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People's Garden Making a Difference

For the last 4 years, the Madison, Minnesota United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the Lac Qui Parle Soil and Water Conservation District (SWCD) has planted and maintained a perennial People’s Garden.  This was a great way for the Conservation Partnership in Madison to work together.  “For these co-workers, using this planting asa People’s Garden was a natural fit,” said Burton Hendrickson, District Conservationist.

Team meetings were held to plan a small prairie planting at the Lac Qui Parle SWCD Tree building.  The partnership decided that planting native flowers would be a good fit for their community. It could illustrate the use of native plants in field and for home landscaping.  This led to an idea that incorporated weekly monitoring of the blooming native flowers.  As a result, the NRCS and SWCD technical staff gained a better idea on the various blooming phases of the flowers and plants.  Staff took pictures and maintained detailed records as to when blooming started and concluded and were able to show pollinator benefits. 

“Projects such as the People’s Garden takes a lot of time and effort,” said Hendrickson.  “After the long winter of 2014, the local USDA staff is ready to get outside and observe the garden coming back to life.”

As for the spring of 2014, the USDA Service Center is planning on continuing with the tradition of their People’s Garden.  If you are interested in learning more about this Outreach Activity please contact Hendrickson  at 320-598-7321.