Don Oberdorfer, Dodge Nature Center Farm Manager, spoke to the Pineridge Garden Club on January 16, 2019 about development plans for the Shepherd Farm Nature Center. Located at the corner of 70th St and Jamaica Ave, this beautiful farm is situated on 140 acres of mature forest that was once the vacation home of the Shepherd Family. It was donated to Dodge Nature Center in 2013 to be used for educational purposes. With a conservation easement and historical designation for the look of the buildings, this Cottage Grove “Gem” is protected from residential development. Improvements to Shepherd Farm have focused on updating the infrastructure such as water, sewer and electrical. A few programs are currently offered such as community gardens for rent and an adult beekeeping class using the equipment at the Farm. More programs are in the planning with livestock at the Farm, goats, chickens, a native species garden for pollinators and over two miles of walking trails through the woods. A web site is soon to be launched.
Dodge Nature Center is a not profit privately owned self supporting organization that depends on donations and community volunteers. Garden Club members were assured that there would be lots of opportunities to volunteer.
Don emphasized Shepherd Farm is currently not open to the public – only to people enrolled in programs at the Farm. It may open this summer or next year depending on how improvement projects progress. But hey – they’re getting there!
Rick Rodich was the featured speaker at the October 17 meeting of the Pineridge Garden Club. Rick, a horticulturist/botanist, is a member of the North American Rock Garden Society at both the state and national levels. Members were enlightened about the appropriate rocks, plants and soil that are chief landscape elements for a rock garden. More information about the Rock Garden Society can be found at www.NARGS.org.
Blue Chip Tree Service owner – Rodney Mead
Rod has owned of Blue Chip Tree Service since 1990 and he spoke to members about tree maintenance and how to keep trees healthy. Rod was one of the early certified arborists in MN.
Speaker – August 2018
Washington County Master Gardener – Marge Sagstetter
Topic: How to Raise Monarchs Responsibly
Marge didn’t always like Monarch Butterflies and caterpillars. In fact, as a child she had a fear of butterflies and other insects. About five years ago, a friend asked Marge to “babysit” her monarch caterpillars – she thought why not! Why not overcome this fear? Let’s do this! And Marge has been raising monarch butterflies ever since. She shared lots of information with the club members including a few links:
Everything you need to know about monarch butterflies and how you can help bring back the monarch butterflies: www.monarchwatch.org
For information on the migration of the monarch butterfly, go to Journey North www.learner.org/jnorth/tracking migrations and seasons
To view a video of the life cycle of the monarch butterfly, search for Growing Up Butterfly | National Geographic – YouTube