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Arboretum Spotlight: June Progress Update

Written by Aaron Zeleske
    Monday, 10 June 2013

As the weather cleared in the past several weeks, work on the Milwaukee Rotary Centennial Arboretum resumed in full swing. The contractor has just about finished grading the site and covering it with rich topsoil—soon to be followed by seeding with a mix of native plants and the installation of erosion control mats made of coconut fibers.


The Milwaukee Rotary Centennial Arboretum will open on September 28th, 2013. Each month, Aaron Zeleske, Arboretum Project Coordinator, provides an update to tell a piece of the Arboretum story.  These updates can also be found on the Rotary Club of Milwaukee website.


Left: After seeding with a mix of native plant species, coconut fiber mats are installed to prevent erosion.
Middle: A burr oak is planted on top of one of the Arboretum’s mounds.
Right: Concrete is poured for the curbs of the new parking lot.

Paving on the parking lot started in May along with the installation of the footings for the grand archway entrance. In mid-May the remaining dozen trees in the Oak Savannah were planted including prairie crabapple, butternut, shagbark hickory, swamp white oak, hills oak, black oaks, tamarack, burr oak, and chinquapin oak. Other parts of the Arboretum were recently planted with American beech, sugar maple, and downy service berry. With the help of hundreds of volunteers this spring, 1,200 tree saplings and several thousand shrub saplings will be planted throughout the project area.

Behind the scenes, planning has been ongoing to develop a number of important pieces to the project. The partner organizations have been developing a logo concept to represent the Arboretum and team of Urban Ecology Center staff has been working to finalize a plan for signage. Planning is also underway for the grand opening festivities and related marketing efforts.

Aaron Zeleske

Aaron Zeleske

Aaron is the Arboretum Project Coordinator at the Urban Ecology Center where he works to keep all the parts of the Milwaukee Rotary Centennial Arboretum project moving. His journey to try to understand the world has taken him from Wisconsin to the east coast, the Marshall Islands, Chicago, and back to Wisconsin. Two little known facts about Aaron are that he is both a twin and a potter. He enjoys bicycling, gardening, reading, and cooking delicious meals to share.

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