Last night as Kris and I were waiting for the last rental group to leave the Parker Education Center (after Patty's lecture on Holiday Plants), I took the top photo of our Mission Statement on the wall near the entrance out in to the gardens. As a non-profit, it's always a challenge to raise funds to support and improve the organization. I take every chance I can to keep the focus on why were founded and what our primary mission is on a daily basis. The plaque to the right is installed outside the Sholl Education Room (Dedicated to original Grumpy and strong RBG support, Dr. P. Richard Sholl by his family). Dr. Sholl passed away a couple months before I started in 1998. Based on all that I've heard, he was an amazing person and was only second to Dr. Yahr (our founder) in terms of being an advocate for RBG. The frozen puddle above is testament to the chilly temperatures today but I was amazed by how many volunteers we had at our morning break. We had a great turnout with plenty of help throughout the day.
I had an interview this morning with Shelly Birkelow of The Janesville Gazette regarding the Holiday Lights Show (HLS) and we look forward to her article and exposure for this event which opens for the public a week from tomorrow (Friday, December 16th, 4:30 pm - 8 pm). Check out our website for details. We are still in dire need of refreshment donations for the HLS to be dropped off at the Parker Education Center. We need powdered milk, powdered creamer, powdered sugar, apple juice, cranberry juice, small marshmallows and Hershey's unsweetended cocoa powder. I also went mobile today and went thru the steps in applying for a passport. It looks like our April trip to the Netherlands (April 10-17) is a "go" although there is still room for some last minute additions... Below is Gary who is already starting to produce our woody plant labels for the alpine garden. I'm taking Luis' inventory and preparing the data for Gary who then produces the sign graphically and then thru the engraver. I'll be preparing another area for Gary to work on next week too. Aside from Gary, we had Dennis, Larry H. and Pat M. cleaning up out in the gardens. Larry and Bill were working on some projects. Our carpenters (Dave, Jim, Bob. A. and Vern) worked on the new shelves for the Horticulture Center office. Our reference library grew by about 200 books (donated) this past year and we need a new shelf system to absorb the increase and future additions. We also saw Urban, Rose, Bob T., Shirley T., Maury, Del, Janice, Dick H., Dr. Gredler, Mark S., Chuck, Rollie and Polly. Myrt and Gena were in later for clean-up work as well. Marv spent some time turning our massive compost pile (see below). We've added lots to this pile over the last couple of weeks and look at that compost a-smokin' with Marv turning it. We'll use this pile next March in all liklihood. The bottom photo is of our wood chip pile. One of the best times to apply mulches in the garden is this month before the snow flies. One of the intents of the mulch application now is to keep the ground frozen and minimize severe freezing and thawing in late winter / early spring (March).