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In full bloom

By Staff | Sep 4, 2009

No, it’s not the Peace Garden, but the grounds between the Northern Lights Tower and Prairie Village Museum in Rugby provide a little slice of beauty.

The grounds feature plenty of flora and fauna and are quite an improvement from what they were just two years ago.

Don Sobolik, who is a member of a committee that planned the beautification project, said there has been a lot of positive feedback about the condition of the grounds.

What has really enhanced the area are the flower beds that have been planted and maintained by individuals and groups, Sobolik said. A half dozen beds are positioned throughout the grounds as well as the entrance of the museum and feature various flowers and vegetables. Small signage in each bed indicates who is maintaining them.

In addition to the flower beds, a variety of trees has been planted, and there is a sidewalk connecting the tower’s Northern Lights Tower interpretive gazebo to the museum.

While the tourist attractions are different, one of the goals of the committee was to tie them together, and that’s why the sidewalk was planned.

A sizable grant awarded a few years ago through the state forestry service enabled the committee to hire a landscaper to design the area as well as purchase a number of trees and shrubs. Grant funds also helped pay for the installation of an underground sprinkler system.

And this year several species of native grass were also added with the help of Natural Resources Soil Conservation, Pierce County’s Soil Conservation District and Upper Dakota Resources and Development.

Sobolik said while much of the work has been completed, there are still projects the committee is working on. One includes installing new light fixtures at the base of the tower. Creating brighter illumination of the tower has been a challenge ever since it was erected a decade ago.

Another project is placing a fountain on the grounds and establishing a barrier wall or fence to separate the grounds and parking area.

Of course, maintenance will continue, and the committee has hired the services of Gene Stanley to mow and oversee the area.

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