Cedar Valley Arboretum: Many things offered in public greens, gardens

Lindsey Davis/Staff Writer

On any given weekend afternoon, many are left trying to find something to do. Instead of choosing to see a matinee, students could take a trip out to the Cedar Valley Arboretum.

Located right next to Hawkeye Community College, this place has a bounty of activities to fill up one’s leisure time.

Director of Horticulture Mollie Aronowitz is the only full-time employee at the Arboretum and loves every minute of it.

“For half of the year, my office is 72 acres — much better than sitting at a desk all day,” Aronowitz said.

The large amount of land is full of public greens and gardens.

Take a walk around the area and one’ll find oneself in a variety of different gardens. The Arrival Gardens greet visitors and boasts plants that could easily transition into one’s own yard.

If one wants an ideal setting to sit and reflect, the Labyrinth is recommended.

The always beautiful Rose Garden showcases roses.

Along with that, one can also find unique spring and fall plants there.

This garden is also a foolproof atmosphere for weddings and other celebrations.

Arguably, one of the most interesting spaces is the Community Gardens.

These 10 by 10-foot beds are created by members of the Cedar Valley.

The Arboretum also hosts a large kids space.

This is a great opportunity for visitors who are stuck with their siblings or are babysitting and need something to do with the children.

Here they’ll find whimsical things such as a Peek-a-Boo forest, Dinosaur Dig and a railway garden.

Aronowitz tells that the Arboretum’s purpose is more than just visitor enjoyment.

“The mission is to enhance the quality of life for all individuals through horticulture.

We seek to enrich life by nourishing and sharing the beauty of the natural world, the joy of gardening, knowledge of plants and the diversity of our world,” Aronowitz said.

Not only can visitors freely visit the gardens, they can also volunteer.

Aronowitz expresses how important these volunteers are.

“Volunteers work in the gardens, as well as sit on different committees.

In fact, almost everything the Arboretum does happens through many, many volunteers,” Aroniwitz said.

Opportunities include maintaining the grounds, greeting visitors and event planning.

During the summer, Weed and Unwind takes place.

This happens once a week, and the title tells all one needs to know.

Volunteer information is posted on the Arboretum’s website and Facebook page.

The site’s season is April through October, and recently, it hosted its largest event of the year: the Fall Harvest Festival.

The day-long rendezvous held live entertainment, a scarecrow contest, car show and petting zoo.

At the Arboretum one will find oneself amongst many special and unique gardens.

Maybe one will become enchanted and inspired by all the marvelous surroundings.

One thing is for sure; nothing else in the Cedar Valley matches this extraordinary place.

For much more information, visit www.cedarvalleyarboretum.org.

Class of 2014

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