Thursday, May 9, 2013

How to grow an arboretum

The Milwaukee Rotary Centennial Arboretum, as it is officially named, will have a grand opening on September 28, 2013. But you can visit it anytime to check in on the progress. It is located along the Milwaukee River between Locust Street and North Avenue and includes Riverside Park. The easiest way to access it is to park at the Urban Ecology Center.

To read about the arboretum, go to the UEC website.

In its broadest meaning, an arboretum is an intentional woodland. Of course, any woodland in an urban setting like Milwaukee must be intentional in the sense that its existence depends on preventing development that would destroy it. Fortunately, the Milwaukee River Greenway includes a wonderful amount of wooded lands. But an arboretum like the Rotary Centennial Arboretum is even more intentional. A quick glance at some of these images illustrate that significant portions of it are currently quite barren of trees. So, how does one grow an arboretum in a city like Milwaukee?

With patience, donations, and a lot of work, much of it by volunteers. With spring finally settling in (knock on wood), I went to visit to see the progress for myself. Here is a little taste of what I saw.

To read about the arboretum, go to the UEC website.

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