Master Gardeners increase diversity in Wausau botanical garden

The North Central Wisconsin Master Gardener Association is working to develop a shade garden within the Monk Botanical Gardens located in Wausau, WI.

In 2018, volunteers worked more than 200 hours to clear over 10,600 sq. ft. of buckthorn, grape vines, and other invasive species to make room for the shade garden. Within the area, several red pines were removed due to declining health, poor structural integrity, unsafe conditions and to create space for undergrowth. Committed to recycling all that was removed, the red pine logs will be used as mulch for the Gardens or donated to local artists for furniture and sculpture creation. In addition, a variety of stumps were saved for sculpture art, adding dimension and beauty to the shade garden.

In 2019, thirteen different species of deciduous trees and a variety of shrubs will be planted, increasing the diversity of the shade garden. This increase in tree diversity will strengthen the health of the forest, including providing better bird habitat. All trees, shrubs and plants will be identified, providing visitors with a demonstration garden that can be recreated in their own yard.

This project will be completed with the help of various funders: State of Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources Forestry Program (Urban Forestry Grant Program), the Marvin & Ruth (Rudie) Schuette Fund and the William M. & Mary Nell Reif Family Fund of the Community Foundation of North Central Wisconsin, Monk Botanical Gardens and the North Central Wisconsin Master Gardener Association.

Interested in getting involved with this project? Contact Linda Grilley at


Written by the North Central Wisconsin Master Gardeners Association.

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