High school students dig up Linden Hill’s front lawn

New shrubbery and flowers have been added to enhance the landscape

By Tina Snell, Staff Writer

Denis Dolan, chair of the Linden Hill Gardens and Grounds Committee, shows off the new hydrangeas students from Doug Ploof’s plants and science class at the Little Falls Community High School planted this spring.

In the fall of 2011, the Linden Hill Gardens and Grounds Committee considered a new garden area by the entrance to the historic district. Denis Dolan, the chair of the committee, contacted Doug Ploof, Little Falls Community High School (LFCHS) plants and science teacher. He and his class studied the project over the winter, measured and graded portions of the property and planted new shrubs and flowers.

Denis Dolan, chair of the Linden Hill Gardens and Grounds Committee, shows off the new hydrangeas students from Doug
Ploof’s plants and science class at the Little Falls Community High School planted this spring.

“The students were here about 12 times,” said Dolan. “They really worked hard on this project. They learned a lot about gardening and Linden Hill benefitted from that knowledge.”

The new garden hugs the driveway to the Musser and Weyerhaeuser homes near the entrance on First Avenue Southeast in Little Falls. Because the land dropped toward the street, the area was graded so the lawn sloped to the garden and didn’t have to be terraced.

“That was the student’s’ suggestion,” said Dolan. “The lawn and garden has a more aesthetic look to it.”

Dolan said the students prepared the ground, spread black dirt where the lawn had been and added landscape fabric. They outlined the garden area with brick and spread mulch. Then planted and watered the new vegetation.

“The Committee designed the shape of the two gardens,” said Dolan. “The students presented their ideas of how it should look and the committee chose the ideas they felt would work the best. The members used a composite of the ideas presented.”

The Friends of Linden Hill, a nonprofit group, took over the management of Linden Hill in 2007. In 2009, the Gardens and Grounds Committee was formed. Its mission is to maintain the integrity of the lot as it was when the original families lived there.

“Many of the gardens have been neglected over the years,” said Dolan. “The committee is trying to bring them back again by engaging the community to help. Right now, we have about 30 adopted gardens which the volunteers maintain.”

In the future, Dolan would like to have a professional brochure created, maybe by the graphic arts department at the LFCHS. He would also love another partnership with Ploof’s plants and science class.

The Garden and Grounds Committee began with no money. They had plant sales and accepted donations to buy tools and material. This year, they received a $1,000 grant from Walmart to help maintain the property, which contains nine acres, almost 300 trees and about 300 shrubs.

“This property could not be kept up without the help of volunteers,” said Dolan. “We all appreciate the help from our corporate sponsors, Edward Jones and Pine Country Bank, along with Walmart, the city of Little Falls which owns the property and all the volunteers.”

For more information about adopting a garden, or even adopting a structure, contact Linden Hill at (320) 616-5580.

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