Tuesday, May 08, 2018

Springtime comes to the arboretum

A major bonus to life at Southgate I would say is one of the prettiest side yards in town --- the Chariton Memorial Arboretum just off Highway 14, immediately south of the big apartment building.

I stopped in to take a walk yesterday morning and encountered my distant cousin, Charles Rosa --- now 90 --- a bonus.

All of the photos here were taken then with the exception of the magnolia, which was in full bloom about a week ago.

The arboretum was proposed first in 1982 by Mayor John Rhodes and sporadic progress was made during the next few years. Duane Bedford, then district forester, signed on as consultant. Dennis Ausenhus, a landscape architect, came up with the design. A huge boulder was moved into place. And in 1987, the drive and parking lot were installed.

But it took Dan Bishop, then an Eagle Scout candidate, to move the arboretum to near completion during 1988 by taking it on as his signature project. He lined up all sorts of help, including fellow scouts and members of Chariton Kiwanis, and planting got underway during March and continued into April. The little shelter house was a later project.

The arboretum continues to be nicely maintained --- although a couple of the trees could use a little love. And additions to it are made now and then.

It's a lovely little area --- open to anyone willing to stop for a few minutes and stroll around.

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