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Arbor Day Celebration

The Arboretum will host its annual Arbor Day celebration and tree planting ceremony on Friday, April 29th at 1:30 p.m. The public is invited to attend this free, family-friendly event.
School children help plant a tree at the Arboretum to commemorate Arbor Day.
Continuing an annual tradition, the Arboretum will welcome local students as part of the event. Third grade students from Brandon’s Fred Assam Elementary will enjoy an educational field trip day at the Arboretum. They will learn about trees and their habitats.

Springtime in the Country

Join us on Saturday, May 7th for Springtime in the Country. This free event will run from 11 a.m. – 3 p.m. It’s the perfect mix of outdoor fun, learning, and discovery for the whole family.
Make easy and fun springtime crafts, meet baby animals from the Jesse James 4-H Club, visit the Blood Run Miniatures, watch Boy Scouts shell corn and make rope the old-fashioned way. Learn why we need bees and meet a variety of snakes found in the park and learn about their annual migration. P-Nut the Clown and his El Riad Shrine Clown friends will be twisting balloons from 12 p.m. – 2 p.m.

Classes, Camps, and Events

Join us for a summer full of trees, bugs, flowers, and critters. View the full event calendar and register for events online.

Arbor Day, Friday, April 29th, 1:30 p.m.
Springtime in the Country, Saturday, May 7th, 11 a.m. – 3 p.m.
Ground Works Garden Camp: Dirt, Worms, and Creepy Things, Wednesday, June 8th, 10 a.m. – 12 p.m. or 6 – 8 p.m., $5, ages 8 – 10
ANT Class: Forest Sleuth, Thursday, June 9th, 10:30 a.m. – 12 p.m., $5, ages 7 – 11
Nature Photography, Wednesday, June 15th, 10:30 a.m. – 12 p.m. or 1 – 2:30 p.m., $5, ages 8 – 12
ANT Class: Critter Day, Thursday, June 16th, 10:30 a.m. – 12 p.m., $5, ages 7 – 11
Balloon Animal Class, Thursday, June 23rd, 10:30 a.m. – 12 p.m., $5, ages 9 – 11
ANT Class: Pioneer Time, Thursday, July 7th, 10:30 a.m. – 12 p.m., $5, ages 7 – 11
Ground Works Garden Camp: Bugs, Slugs, and Butterflies, Wednesday, July 13th, 10 a.m. – 12 p.m. or 6 – 8 p.m., $5, ages 8 – 10
ANT Class: Creek Creatures, Thursday, July 14th, 10:30 a.m. – 12 p.m., $5, ages 7 – 11
Ground Works Day Camp: YES! (Youth Eating Smart), Monday, August 15th – Friday, August 19th, 10 a.m. – 12 p.m., $5, ages 8 – 10

Tree Damage Preparedness

By Duane Stall
Forestry Supervisor, Sioux Falls
On April 9, 2013 a devastating ice storm hit southeast South Dakota, causing major damage to tens of thousands of trees in the Sioux Falls area. Anyone living in the area at the time will remember waking up to the sound of breaking branches and the sight of trees bent and crushed under the coating of ice and snow. It was a sight we hope we never have to see again.

Three years later there is still evidence of tree damage, though visitors probably wouldn’t notice. We all learned a lot that spring in 2013 and for the many months that followed. I think the biggest lesson learned was the value of services of a tree care professional or arborist.

There are inherent dangers in attempting tree care or tree removal; pruning large limbs, felling trees and especially climbing into trees are hazardous activities even for trained professionals. The American National Standards Institute (ANSI) Z133 Arboricultural Safety Standards have over 500 safety requirements that professionals follow to stay safe. Untrained individuals should think twice before trying to duplicate the work of professionals. For safe and efficient post-storm work, hire an arborist with the experience, expertise, and equipment to safely take down or prune damaged trees. 
Homeowners looking for a tree care company should:
  • Be wary of tree care scammers. Don't just hire someone with a chainsaw who knocks on your door. With hundreds and possibly thousands of dollars at stake, not to mention the integrity and appearance of your property and your personal safety, make sure that you take your time in deciding which company you should hire.
  • Ask for a current certificate of liability. Be aware that if the tree care company you hire doesn't have insurance or is not a legal company, you the homeowner could be held responsible as a contractor. Arborists licensed in Sioux Falls are required to have a certificate of liability.
  • Ask for local references and check on the quality of their work and level of service.
  • Verify professional affiliations the company might have, such as certification through the South Dakota Arborist Association or the International Society of Arboriculture. Certified arborists promote and encourage continuing education in arboriculture. To become a certified arborist, a tree care professional must meet minimum education and experience requirements, profess to a strict code of ethics, and pass a proficiency examination in arboriculture.
  • Insist on a signed contract as to cost, dates when work is to be performed, and exactly what is to be done.
  • Get a second opinion and quote.
Ice storms are not the only natural disaster that can cause tree damage, and the lessons learned in 2013 should better prepare us to handle tree damage in the future. Developing a relationship with a certified arborist now may go a long way the next time we wake up to the sound of breaking and falling branches.

Take a Hike! Spring Field Trips at the Arboertum

To date, the Arboretum has 15 elementary classrooms scheduled for field trips this spring. Students will learn about animal adaptation and habitat by exploring Critter Crates containing pelts, skulls, tracks, and guide books for animals found in this region. They will explore the Arboretum gardens and East Sioux Falls remains on History Hikes and during iPad Photo Scavenger Hunts. Finally, students will discover what school was like for students over a century ago as they travel back in time in the historical classroom.
Fourth grade students from Anne Sullivan Elementary take a hike and learn about the history of East Sioux Falls.

Reserve Space for Your Event

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!
The Jasper Educational Center meeting room and historical classroom are outfitted with everything you need to make your meeting a success, including internet access, a state of the art 55" MondoPad and kitchen facilities. The Educational Center’s lower floor has a large, open concept space with patio access perfect for a dinner reception. Wherever you are, enjoy our new indoor/outdoor sound system, a gift from Mid States Audio and George Boom Funeral Home.

Visit our website to view photos of past events or to download an event contract. 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

Future phases will include 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
January1 - March 31, 2016

James Anderson
CNA Surety
Gary & Kathleen Conradi
Caroline Dienema
Exxon Mobil Foundation
Pam & Steve Jansa
Laura Keppen
Kirk & Lori Kiesow
Boyd McPeek
Mark & Cindy Mickelson
Raven Industries
Sandra Smith
Tom & Kathy Walsh
Jessica & Todd Wells

In Honor of Ann Louise & Curtis Kuehn
Andrea Kuehn

In Memory of Glenys Ortman
Judy Jasper

In Memory of Trudy Peckham
John & Linda Barker
Joan Vaughn Gross
Judy Jasper
Brad & Ann Randall

In Memory of Charlene Smith
Sally Ensberg
Marianne Larsen

Correction: In the Winter newsletter, a contribution was incorrectly attributed to Peter Lieberman. The attribution should have been Carla Fauske and Peter Lieberman.

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
  • 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.

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

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 © 2016 Mary Jo Wegner Arboretum and East Sioux Falls Historic Site, All rights reserved.

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