Sunday, March 5, 2017


The Rain Garden was originally constructed and planted in October of 2007 by Master Gardener Volunteers.  Steven Apfelbaum of Applied Ecological Services donated the initial plants for this garden from Taylor Creek Restoration Nurseries in Brodhead, WI.  The Rain Garden is in an open, full sun, plot with a 6-inch depth and a berm wall on all sides.  In 2017, the Rain Garden was "refurbished" following a planting design for a full sun, clay soil rain garden selected from UW-EX Publication GWQ037, Rain Garden-a how-to Manual for Homeowners prepared by Roger Bannerman:  The design creates a matrix of sedge spaced evenly between the forb species, and has 3 groupings of taller plants that form focal points.  The majority of the original plantings were incorporated in the new design. 

Currently, the Rain Garden contains over 200 plants and 33 species:  6 early season, 21 mid season and 7 late season species.  The wild quinine and pale purple coneflower are native to Wisconsin and considered endangered species by the DNR.  Over 260 sedge plants grown from seed were added in the fall of 2017 and summer of 2018.

Rain Garden Team
Through hands on experience and sharing knowledge with other master gardeners interested in Rain Gardens, team members learn about:
- rain garden benefits to water quality
- rain garden habitats for birds, butterflies and beneficial insects
- selecting plants for a rain garden and starting plants from seed
- construction guidelines (location, size & depth, soil types, grading, berm construction)
- resources on Rain Gardens 

Jane Graham and Diane Amundson are co-leaders for the Rain Garden.  Jane is an active member of The Prairie Enthusiasts, and an assistant land steward volunteer at the Smith-Reiner Drumlin Prairie near Cambridge where she is involved in remnant seed collection, planting seeds, documenting seeds sources and planting locations, eradicating invasive species, assisting in plant and bird survey, germinating prairie lily and prairie violets seeds, and gathering data for the Monarch Larva Monitoring Project.  In 2015, Jane was recognized as the Prairie Enthusiast of the Year for the Empire-Sauk Chapter.  Jane is also certified as a Wisconsin Master Naturalist and she participates in the Plant Dane Volunteer to Grow Native Plants for Schools and Community.  Since 2011, Diane has been involved with the Teaching Garden and has grown vegetables and flowers for the annual Plant Sale held at the Extension each May.  In 2015, Diane served as the coordinator of plantings for UW Extension exhibits at Farm Technology Days.  In 2017 Diane joined the Ice Age Trail Alliance's mobile skills crew working on new sections of the trail.  Diane has held the position of Biological Sciences Lab Technician at the US Dairy Forage Research Center since 1988.  Diane and Jane serve on the Annual Plant Dane Rain Garden Workshop Plant Selection Committee.

One team is responsible for the care and maintenance of both the Rain Garden and Demonstration Prairie under the leadership of Jane Graham and Diane Amundson.  To join this team, contact Karen Allenstein.  2019 continuing team members are:

KathleenLuedtke2nd Year
JanisNoonan2nd Year
PatriciaO'Connor2nd Year

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