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Major renovations coming to Wandell Sculpture Garden

The four-year plan to refurbish the Wandell Sculpture Garden at Meadowbrook Park in Urbana enters the final phase with more new tree plantings.

The work begins this week.

"Thanks to the generosity of the Wandell family, the Wandell Sculpture Garden Landscape is getting rejuvenated with new tree and shrub plantings," said Derek Liebert, Superintendent of Planning and Operations at Urbana Park District.

He further explained, "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."

The Park District is gradually thinning and removing the birch and the black alder trees to provide growing space for the planting of over 250 trees and shrubs that are native to Illinois.

"In addition to featuring species that represent our native savannas, the planting plan was developed to highlight the viewing of sculpture within the garden while providing grand views of the surrounding prairie and stream corridor," Liebert added.

During this work, some of the park trails will be closed and signs will detour visitors.

The new work will change the look of the Wandell Sculpture Garden, making for more sunlight for the newly planted trees. "The Park District will keep some trees to provide shade to walkers as the new plantings grow and mature into a new shade canopy."

The Park District is sharing its Wandell Sculpture Garden landscaping plan with the public.

If people have any questions about this project, please call Liebert at 217-344-9583.


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