Master Plan Implementation Continues
During 2012 and 2013, board members from the Hyslop Foundation and the Friends of Hawthorn Hollow completed a Master Plan to help us focus and coordinate future growth as an organization. One of the concerns that became obvious was the limitations of our small Nature Center Building to provide adequate visitor services, facilitate special event crowds, and give opportunity for the staff to expand programming and generate revenue. This led to a conceptual vision of a new Visitors Center on the eastern edge of our property along the well traveled Green Bay Road.
We are happy to announce that this plan is not gathering dust and that the Visitors Center is on track to become a reality.
Originally, our new Schoolyard Observatory was planned to be built on the Pike River School property on County Highway A. After hiring an Architect to develop plans, we realized the intended building site provided us with insurmountable obstacles. Among a variety of complications, the site was limited and could not accommodate the parking we would require and, more importantly, would not allow for future expansion. Consensus was made to begin work on the Visitors Center and to include the Schoolyard Observatory as Phase 1 of this much larger project.
We have engaged the services of The Kubala Washatko Architects, Inc., (TKWA) to guide us on this journey. TKWA has extensive experience working with non-profit organizations like Hawthorn Hollow. Their portfolio includes notables such as Leopold Legacy Center, Schlitz Audubon, Urban Ecology Center and a recent addition to River Bend. We are enthusiastic and confident their creativity will help us achieve our vision.
The Schoolyard Observatory will now become the focal point and a catalyst for the development of our Visitors Center. Once the feasibility study and a comprehensive plan for the Visitors Center Complex is completed by TKWA, our goal is to begin construction of Phase 1 (Observatory) in the Spring of 2016.
HH continues to seek funding for the first phase of our dream and over $200,000 has been contributed from various donors dedicated to creating this unique science center.
Thank You to The Fund for Lake Michigan
Our Master Plan also includes a project that would prevent erosion of the Old Mill Road (Tractor Road), our main trail to the Amphitheater and Historic Buildings. During severe storm events, heavy rains are funneled down the road causing erosion to the road and streambank. The Fund for Lake Michigan provided us with a grant to develop an engineering plan to re-grade the road and direct the stormwater into a historic meander just east of the river. This low meander area will hold the stormwater and allow it to percolate into the ground. HH has retained R.A. Smith National, Inc., to develop the engineering plan. Additional funding is being sought for the construction of this project.
Thank You Volunteers
Hawthorn Hollow is truly grateful for the increase of volunteers this year. The weekly morning groups, work days, special events support, the boutique, instructor expertise and, especially the extra help received at the Market Garden have all made this an extraordinary year. Without the many hours of hard work from this diverse group of individuals, all we do at Hawthorn Hollow would not be possible. Thank You. If you ever thought about volunteering please email Dan Lyons at email@example.com. Below are a few of our favorite volunteer pictures of the past year.
Dead Ash Trees Coming Down
Thanks to grants from the Runzheimer Foundation and the John C. Boch Foundation dead ash trees are being removed from Hawthorn Hollow’s Arboretum, trails, and around buildings. Some of the trees were nearly 100 years old. Hawthorn Hollow is home to green ash in the Arboretum, white ash in the woodlands, and black ash in the river floodplain. All three species are affected by the emerald ash borer. You’ll find large stumps of the ash trees in the Arboretum, along trails, and up near the Historic Building.
Ash trees are important to the structure of our native woodlands and floodplain forests. Our native forests here in Southeast Wisconsin have lost many of our butternut trees to butternut canker, elm trees to Dutch elm disease, and oaks in the red oak group to oak wilt. It’s an important lesson in maintaining diversity in woodlands and urban plantings.
Scarecrows at the Hollow
This fall Hawthorn Hollow featured its first “Scarecrow Building Workshop”. It was an adult/family class in which participants were guided through the history and mythology of the scarecrow and then had the opportunity to build their very own. The class was the last in the series of Heritage Classes this year providing hands-on experience with a new craft while creating something special to bring home.
The Amphitheater Chimney gets a facelift from employee Guy Walton. Ruth and Margaret Teuscher constructed the stone fireplace and oven as part of their campsite shortly after they first purchased the property back in 1935.