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Arbor Day Celebration and Mayor's Grove Dedication

Friday, April 24th

Join us on Friday, April 24th from 1:30 to 2:30 p.m. for our annual Arbor Day celebration and for Mayor Huether's dedication of the Mayor's Grove.
Mayor Mike Huether will officiate the dedication of the Arboretum's new Mayor's Grove, which recognizes Sioux Falls mayors with trees planted in their honor. As part of the dedication, five new trees will be planted: one for current Mayor Mike Huether and four for his predecessors.

Over time, the Mayor's Grove will become a living tribute to the mayors of Sioux Falls who have built a legacy of protecting green spaces like the Arboretum for the enjoyment of Sioux Falls citizens.

Springtime in the Country

Budding plants and baby animals: it's Springtime in the Country! Join us for a free, family-friendly celebration of spring on Saturday, May 2nd, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Moody County 4-H club members will be bringing goats, lambs, dairy calves, ducks, chickens, turkeys, rabbits, kittens, and puppies (all baby animals). The 4-H club members will also be providing fun and easy springtime crafts for kids to make.

Visit the Blood Run Miniatures, watch as the scouts shell corn the old-fashioned way, watch as P-nut the clown makes his balloon animals, and venture inside the Jasper Educational Center to meet a variety of snakes found in the park and learn about their yearly migration.

Coming This Summer:

Garden Camps for Kids

Do you know budding young gardeners who love to get their hands dirty? This summer, the Arboretum will host a series of Youth Garden Camps for boys and girls ages 8-10. All sessions run from 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. and are taught by Minnehaha Master Gardeners. Registration is $5 per session. Enrollment is capped at 25 and registration will be available online.

Camp Sessions

Dirt, Worms, & Creepy Things: Campers get their hands dirty exploring the hidden world of soil. During fun-filled active lessons, campers will gain an understanding of why healthy soil is important for growing healthy plants that make for healthy eating. This is a messy camp!

Bugs, Slugs, & Butterflies: Bugs are all around us. This camp will encourage a curiosity toward insects and show how insects are crucial to a healthy environment. Campers will learn about the importance of pollinators, like honey bees. Each camper will identify common butterflies and identify the best plants to grow for a butterfly habitat in their family's backyard. Bugs are cool!

Pick, Cook, & Chew: This camp is all about healthy eating from the garden! Campers will harvest vegetables from the garden, then prepare a garden feast under the guidance of a local chef. This camp will use renewable energy (solar ovens) for cooking.  It's party time!

Classes, Camps, and More!

Upcoming Events

Arbor Day Celebration & Mayor's Grove Dedication - Friday, 4/24, 1:30 p.m.
Planting Basics for Children - Saturday, 4/25, 10 - 11:30 a.m.
Springtime in the Country - Saturday, 5/2, 11 a.m. - 3 p.m.
Dirt, Worms, and Creepy Things - Wednesday, 5/27, 10 a.m. - 12 p.m.
Nature Photography for Kids - Tuesday, 6/23 and 6/30, 1 - 2:30 p.m.
Bugs, Slugs, and Butterflies - Wednesday, 6/24, 10 a.m. - 12 p.m.
Pick, Cook, and Chew - Wednesday, 7/22, 10 a.m. - 12 p.m.

Arboretum Receives SD Community Foundation Grant

The South Dakota Community Foundation has awarded the Arboretum a $10,000 grant to support the construction of the Pond Garden. The grant, along with a generous gift of $120,000 from the Museum of Visual Materials, will allow the garden’s construction to be completed by August 2015.
The Pond Garden will include a second pond, waterfalls, further enhancement of the existing pond, a boardwalk crossing between the two ponds, expanded landscape plantings, and a donor sign.

Tree Myths

By Duane Stall, Forestry Supervisor, Sioux Falls

Myths, folklore, and wives’ tales all have some roots or bases, whether they are right or wrong. Passed down from generation to generation, half-truths and mistruths can influence how we think today. How have tree myths influenced our thinking about caring for trees? 

Just saying something is so doesn’t make it so. Furthermore, repeating a falsehood over and over tends to make the uniformed person believe it as a fact. Changing one’s mind can be difficult to overcome and can have unintended consequences. 

A myth is a story that explains a natural phenomenon in a creative way. It can be a traditional or legendary story with or without a determinable basis of fact or a natural explanation of some practice, rite, or phenomenon of nature. For example, the ash tree is said to play a role in helping a girl to learn of her future husband. She had to place an ash leaf in her left shoe. The first man she met after doing this was her husband-to-be.

Sometimes a person’s personal perspective can create a myth. For example, a child growing up and watching cartoons on Saturday mornings can believe the cartoonist’s interpretation of plant growth as truth and fact. In particular, there is a 1953 Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Cartoon where Barney Bear is trying to pull a tree out of the ground. A gopher, determined to interfere with the bear’s actions, waters the tree with a “Quick Grow” solution. The tree grows 80 feet tall in seconds, and as the tree rises above the earth, the bear is elevated into the sky by holding on to the branch he is pulling on. 

This brings us to a myth or misconception of how trees really grow. There is a myth that pops up every so often when a tree trimmer doesn’t want to trim a branch because they think as the tree grows taller the branch in question is also going to rise to a greater elevation above the ground. In reality, the branch is going to stay in the same physical space throughout the life of the tree. One way to demonstrate this fact is by pounding a nail into a tree and measuring the distance from the nail to the ground. Returning to the same tree twenty years later, you will find that the tree has grown much taller but the nail hasn’t moved. 

The person who doesn’t want to trim the branch sees the tree as a smaller version of the tree they want to see when the tree grows taller. The person likes the shape and structure of the tree and wants that same shape when the tree is mature. Since the tree grows from its branch tips, the tree they envision hasn’t grown or developed yet. For some, this is not new information, but for others this may bring new light when it comes to trimming trees. 

As for Barney Bear pulling on a branch, even if trees could grow super-fast, the bear would have just stayed there on the ground pulling on the same branch as the rest of the tree grew skyward. The cartoonist may have unknowingly started this myth, but it is still alive and well today. Tree myths can have unintended consequences, but hopefully this one has been put to rest.

Summer Hours

The Educational Center will be open to the public from Arbor Day until October. Open hours are Tuesday through Friday from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. and Saturday from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. The Arboretum and its gardens are open year-round from sunrise to sunset.

Ask a Master Gardener

Puzzled by a peony problem? Sedum situation has you stumped? Bring your questions to the Arboretum any Saturday this summer and ask a Minnehaha Master Gardener!

Beginning May 16th, Master Gardeners will be available in the Jasper Educational Center on Saturdays from 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.

Reserve Space Now

Whether you are planning a wedding, reunion, or business retreat, the Arboretum offers a beautiful venue for you and your guests. Reserve a garden for a one-of-a-kind outdoor event. Indoor space is also available.

To schedule your event, contact us.

Memorial Gifts

"After joining the Arboretum board in 2012, I learned of the option to purchase a tree as a memorial. My parents, Phyllis and Philip McKinley, were both nature lovers. We spent many hours during our childhood in the woods along the Cedar River near St. Ansgar, Iowa. Our family farm that ran along the river was Acorn Park Farms. It seems only fitting that I honor the memory of my parents with an oak tree. This tree will form part of a beautiful landscape where I can go and walk or just sit and reminisce. I think this opportunity will appeal to many people who want to pay tribute to a family member or friend who had a special connection to nature."
- Ann Randall

Naming Opportunities: Knot Garden and Wedding Garden

In 2017, the Arboretum will begin Phase 3 of construction, finishing the formal garden area and a driveway and turnaround for access to the area. The formal garden area includes the Knot Garden and Wedding Lawn.

The Knot Garden ($100,000) will be a traditional, formal garden, with paths and plantings artfully laid out to resemble the threads of an ancient Celtic knot to reflect the heritage of the inhabitants of early East Sioux Falls. Knot Garden plans include a formal water feature, sculpture bases, intersecting pathways, and perennial and shrub collections.

The Wedding Garden ($75,000) and Wedding Pergola ($150,000) will provide a beautiful outdoor setting for wedding ceremonies. Improvements will include quartzite stone retaining walls with a stage, and perennial and shrub plantings.

For more information about these or other naming opportunities, visit our website or contact Lori Kiesow.

Thank You!

Quarterly Report of Donors
January 1 - March 31, 2015

Rich & Sue Aguilar
Joe & Jaimie Bartmann
CNA Surety
Caroline Deinema
Bill & Rosemary Draeger
Eide Bailly LLP
Glen & Dixie Hieb
Pam Taylor & Steve Jansa
Judy Jasper
Kirk & Lori Kiesow
Brigit & Ricardo McGuire

Jerry & Ann Nachtigal
Keith Perkins III
Raven Industries
South Dakota Community
Keith & Anne Zerschling

Become a Member

Founding Friends of the Arboretum receive reciprocal privileges (free admission) at nearly 300 botanic gardens, arboreta, and conservatories nationwide through the American Horticultural Society's Reciprocal Admissions Program. Members also enjoy discounted fees and early registration for classes, plus invitations to member-only events.

Membership contributions are tax-deductible. Gift memberships are available.
Help Us Grow

Wish List

Can you help grant a wish? We are seeking contributions toward or in-kind donations of the following items:
  • Landscaping service to build quartzite steps to the lower Perry garden to improve access for weddings and other events
  • Video camera to set up a live feed of Arboretum wildlife
  • Spotting scope for bird watchers and other curious visitors
  • Golf cart to improve accessibility at events
  • Trellis backdrop on the northern edge of the formal gardens
 To learn more, contact Lori Kiesow.

Volunteer: Teachers Needed

Interested in teaching a class or workshop at the Arboretum? We’re seeking volunteer instructors for the upcoming year. Volunteer to assist with a scheduled class or propose your own course and share your expertise in environmental education or local history.

Please contact us to submit a course proposal or to learn more.
Sign up to Volunteer
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Copyright © 2015 Mary Jo Wegner Arboretum & East Sioux Falls Historic Site, All rights reserved.

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