Cedar Valley Arboretum & Botanic Gardens

Archive for August 2011

Special Volunteer Opportunity — Sunday, September 11th 2-4:00 p.m.

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Our annual Fall Harvest Festival is only a few short weeks away!  We have been VERY busy on site getting the gardens and grounds ready – hence the lack of blog posts lately.  But starting tomorrow, I’ll be rolling out a bunch of fun posts about garden updates, festival news and fun activities coming our way.

To get us started, I wanted to invite you to participate in a great volunteer opportunity at the Arboretum on Sunday, September 11th from 2-4:00 p.m.  We have partnered with the Volunteer Center of Cedar Valley for this special event to honor the 10th anniversary of the September 11th terrorist attacks.  Volunteer activities will include general garden maintenance, grounds upkeep and even scarecrow making (to be a part of our festival scarecrow auction) in preparation for our festival the following week.  Please consider volunteering!

To register for this event, please contact the Volunteer Center of Cedar Valley at 272-2087 or information@vccv.org .

JOIN THE VOLUNTEER CENTER OF CEDAR VALLEY TO HONOR THE VICTIMS, HEROES, AND ALL THOSE WHO ROSE IN SERVICE FOLLOWING THE TERRORIST ATTACKS THATCHANGED OUR NATION.

WHO: Anyone interested in making a difference in the Cedar Valley through service! All ages welcome.

WHAT: Planting trees/shrubs and general garden maintenance.

WHERE: Cedar Valley Arboretum & Botanic Gardens;  1927 E. Orange Road, Waterloo.

WHEN: Sunday, Sept. 11, 2:00 – 4:00 p.m.

 

See you in the gardens.

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August 31, 2011 at 7:45 pm

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Eco-Day for Families

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Hey All – wanted to pass along this great opportunity from Iowa State Extension!

 

 

Research shows that children and adults who have a connection with nature are more able to adjust to stress and are more likely to take care of the environment.  “Families have fewer financial resources today and are seeking ways to live more simply,” says Brenda Schmitt, ISU Extension Family Finance Specialist.  “The Connecting Families to the Environment Conference will help families learn how to improve their physical, mental and financial health by looking at the environment around them.

The Connecting Families to the Environment Conference will be held Saturday, August 27, beginning at 9:00 am at the Borlaug Learning Center located at the Iowa State Research Farm near Nashua.  “Sustainable living encompasses all aspects of our lives.” according to Kristi Cooper, ISU Extension Family Life Specialist. “Human health and environmental health are closely tied.”  The intent of the Conference is to help people explore attitudes and behaviors that will ultimately improve our environment and our health.  School age youth are invited to bring their parents, grandparents and other adults to participate in interactive learning experiences focused on various aspects of the human/environment eco-system.

The daylong event will start at 9 AM with a keynote address by Brenda Ranum, ISU Regional Extension Education Director who is the driving force behind the Northeast Iowa Food and Fitness Initiative.  Environmental experts sharing their wisdom include Wayne Peterson, Iowa Dept. of Ag and Land Stewardship; Andrea Geary and Pat Higby, UNI Center for Energy and Environmental Education; Andy Larsen, ISU Extension and Mary Crooks, Ecological Designer. Floyd and Chickasaw County Conservation Naturalists Laura Elfers and Brian Moore will also share hands-on activities for families. The agenda also includes Alan Powell, Jendro of Charles City and a chance for families to discover their current ecological footprint.

Participants will attend session addressing themes of Nature, Food, Water and Energy.  Families will also experience a Local Foods lunch, take home an Eco-Family starter kit and harvest produce from the research farm.

 

For more information, contact Brenda Schmitt at 641-512-0650 or at schmitt@iastate.edu.

 

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August 18, 2011 at 6:00 am

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So long, Jake!

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Yesterday morning I said goodbye to Jake for another year.  For those of you who don’t know, Jake is the Arboretum’s resident corn snake who lives in the Education Center each summer and then spends the school year in Mr. Hall’s third grade class at Orange Elementary.  Students come back tomorrow, so it was time for Jake to get back into the classroom and prepare!

Jake’s main responsibility is to greet kids that pass through the Education Center throughout the summer.  Especially on Wednesday mornings, that is a full time job!  The photo on the left is during our weekly story time – Jake is fed two mice after story time and the kids LOVE to watch.

The photo on the right (sorry for the low quality – taken on my phone) is a close-up of Jake getting his back to school check-up from Dr. Jeff Tamplin.  Jeff is a professor in biology at University of Northern Iowa and was gracious enough to come out and clean Jake’s cage as well as teach me a bit about corn snakes.  Do you need an advanced degree to clean a snake cage?  Definitely not.  I really only like to see Jake from afar so I jumped on Jeff’s cleaning offer.  🙂

As well as housing Jake, the Education Center is open to the public when staff is on site.  The bookshelves on the east wall hold a collection of fun youth books as well as a huge collection of gardening books for adults.  Visitors are welcome to sit in the Education Center and read to their heart’s content!  I encourage you to stop out this week to check it out!

See you in the gardens.

Written by cedarvalleyarboretum

August 17, 2011 at 6:00 am

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Another Summer in the Books

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Our weekly story time is my (hands down) favorite summer Arboretum activity.  Story time ran each Wednesday morning at 10:00 a.m. from July 15th through August 3rd with each week’s story, craft and activity revolved around a different theme.  The images above are from our last story time of the season with Lindsey and Tammy from Waste Trac.  The gals read a fun story about composting and even performed a little skit starring a cast of very funny sock worm puppets.   The kids even got to dig through buckets of compost to find their own worms – a big hit!

Thank you to the Education Committee and all our wonderful guest readers!  You made this summer’s story times a huge success!

Did you miss out on our summer story times?  Each spring, we promote our summer lineup for youth and adults.  To keep in the know, I encourage you to sign up for our monthly e-newsletter at http://www.cedarvalleyarboretum.org/newsletter.asp .  (Your email address is safe with us – we never spam or give out our email addresses.)

 

See you in the gardens.

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August 16, 2011 at 7:19 pm

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Wine & Scarecrows — Save the date!

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We will be having some very special guests at this year’s Wine & Scarecrows on September 17. Not only will welding artist Deb Ewoldt be joining us again, several other artisans will be demonstrating their craft as well. Those include woodworker Ryan Bonjour, glass fuser Jordan Llewellyn, painter Ann Olsson, hand rug hookers Bev Pyle and Eleanor Vanous of Between the Rivers Rug Hooking, and potter Larry Skeries.

Some of the wonderful art and fine craft items you can purchase at our silent auction include hand quilted items, wood pieces, raku-fired pottery, hand dyed silks, photography, and items that represent the arts of fine cooking and gardening!

Len Swaitly of Moments in Thyme Catering has created a delicious menu for us, that will go well with a great selection of wine and desserts, and vocalist Deb Flammang-Roper will be a wonderful musical backdrop for our garden party. We’re so grateful to our Artist Patrons who help make the event possible – including Meyer’s Nursery, Waterloo Implement, Yantis & Associates and Technology Staff Development, Inc. Also, a big thanks goes out to Bartels Lutheran Retirement Community for loaning party supplies and to while wholesaler Darren Winkowitsch for giving us special consideration for our evening’s wine selection.

Save the date – invitations will be mailed soon! Or better yet, purchase your tickets now at http://www.cedarvalleyarboretum.org/wands.asp.

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August 10, 2011 at 6:00 am

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Have a great weekend!

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Stacey Russell Jenkins’s shared some awesome Arboretum photos over on our Facebook page – thought you would like to see them, too!  Have a great weekend!

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August 6, 2011 at 6:16 am

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In the News

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The Arboretum was in the newspaper on Tuesday night – did you catch it?  Find the full article at

http://wcfcourier.com/lifestyles/full-bloom-arboretum-s-construction-project-comes-to-fruition/article_36b9dade-bd25-11e0-a210-001cc4c03286.html

Big thanks to the Courier for covering our Midsummer Celebration event.

 

See you in the gardens.

Written by cedarvalleyarboretum

August 5, 2011 at 6:12 am

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