This time of year seems like it should be fairly quiet here in the gardens – the weather is getting colder, and the visitors are few and far between. But, in reality, there’s so much to do! Getting the gardens ready for winter is a huge task, and it takes the help of a small army of volunteers to accomplish everything that needs to be done.
Children’s Garden committee members Howard Craven, Carol Dufel, Melinda Young, Maurine Crisp, Nancy Friedman, Randy Robinson, Jan Guthrie, Gary Blonigan, met through the winter to study and plan additions that would enhance visitor interaction. Many meetings were held, interviews with other gardens were conducted, and countless ideas were brought up. The resulting additions, which were all chosen so that the garden would be more interactive, are simply amazing.
We hear about and see images of the amazing migration of millions of monarch butterflies from the United States and Canada to southern California and Mexico. We also hear that the number of monarchs in these migrations is declining drastically, partly as a result of habitat loss in the monarch breeding areas here in North America. Land development in the U.S. is consuming 6,000 acres of wildlife habitat per day! Since Monarch caterpillars feed exclusively on milkweed plants, 90% of which grow in agricultural areas, monarchs in particular are affected. The widespread use of chemical herbicides in agriculture and the related increase in genetically modified crops result in even more milkweed loss.
Every year, The Cedar Valley Arboretum and Botanic Gardens holds it’s largest fundraiser of the year, the Fall Harvest Festival, during the Month of September, amidst scarecrows and perfect sunny days that we wish could last all year. This year’s Fall Harvest Festival was on Sunday, September 13th, from 11am – 4pm, and it was definitely a year to remember! We are so happy to report that the Arboretum had record attendance and record revenue! We would like to take this opportunity to thank all of the volunteers and every single person who attended this year’s event – you guys are awesome, and you’re the reason why we even exist!