For those who enjoy a lovely walk through the sculpture garden at Meadowbrook Park, you can now look forward to new native trees and shrubs that are currently being planted. According to Derek Liebert, Superintendent of Planning and Operations at Urbana Park District:

"Many of the trees that were originally planted in 1996 are short-lived species and the district has begun to lose some of the trees that were initially planted already. Others like European black alder are invasive and have been taking over other areas of Meadowbrook Park.  The river birch is beautiful and iconic. But, it is shorter-lived and doesn’t tolerate the use of prescribed fire, a critical tool the park district uses to maintain the health of the surrounding prairie."

UPD has been clearing out some of those trees to make room for the new ones, a project that has been made possible through the continued support of the Wandell family. 

The garden honors Celia and Willett Wandell, who once owned a tree nursery in Urbana — here's an interesting read about his development of several tree varieties. Their son, Jeff Wandell, owns Prairie Gardens and its sister store, Jeffrey Alans. 

A note: some of the trails will be closed during the renovation.

You can see the master plan here.  

Photo by Sam Logan