A History Rewritten- 2012


We have dropped into this year and we’re not in 1996 anymore Toto. Things are changing and will continue to do so. Remember our motto: Ever Growing, Ever Changing



I found the following document in the records. This plan kicked off what would become a subcommittee called the Expansion Committee. Here is an excerpt from it.

Cedar Valley Arboretum & Botanic Gardens Expansion Project

To remain relevant and experience continued growth, the Arboretum must become a year-round facility that includes updated infrastructure easily accessible to the public.   The Arboretum’s proposed expansion is three-fold:

  • Create a Permanent Welcome Center and Staff Offices On-Site
  • Enhance the Usability of the Gardens and Grounds
  • Expand Gardens and Woodland Trails


Maybe some day soon we will start taking photos of our events again. Until then, moving on.


  • Children’s Garden

A sub-committee was formed consisting of Nancy Friedman, Mollie Aronowitz, Melinda Young, and Paul Kammerdiner, to come up with some enhancements within the space, the group with a little help from our friends, completed all of them this growing season

  1. A chalkboard dragon
  2. A toddler trail through the evergreen forest
  3. Re-purposing the two “circle areas” into gardens
  4. Painting the kid’s chairs
  5. Turning one of the silos into a “castle”
  6. Adding new colorful plant material throughout

We also tried to spruce up the area a bit. We weeded the kid’s prairie and planted some annuals in strategic places. We actually brainstormed a few more ideas but only worked on those that we felt we could get accomplished this year.


The chalkboard dragon designed by Nancy Friedman and built by Randy Robinson

Randy also cut out some chairs from a cedar log and built a “balance beam” for the toddler trail.


The toddler trail complete with a gravel path, stepping “stones” and a balance beam was constructed by Nancy and Bob Friedman


One of the circle areas that had been a pumpkin patch in the past was made into the snail trail by Nancy Friedman and Paul Kammerdiner


The old soil lab circle was made into a sensory garden by Paul Kammerdiner and Melinda Young

The Children’s Garden needed some more bright colors so the kids chairs were painted


With enough imagination even a silo can become a castle; Randy Robinson and Pat McGivern installed a framework with windows and banners.

2012-9Here is the castle with the shields on the wall and vines starting to grow.


New plantings in several areas have brightened up the space.

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  • East Prairie

The prairie from the Master Plan was established several years ago, but never really become much a part of CVABG proper. This was probably due to its location across the road from the rest of the site. The Master Plan main entrance has not come to fruition, so there is no connection. Because of that the planning and operations committee has given Paul Kammerdiner permission to look into other possibilities.

This year a group of Terry Roger’s Hawkeye students re-purposed some “weed field” land that is located on the far eastern end of the Arboretum across the creek into a prairie. Unfortunately, the harsh drought during the summer produced less than great results but they re-seeded it in the fall and hopes are high that the area will yet develop into what we are hoping for. This is about a 2-acre space and is on either side of the mown grass path.

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  • Welcome Center (this building is actually the old Head House)

Looking back to the planning section and the Expansion Committee’s agenda, the number 1 time on their plan is started this year. It is called a permanent welcome center. That would seem to suggest that we are moving away from the Master Plan concept of having a temporary Visitor’s Center until the implementation of phase 4.

Below is the initial drawing for the Welcome Center from – Summer 2012 (not to scale)

Arb Welcome Center Layout

Next is the key for the drawing:

  1. Mailboxes for staff, committees, etc.
  2. Workstation #1. Standard 24” deep counter, “L” shaped.
  3. 4’ high wall with 16” counter, bulletin board interior.
  4. Large bulletin board with Arboretum grounds map, etc. Remove window.
  5. New door.
  6. Brochure rack.
  7. Workstation #2. Standard 24” deep counter, “L” shaped.
  8. Bulletin board and shelving.
  9. Standing-height counter with storage below for paper, envelopes, etc.
  10. File cabinets and copier.
  11. New windows. Remove southeast walk-in door.
  12. Patio door.
  13. Workstation #3 for public use, shelving, etc.
  14. Sink
  15. Remove urinal.
  16. Locking cabinet for cleaning supplies, etc.
  17. Open space available for meetings, etc.
  18. Hooks for coats, etc.

Additional Notes:

  • Install fan(s) in main area.
  • Install blinds for all windows (4).


  • Display Gardens


  • Annual Gardens

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  • Sensory Garden



The plant list shows we purchased the following new trees

1 White Clump Fringe Tree
1 Yellow Ribbon Arborvitae
1 Baby Blue Chamaecyparis
1 Dwarf Piccolo Balsam
1 Fire-fall Maple


Rats! No photos, our outstanding people deserve better.

Ever Growing, Ever Changing. Before the year is over, Molly has moved away and we have a new Executive Director. A warm welcome to Rob Pruitt.

All aboard! We are ever closer to now.



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