2018 Summer Newsletter

Welcoming New Executive Director

The Hyslop Foundation is proud to welcome Julie Vandervort-Peterson as Hawthorn Hollow’s new Executive Director.

More than thirty years in the field of environmental education and interpretation has lead Julie to Hawthorn Hollow. She is looking forward to be joining the talented and dedicated team that makes Hawthorn Hollow truly special. Julie is a resident of Bristol, and has spent the last 18 years as Director of the Little Red Schoolhouse Nature Center in Willow Springs Illinois. She brings with her, experience in making nature more accessible to people of all abilities, developing and leading educational programming, restoring and managing native habitats, hosting special events, and fundraising. 

As the new Executive Director, she is excited about connecting with Hawthorn Hollow’s many visitors and volunteers, and reaching out to new audiences as the nature sanctuary and arboretum continues to grow.

Start Planning Your Events Now!

Sarah White joined the team at Hawthorn Hollow filling the new position of Events Coordinator. Sarahgraduated from Gateway with a degree in Hospitality Management and continued her education with a degree in Marketing from UW-Milwaukee. After working in the private sector she found her niche in development for non-profits. She came to Hawthorn Hollow after working at a larger Foundation in Milwaukee. Her professional experience includes planning fundraising events for her previous non-profit employer, and volunteering on a fundraising committee for her daughter’s high school. “Planning events has been a way of life and my true passion; I’ve always enjoyed assisting with planning weddings and events for family and friends.”

Introducing The Organic Outreach Program

This summer four local high school students have been working hard at Hawthorn Hollow’s HeritageFarmstead as part of the Organic Outreach program. This new program gets students outside, growing food organically, helping out with field trips, working with chickens and bees, serving customers at our market, learning how to cook from the garden, and experiencing the art of fermentation. The students are also donating produce to food shelters, and working along side volunteers; all while acquiring vital job skills. “It makes me happy dropping off our produce at the Shalom Center in Kenosha and the COP houses in Racine, which we’ve worked hard growing and harvesting. And I think it makes them happy as well.” says farm staff Miriam Zepeda.

This first year our staff includes Bradford High School students Trevor Ade, Zaria Ellis, and Miriam Zepeda, and Prairie student Chase Cortez. The staff has undertaken many projects this summer. In addition to learning organic practices, they have installed an herb bed with a large rock herb spiral, a squash bed, a tomato trellis system, and a large perennial bed consisting of asparagus, strawberries, and raspberries. “Our newest projects, the perennial and squash beds make all the difference out here. They are nice additions for the field trips and will add a good variety to the Market,” says Ellis.

Some of the bigger challenges have been dealing with pests, specifically Japanese beetles and cabbage white butterflies. “Luckily we have a budding entomologist on our staff,” Farm Manager, TJ Leveque, says of Chase Cortez. “He has shown us ways to locate, ID, and how to organically control these pests.” Cortez said, “By making my rounds, finding these pests and removing them by hand, we don’t have to treat with pesticides”.

This program is part of The Heritage Farmstead Educational Outreach Program and is serving over 1000 participants this year through field trips at the Farmstead. It is made possible by a grant from the UNFI Foundation, SC Johnson, and the Potpourri Garden Club Inc. Donations have also been received from Milaegers, Gateway, DP Wigley, the Boys and Girls Club of Kenosha, UW Extension, and Tony Travanty.

Summer Adventures at Hawthorn Hollow

It’s been a busy summer with our new Summer Adventure Field trips! Summer time at Hawthorn Hollow is full of life, which makes for a perfect outdoor educational experience.  This year camps from the Greater Kenosha/Racine communities brought hundreds of their campers to participate in Hawthorn Hollow’s new summer programs. During these programs children of all ages engage in hands-on activities as they discover their relationship to the natural world.

Hawthorn Hollow’s resident frogs are a big hit with the kids in our Discover the Wonders of Polliwog Pond program. At the pond our volunteers and staff engage participants by using aquatic nets, viewers, scientific equipment, and field guides for an unforgettable adventure. 

Here’s the buzz about the Power to the Pollinators! program.  Students learn about pollinators by investigating a wide variety of insects as they sweep the meadow using field nets, viewers and field guides.  During this program kids have a unique opportunity to become beekeepers while learning the roles of honey bees and how honey is produced.

Many of our summer programs are taking place at the Heritage Farmstead where students are introduced to where food comes from and how it grows.  The Growing Healthy program teaches students how to grow food, raise chickens, and the art of beekeeping. We are looking forward to many more adventures in the summers to come!

Another Great Summer For Volunteers!

Hawthorn Hollow couldn’t be where it is today with out the help of all the wonderful volunteers! We can’t thank them enough! Barb U., Chase C., Sandy, Kai L., Patty F., Carrie, Donna, Jeremy H., Aaron M., Karen K., Carol S., Terry S., Terry M., Tommy G., Laura S., Zack, everyone at the Garlic mustard pull and the Johnson Financial Group Service Day volunteers. A special thank you to our regular weekly volunteers, Janice Laufenberg, Chris McGowan, Dave Sessa, and Grace Prostko, and Sonny Stevenson for your many, many hours of persistent hard work!

Organic Market Opens

Come on in for summer goodness! Maple Syrup, honey, popcorn, and fresh produce organically grownhere at Hawthorn Hollow are available for purchase. Hawthorn Hollow’s Organic Market is located at the new Heritage Farmstead and can be accessed through a trail on the south side of the arboretum, or during open market hours at 914 Green Bay Rd, Kenosha. Open hours are scheduled around field trips, therefore are currently sporadic. When driving past Hawthorn Hollow, look for the sign by the road saying
“Organic Market OPEN”.

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