Janesville59.7°

Japanese Garden under renovation

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ROCHELLE B. BIRKELO
May 20, 2011
— If you took a recent stroll through Rotary Botanical Gardens, you would have missed one of its most notable features.

That’s because the waterfall and stream in the Japanese Garden, built in 1990, are undergoing a major renovation.


The repair was part of a wish list for many years, but it was delayed for lack of funding, expertise and equipment, said Kelli Cameron, executive director.


Minor repairs have been made to the area before, but a complete reconstruction of the waterfall is now necessary, she said.


Two pumps feed the waterfall that tumbles over more than 8 tons of stacked limestone. But the rocks have settled over time, changing the waterfall’s slope.


“About half of the water being pumped in the waterfalls is lost, and many rocks are in need of replacement. The streambed that flows from the waterfall also has not been active for more than eight years because of the system losing so much water. This has caused deterioration of the liner, which is punctured in many locations so it also needs to be replaced,” Cameron said.


Other improvements include additional rocks, new pumps, a filtration system and a permanent liner, she said.


Nature’s Touch of Janesville was chosen from three local vendors who gave estimates for the job.


“The intent is for Rotary Botanical Gardens staff to provide on-site monitoring of this project and assist as time and expertise allows,” Cameron said.


Work on the $60,000 project began the second week of April.


“We’re still shooting for the May 31 completion date, but I’m guessing at this point it will be pushed back another week and into the first week of June due to weather,’’ she said.


A $30,000 Caxambas Foundation grant will pay for half of the project, but the gardens is relying on the generosity of the community to pay for the rest of its cost.


“We are seeking the additional funds through community support and business sponsorships,” Cameron said.


“This project is critical to fulfill the mission of Rotary Botanical Gardens while also improving the visitors’ experience, attracting new volunteers and members and promoting it as one of the best botanical gardens in the Midwest.”


TO HELP

Individuals or businesses that donate to help Rotary Botanical Gardens pay for the renovation of its Japanese Garden waterfall and stream can be recognized in some of the following ways, depending on the size of the donations:


-- Plaque in the Japanese Garden with quotations or acknowledgement of the donor’s choice.


-- Recognition in brochures and online through the Rotary Botanical Gardens website, blog, Facebook site and electronic newsletter.


-- A special reception at Rotary Botanical Gardens for guests, employees or families to commemorate the new waterfall and stream in the Japanese Garden.


-- Day passes for guests and employees to tour the gardens throughout the season.


-- Recognition in advertisements in the Gazette and other media.


-- Behind the scenes tour of Rotary Botanical Gardens for executives.


-- Table at the July 16 Rotary Botanical Gardens Dinner Dance.



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