Posted by: csdailyblog | May 7, 2010

Sprucing Up the Historical Museum Garden

Jennifer, Megan, and Jaclyn pull out some of the barberry roots before planting the replacement spirea.

The Conserve School Sustainability Service Team visited the Land O’ Lakes Historical Museum during our community service block this week in order to carry out some landscape improvement. Students removed and replaced four diseased Japanese barberry shrubs. Barberries were commonly sold as ornamental shrubs at one time but have become a problem in the northeastern United States, spreading into woodlands from seeds dispersed by birds. These small, thorny bushes have recently been recognized as a potential problem in Wisconsin and have been declared invasive by the Wisconsin DNR. These particular bushes had been suffering from a recurrent disease, as well, so they really had to go. Students replaced the shrubs with a cultivar of bridal wreath spirea, a sturdy non-invasive bush that produces white blossoms in profusion each spring. You can see in the photos that the bushes are in bloom now. Andy Milbauer, Conserve School Science Teacher, accompanied the group, along with Cathy Palmer (Director of Outdoor Programs), Bennett Rock (Field Instructor), and me, and Andy used this opportunity to teach the students about proper planting and pruning techniques.

After digging up the barberry, William widens the planting hole for the replacement bush.

After all that hard work, the students clearly needed some refreshment, so we headed down the block to the Dari-Maid for ice cream. We enjoyed our sundaes and frosties, but the weather has turned so cold that between the ice cream and the sleet we were all half-frozen by the time we climbed back into our Sprinter for the drive home.

Land O’ Lakes is the quintessential small town, with 800 permanent residents and just one street — Main Street — home to the Post Office, the clinic, the library, the museum, the dentist’s, the local cafe, the local grocery store, the few shops in town, and the Dari-Maid. The Dari-Maid is a popular destination for Conserve School students, who like to visit on afternoons and weekends. They can bike on a blacktop path through the woods for most of the five miles from Conserve School into town.

Mary Anna

Megan and Jaclyn pose under the museum sign as they get ready to plant the spirea Jackie is holding.


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