The Arboretum in Winter: What Do We Do?

A great many people ask, “What is there to work on at the Arboretum during the winter months?”.  Many also say that it must get lonely out there during the cold and sometimes bleak winter.  Which is true.  Our Executive Director has been known to joke that it sometimes feels like we’re part of the movie The Shining.

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You’ve Come A Long Way, Baby

In the 1960’s, our culture was very different.  One huge difference was in every day advertising.  An example of this is cigarettes. Virginia Slims was a brand manufactured by Altria (formerly Phillip Morris Companies). The brand was introduced in 1968 and marketed to young professional women using the slogan, “You’ve come a long way, baby.” This catch phrase has worked its way into societal idioms and is occasionally still used. While thinking about the Arboretum and the fact that it is our 20th anniversary this year, I found the expression especially appropriate.

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A Note From the Director

It’s amazing to look back at pictures from a cold spring day 20 years ago when volunteers were planting the first trees at the Arboretum, and then to take a walk in what is quickly becoming a real forest.  The growth and change is striking.  Even year to year, the growth at the Arboretum is incredible.  Just this year, we started a really fun new project for the Children’s Garden that is a Hobbit House and Garden.   In addition, we planted over 57 new trees, created a new Buffalo Plant Sculpture (Mosaiculture), finished planting the new Master Gardeners Orchard, and created a trail through our new 4 acre butterfly meadow.   It’s been a busy season!

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Reasons to Visit the Arboretum in October

In the past, the gardens have been extremely quiet during the month of October.  We understand; the kids are back in school, the Cedar Valley has an abundance of cool fall activities, and the holiday season is just starting to begin – you’re busy!  However, we would love for you to take advantage of our 35 acre oasis this fall and come enjoy walking the gardens.  We promise you won’t be disappointed!  Still need convincing?  Keep reading for the four top reasons for you to visit the gardens this month!

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Ways to Get Involved

  1. Visit

Visiting is the easiest way to get involved at the Cedar Valley Arboretum, and this time of year is an excellent time to do so.  The beautiful, fragrant Rose Garden has started to bloom, we have irises and peonies, and a multitude of other gorgeous flowers looking lovely this time of year.  June in Iowa is also known for having near-perfect weather.  So grab the kids and your furry friends (yes, we are dog-friendly, but please bring a leash and a doggy bag!), and head on out to the gardens this month to see lots of beautiful flowers and enjoy the gorgeous weather.

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Volunteer Spotlight: Paul Kammerdiner

Many visitors may not know this, but The Cedar Valley Arboretum was created by volunteers, and, for many years after, was maintained solely by volunteers.  Because of this, we have a large group of very dedicated helpers – some have even been involved at the Arboretum since its inception in 1996.  Today, we have a base of over 150 people who come to the gardens to help us each year – whether it’s a one day service project or a volunteer job as a weekly mower.

They make our organization not only possible, but they help it run much more smoothly.  Because of this, we love to show them some deserved recognition.  Sometimes, we recognize them through a simple verbal thank you or a hand-written note card, other times, like in this case, we write a blog article about them.

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Five BIG Reasons to Become a Member Today

Five BIG reasons to become a member today

Over the past few years, our organization has seen a lot of change.  Thankfully, so have our membership benefits.  So, members and future members (yes, you!), please read on!  Enjoy learning about your benefits (or future benefits), and then continue enjoying those benefits all year long.

Before we start, if you want to just skip ahead you can do so by Becoming a Member here.

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A Plan in the Making: How We Create Dazzling Displays Year After Year


To the outside world, the Cedar Valley Arboretum may seem pretty uneventful during our winter season.  However, starting in February, the Arboretum’s Executive Director, Rob Pruitt, is hard at work planning and designing the gardens for the upcoming season.  If you’re a person who frequents the Arboretum year after year, you have probably noticed that each year the gardens are completely different!  Here’s an insider look into what it really takes to design and plan the annual beds for a 35 acre public garden.

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