What Is Greenway Arboretum?
ParkWatch is a local organization which has built hiking trails and done restoration within the 24.5 acres of land on the south side of the city along the east branch of the Fond du Lac River. Many people enjoy the hiking trails due to their short distances (2.5 miles) and quick access within the city. Native trees of black willow and cottonwood have been growing along the banks of the Fond du Lac River since the fires that raced across the prairie were stopped by settlers making their homes on the land. ParkWatch has planted other native trees: maple, basswood, white and red oak, aspen, and Kentucky coffee trees (the area’s eighth most common tree before settlement).
The Greenway Volunteers and Friends have started work to restore the open area where for years raw dirt piles have been visible, just to the west of Pick ’n Save at 55 W. Pioneer Road and north of the Salvation Army Thrift Store at 79 W. Pioneer Road. Work has begun to restore the property to an oak savanna with grasses and oak and hickory trees. Because the soil has been depleted of all of its nutrients and compacted by heavy equipment, it must be enriched. The landscaper has hand broadcast buckwheat and tillage radishes to prepare the soil for planting of prairie grasses in 2016. These plants act as natural sod busters. They will be mowed in June or early July before going to seed and then worked into the soil. This is known as green manure. A study of the area directly around the open area has indicated what this land looked like over 100 years ago. The soil points to the right type for a xeric southern forest area with about a 50% canopy primarily composed of oak. As volunteers have walked the land and wooded area over the recent years, abundant evidence of burr oaks and shagbark hickory trees has been found. The vision of ParkWatch is to create a healthy prairie that will sustain oak and hickory trees, restoring the natural habitat around the east branch of the Fond du Lac River. These efforts will provide a heritage for generations to come.
Located next to Pick n Save in Fon Du Lac, Wisconsin.
Laura Degolier: 920-948-8041