Gateway Park Arboretum Awarded a Level I Accreditation by The ArbNet Arboretum Accreditation Program

Located on the north edge of Marengo, Gateway Park Arboretum has been awarded a Level I Accreditation by The ArbNet Arboretum Accreditation Program and The Morton Arboretum, for achieving particular standards of professional practices deemed important for arboreta and botanic gardens. The ArbNet Arboretum Accreditation Program is the only global initiative to officially recognize arboreta at various levels of development, capacity, and professionalism. Gateway Park Arboretum is also now recognized as an accredited arboretum in the Morton Register of Arboreta, a database of the world’s arboreta and gardens dedicated to woody plants.

Gateway Park Arboretum was created in 2004 with a grant that was used to purchase 70 trees. A collection of conifers was donated and planted that same year. Today there are 36 different species of identified trees and shrubs including 10 species of oaks and 12 species of conifers. A walking trail runs through the arboretum and continues around a 41-acre lake that is part of Gateway Park and Preserve. A meditation garden provides space for trail walkers to pause and rest or reflect. Guided tree walks and educational activities are organized by Iowa County Master Gardeners and Iowa County Conservation Naturalists.

A guided Spring Tree Walk in conjunction with a distribution of free tree seedlings will take place April 23rd at 2 pm. There will also be a tree planting demonstration and door prizes.

Arboretum accreditation is an important step toward achieving the goal of educating the public about the importance and the beauty of trees and their place in the natural world.

About Gateway Park Arboretum

Gateway Park Arboretum encompasses 7.5 acres of trees, shrubs, and perennial gardens. It is nestled within Gateway Park and Preserve, a 131-acre property owned by Iowa County Conservation. More information and a map of trees at the arboretum can be found at this link: https://iowacountyconservation.org/things-to-do/our-properties/gateway-park-and-preserve/

About ArbNet
ArbNet is an interactive, collaborative, international community of arboreta. ArbNet facilitates the sharing of knowledge, experience, and other resources to help arboreta meet their institutional goals and works to raise professional standards through the ArbNet Arboretum Accreditation Program. The accreditation program, sponsored and coordinated by The Morton Arboretum in Lisle, Illinois in cooperation with American Public Gardens Association and Botanic Gardens Conservation International, is the only global initiative to officially recognize arboreta based on a set of professional standards. The program offers four levels of accreditation, recognizing arboreta of various degrees of development, capacity and professionalism. Standards include planning, governance, public access, programming and tree science, planting and conservation. More information is available at www.arbnet.org.

Floristic Inventory of Lake Iowa Park

Floristic Inventory for Lake Iowa Park

Lake Iowa park, managed by Iowa County Conservation (ICC), has acres of beautiful restored prairie, but it also has areas that could be true remnants, areas that were never cropped or disturbed. ICC obtained a grant from the Iowa Native Plant Society (INPS) to find out if there are any remnant areas left at Lake Iowa Park and how to best manage them. This information will create a baseline for data collection and help ICC create a management plan to help these remnant areas survive for generations.
Dr. Thomas Rosburg was chosen to complete the floristic inventory with a background including a Ph.D. in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, masters in plant ecology and bachelor of science in Fish and Wildlife Biology from Iowa State University. With his impressive resume and wealth of knowledge we were very pleased when he agreed to the survey, and with the monetary help of the INPS grant, ICC was able to afford the project.
Iowa County staff created a map that highlighted the areas most likely to have true remnant prairies. These areas were selected using GIS software, aerial imagery, and descriptions of Lake Iowa Park from previous staff members. Using this information, ten areas, 57 acres in total, were selected for study. Dr. Rosburg performed meandering plant surveys on June 5th, July 12th, and September 8th of 2019 to better capture the different growing seasons. He observed 245 different vascular plant species, including many native species.
Dr. Rosburg lays out evidence in his report that Lake Iowa Park may have remnant prairie, which is very exciting and encouraging news. His report includes how to manage these remnant areas. The most pressing issue is the encroachment of invasive species. Dr. Rosberg suggests using multiple stressors against the invasive species at the proper timing. Iowa County Conservation will put areas containing potential remnants at the top of the list when developing the management plan and deciding where to start fighting back against the invasive species that have taken hold in our areas.
We are very excited to see some unusual species and very pleased to know that we have remnant prairies still in Iowa County, Iowa, a place that has been so changed from the original landscape. Thank you very much for the hard work from Dr. Rosburg. Thank you to the Iowa Native Plant Society for making this project possible.

 

thumbnail of FinalReportLakeIowaPark_Rosburg2020 (1)

Link to Dr. Rosburg’s full report: https://iowacountyconservation.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/03/FinalReportLakeIowaPark_Rosburg2020-1.pdf