Posted by: csdailyblog | April 29, 2010

Students Break Ground for the New Conserve School Garden

Jennifer and Job admiring their handiwork, one of several lilacs planted along the garden fence.

Di is bundled up against the spring wind. Temperatures are rising, but lately the days have been blustery.

Conserve School students planted a little bit of local history today when they broke ground for the new school garden.

Students Jennifer, Job, Bace, and Di work together to fill in and firm soil around a newly transplanted young lilac bush.

Science Teacher Andrew Milbauer writes about his class’s activities:

The Applied Ecology Class just finished planting a row of lilac saplings in the new community garden today.  It was the first stage of planting as we convert this field into a working garden.  The lilacs came from a garden planted by Edith and Hazel Fredrickson of Star Lake in the early 1900s;  these bushes are offshoots of those original plants.  The ancestors of these plants saw Star Lake turn into a booming logging town, then a ghost town, then burn in several wildfires, and ultimately rebound as a tourist community.  They survive well in the area and were donated by local resident Will Hintz of Hintz’s Northstar Lodge.

Sisters Edith and Hazel Fredrickson were well-known and colorful local residents who ran a minnow stand in nearby Star Lake for decades. This Milwauke Journal-Sentinal article, in which Hintz is quoted, reflects on the sisters’ lives and the history of Star Lake.

The abundant and fragrant lilac blooms are some of the first flowers of spring here in far northeastern Wisconsin. Monarchs love lilacs. The blooms will not only attract monarchs and sustain them while they are waiting for other flowers to open, they will also provide welcome food for the bees in the nearby apiary. One of the challenges of beekeeping in the Northwoods is the relative scarcity of flowers. The large garden we envision will help provide enough food for our bees, and we hope that the bees will in turn provide us with a larger yield of honey in the fall.

Mary Anna



  1. I just love the idea of a working garden that will nourish the Conserve School Community. I also love that you are “grounding” the garden in the history of Northern Wisconsin.

    • Great pun!

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