WISCONSIN RAPIDS AREA
South Wood County Historical Museum, 540 3rd Street South
Originally the home of banker and papermaker Isaac
P Witter, the museum is situated on a hill overlooking the Wisconsin River. Thirteen beds surround the museum with something to see at all times of the year. Lush plantings of hostas, hydrangeas, ferns, and astilbes contrast nicely with the colorful rose and lily beds as well as the lively perennial border along the front walk. The gardens were extensively updated in 2006 in preparation for the mansion’s 100th Anniversary celebration in July 2007 and were also featured in our 2007 Garden Walk. We were honored to learn that the Museum gardens have been selected to be included in a new book identifying the top 150 public gardens in Wisconsin.
With the varied flower beds on the 2 acre site, visitors and MG volunteers will surely find much of interest. Volunteers are assigned to a specific bed and are encouraged to choose plants for it and make suggestions for improvements. Work hours are at the convenience of each volunteer. A group work day is usually scheduled every spring and fall. Any interested MGV or interns are invited to assist. Contact project leaders Barb Herried or Betty Havlik for more information.
Edgewater Haven Nursing Home
The Serenity Garden at the entrance to Edgewater Haven was
developed in 2005 to enhance the environment of patients, families, and staff. Sensory gardens have proven to be therapeutic as they provide opportunities for physical and speech therapies as well as reminiscing and relaxation.
A colorful variety of annuals, perennials, grasses, and shrubs with their scents and textures provide sensory stimulation and four season interest. Wide sidewalks and five raised flower beds enable residents with all kinds of disabilities to see, touch, smell, and enjoy. Some residents also enjoy working in the garden themselves, sharing their gardening experiences in their younger years with our Master Gardener volunteers. Two shaded patios, benches, and a bubbling fountain provide a serene place to de-stress or socialize for residents and caregivers alike.
Originally conceived by WCMGV Edie Behm and developed with the assistance of other MG volunteers, this beautiful urban garden is fascinating with so much to see. For information about the garden or volunteer opportunities contact project leader Chris Landowski.
Wisconsin Rapids Zoo, 1900 Gaynor Ave
The Wisconsin Rapids Zoo has been a fixture on the city’
s west side for decades, but the first project involving the Master Gardeners was the creation of a butterfly garden in 1993. Since 2000 WCMG commitment has increased dramatically and the gardens have been under continual development and renewal. Twenty one garden spaces, including 12 themed gardens have been created, all with an educational focus. The Children’s Garden is fun and whimsical, with improvements that include picnic tables, pond, a serpent “sculpture”, the bridge, the teepee, and log benches for the kids. By 2003 the Butterfly garden was expanded and the Japanese-American garden, Great-Grandma’s garden, Native American garden as well as the Touch and Smell, Shade, and Founder’s Gardens were developed. Informational signs were added and the plants were identified by painted stones. In 2004, 4 raised beds were built, so that all people could have access to gardening. The Buds and Sprouts program was initiated in 2005 and is based at the Zoo. This summertime program uses a hands-on approach to teach kids about horticulture. Two more raised beds were added to accommodate the Buds and Sprouts students.
The “Zoo Crew” is the group responsible for the continual work on the gardens. It is a pleasure to have a very enthusiastic bunch of people who are willing to work and build on new ideas to provide a positive gardening experience for all who visit our Wisconsin Rapids Zoo Gardens. The zoo averages 200 visitors per day. The Zoo Crew works every Monday morning starting at 8:30 during the summer. Additional volunteers are always welcome! If you can’t come Monday morning you can work independently at the Zoo whenever it is open. There are always weeds to pick or watering to be done. Contact Mary Kay York for questions.
Cinema Parking Lot Project, Marshfield
Located on the corner of 5th and Maple Sts, one block off Central Ave, the Cinema Lot project is an urban oasis in downtown Marshfield. It consists of flower beds and borders that encompass a parking lot which comprises 35% of a city block behind Rogers’ Cinema. It was the first parking lot in Marshfield specifically built to include plantings. The Cinema Lot is a part of the larger Flower Power program for the downtown area under the coordination of the Mainstreet Marshfield organization. The parking lot has 4 borders ranging in width from 2 feet to 8 feet, plus 4 island areas. Plantings are mainly perennials, vines that screen a chain link fence, and annuals strategically placed throughout the planting areas to ensure color is always present. The major gardening challenge is dealing with the effects of heat from the huge concrete surfaces that make up the parking lot and surrounding streets.
We enjoy a great collaboration with the Flower Power organization and the Marshfield Parks and Recreation Department for funding for annuals and mulch, watering during drought periods, and refurbishing depleted soils. Work sessions and hours are determined among participants at the beginning of each season. Contact Karleen Remington or Carol Tomke for information on volunteering at this garden.
Stay tuned for more information on these gardens in the Marshfield area:
- Marshfield Fairgrounds
- Strohman Park
- Wildwood Zoo
Lester Public Library, Vesper
Located across from the Community Park in downtown Vesper, the Library gardens have been a Master Gardener project since the new library was built in 2005. Several different themed beds and containers provide an opportunity for four season interest. A butterfly garden is a real, live classroom for attracting our winged friends and was the focus of a library Summer Reading Program, which involved local youth in designing and planting the garden in it’s first year. Brightly planted containers near the entry are a delight for patrons and hummingbirds alike. A perennial garden showcases something of interest to library patrons, passersby, and wildlife all year, from bright bulbs in the spring and an interesting rock garden in the summer, to late blooming plants in the fall. Other plantings soften a neighboring brick wall and the parking lot area, while shady areas with hosta, astilbe, ferns and other woodland plants provide a special place to rest, read, and enjoy.
Master Gardeners and Interns will find many areas of interest at this garden. Your ideas and creativity are welcome when working at and further developing this site. If you enjoy sharing your knowledge with others, MGVs are often asked to present garden programs for the library. Work times and days vary to fit the gardener’s schedules. Project Team planning meetings are held twice a year. For more information contact Bob and Ruth Cline, project leaders.
Stay tuned for more information on these gardens in the Vesper area:
- Lester Public Library
TOWN OF ROME
Stay tuned for more information on these gardens in the Town of Rome:
Lester Public Library