I have always enjoyed going to both Brucemore and the Indian Creek Nature Center in the Cedar Rapids area. I don’t get to either nearly often enough.
For those who don’t know, Brucemore is Iowa’s only National Historic Trust Site.
It is an historic mansion and accompanying grounds that have been owned by three families that were industrialists, entrepreneurs and philanthropists in Cedar Rapids. The gardens are phenomenal! You can tour the mansion and grounds almost all year long. (more info here)
Indian Creek Nature Center…
…has over 200 acres of land to explore, including 4 miles of trails. They raise honeybees and you can learn about how to grow your own food and preserve Iowa’s waterways. (more info here)
These two entities are partnering to bring you information on how to Reclaim your Runoff. Since I can’t say it any better, here is what Deb Engmark, Brucemore’s Head Gardener, has to say:
“Over a century ago, prairie-style landscape architect Ossian Cole (O.C.) Simonds designed the Brucemore landscape. Concerned with the vanishing countryside and a need for land conservation, Simonds’ designs utilized trees and native plants. Non-native plants that were hardy enough to thrive without special treatment were used per the property owner’s preferences.
Today, the endurance of his landscape design teaches us a great deal about sustainability, an ongoing conversation occurring across the country. The more recent dialogue turns to best management practices for storm water runoff and protecting our water resources.
As the conversation grows louder, I too have become more concerned. Am I, as a resident, doing all that can be done? Are we at Brucemore, as stewards of the historic landscape, doing all that we can to elevate our impact on the greater watershed?
These questions were the catalyst for another co-hosted partnership between Indian Creek Nature Center and Brucemore. During Reclaim your Runoff, a two-day program, discover how to reclaim the rainwater runoff from your roof and lawn by establishing an attractive rain garden or bioswale, using permeable paving and rain barrels, and making your lawn more absorbent.
The program will begin Friday, April 13 at 6:30 p.m. at Indian Creek Nature Center with a tour of the water-capturing features they have incorporated into their property. A presentation on the role of native plants in landscaping will follow.
The group will reconvene Saturday, April 14 at 8:30 a.m. at Brucemore. Stacie Johnson, Eastern Iowa program manager for Iowa Stormwater Education, will lead a tour of Brucemore, pointing out what Brucemore and residential property owners can do to be better stewards. A discussion will follow about some of the consequences of strategic plantings and landscape forms. Mary Beth Stevenson, Iowa-Cedar River Basin Coordinator for the Iowa DNR, will discuss why this all matters, followed by Dustin Hinrichs, Trees Forever Field Coordinator, on the role of trees.
There will be plenty of opportunities to ask questions and share your experiences throughout the program. Admission is $25 for members of ICNC or Brucemore and $30 for non- members. Space is limited; purchase tickets by contacting Indian Creek Nature Center by phone at 319-362-0664 or online at www.indiancreeknaturecenter.org.
Alliant Energy Foundation is the sponsor of this program.“
This sounds like a great opportunity to learn something about helping my own landscape… and getting to see the Indian Creek Nature Center and Brucemore! My friend, and Clear Creek classmate, David Janssen, is the Executive Director at Brucemore, and if you happen to run into him, he might be convinced to tell stories about us growing up. Although, I don’t think there are any good stories about me, since I was such a quiet, innocent child…. You’ll back me up on that, won’t you, David?
Posted under Event
This post was written by Eileen Loan on April 3, 2012