardens looking top-notch, we were able to take on many new projects this season.  To give you an idea, here are a few (in no particular order):

  • Expanded our weekend greeter program to better meet the needs of our visitors.  Many of the greeters were recruited from the Black Hawk County Master Gardener program, with 14 of the volunteers completely new to the Arboretum!
  • Welcomed 5 new gardeners to our community gardens and all 18 plots were adopted before Memorial Day.
  • Dedicated new Shade Garden cement path with a July ribbon cutting.
  • Planted annuals and perennials ordered from a wholesale grower – purchasing wholesale gave us the opportunity to order a larger amount of plant material at low costs.
  • Planted annuals and perennials donated by University Avenue HyVee Garden Center, Waterloo Exchange Club, Green Scene and many volunteers.
  • Planted spring-flowering bulbs in the Rose Garden and at the Arboretum’s front entrance.
  • Planted vegetables from Seed Savers Exchange in the Children’s Garden.
  • Removed the front gates to the entrance and reused as decorative backdrop panels.  The existing flowerbeds were reshaped and planted.
  • Improved our railroad garden with additional track and built a donation box to support future improvement projects. 
  • Built new pergola in the rose garden.
  • Planted companion plants in the Rose Garden.
  • Built four new cedar planters for the Rose Garden.
  • Reshaped limestone walking paths to lessen water runoff after major storms.
  • Improved perimeter trails by removing weed trees and weeded/mulched around collection trees.
  • Removed fence posts running parallel to Orange Road.
  • Revised one-mile walking trail.
  • Installed plant identification signs in the Display Gardens, Rose Garden, Shade Garden and White Garden. 
  • Installed new directional signs to help move traffic from the entrance, west to the parking lot and then east through the Arrival Garden.
  • Installed 5” x 7” signs related to vegetable gardening in the Children’s Garden. 
  • Hosted 20 tours/presentations.
  • Repaired south side of the Head House.
  • Painted the Head House.
  • Built and installed a half wall at the Education Center back door.

 

How did we get all of this done in one growing season?  With the help of many, many volunteers working in a variety of areas of the gardens and grounds!! 

Since developing a more formal volunteer program in 2009, the Arboretum has seen positive growth in volunteer involvement.  In 2009 we had 57 active volunteers in our database and by the end of October 2010 we grew that number to 80 active volunteers – a 40% increase!  (2009 volunteers who moved away or are no longer active were removed from the 2010 list.) 

Total 2009 hours were 1,748.45 hours and total 2010 hours were 2,718.25 hours – a 55% increase!  WOW! 

Thank you for volunteering at the Arboretum in 2010!!

Special thanks to the “Maintenance Men” and gardeners who helped close down the Arboretum for the season.

 

See you in the gardens.

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Written by cedarvalleyarboretum

December 6, 2010 at 5:28 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

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