We Are Building a Rain Garden!

After several months of planning and preparation, the CMNNA Rain Garden Project is getting “off the ground!”  Actually, it will get INTO the ground.  The Big Dig will start on Saturday August 17 at 9:00 am, with friend and volunteer Rick Gullickson and one or more Bobcats scraping off sod and dirt, and pulling all five invasive pear trees out.

The suggestions for creating a rain garden near the Butterfly Garden off of Whenona Drive came from our gardening volunteers, as they saw water that comes off the Bike Ramp run down and form puddles at the low area toward the back of the space.  Beginning last January, we explored the possibilities with a Wis DOT engineer and a DOT landscape architect.  We received advice and support from retired Arboretum Outreach Program Manager and landscape architect Molly Fifield Murray. In April we applied for the needed permit from Wis DOT, and were approved on April 29.

We will create an attractive kidney bean shaped garden of about 220 square feet. A major goal is to improve water infiltration by planting deep-rooted native plants, which will also provide a healthy habitat for butterflies and many other pollinators.  We marked out the boundaries on Aug 1, and have arranged for Digger’s Hotline to locate any utilities in the area.

This is a big undertaking, and we hope to have a good number of volunteers to help out.  Tasks will include raking, digging, hauling tree branches, putting in plants, mulching and watering. These activities will take place beginning about 9:30 or so, and continuing into the early-to-mid afternoon. If you’d like to help out, please contact Carol Buelow for details.E-mail area6@cmnna.org