Volunteer at Dawes LbNA # 64124
|Owner||Mimi & Papa|
|Placed Date||Mar 4 2013|
|Location||The Dawes Arboretum, Newark, OH|
There is a quiet site at The Dawes Arboretum that is dedicated to my parents in recognition of their many years of volunteering in the arboretum. Find the two letterboxes and you will know our family name as these two stamps will give you the signature drawings that my mother used for her four granddaughters and her five great grandchildren.
The Dawes Arboretum is located at 7770 Jacksontown Road, Newark, on Ohio SR 13 about 3.5 miles north of I-70, exit 132. To learn about the wonders of nature at The Dawes Arboretum visit their website www.dawesarb.org.
You may want to first stop at the visitor center for a site map. Then drive the Auto Tour for about 2 miles, always following the auto tour signs. Park at the Observation Tower to begin your search. The search will be one mile over easy terrain.
Climb the tower to view the Woodward arborvitae hedge lettering. My daughter Lisa joined her grandparents in 1989 to plant these Woodward shrubs, then only a couple of feet tall. Before you descend, note the space between the R and the E in ARBORETUM.
Trivia: Arborvitae means the tree of life due to their high level of vitamin C. Native Americans and early settlers brewed a tea with the leaves to cure scurvy.
Starting between the R and the E, walk down toward the lake and rest awhile on the bench in memory of two frequent volunteers at Dawes. The first stamp is under the tall blue spruce behind the bench.
Trivia: In the spring, the chartreuse tips of the blue spruce have a citrus taste and so have been used to make jam, vinegar and oils.
Now walk around the lake in the direction of the bridge. At the cypress knees, you will begin walking on a stone path that leads into the woods. Cross the road and continue along the grass path. Note the unusual trees with fan shaped leaves along the way. My father was fascinated by the gingko that originated in China.
Trivia: The gingko is considered a living fossil as it is similar to fossils that date back 270 million years ago. The fruit is actually a cone with a foul smelling, fleshy, orange outer layer.
The path now leads between magnolia trees. There will be a grove of buckeye trees on the left. My mother insisted that these trees bear "real buckeyes" unlike the much shorter variety of buckeyes that grow in my North Carolina garden.
Trivia: Because of the tannic acid in the buckeye nut that is poisonous for humans, the Native Americans ate these only after careful preparation. Better to carry one in your pocket for good luck or look for a recipe for irresistible buckeye candy made of chocolate and peanut butter.
Pass over the short wooden bridge into the heavily wooded area. Follow the sign post toward the Log Cabin. Keep your eyes peeled for the many maple trees. Early each spring when the sap begins to rise, my parents joined the many volunteers that help with the making of maple syrup during Maple Syrup Madness.
Trivia: it takes 5-6 gallons of sap from a maple tree to boil down to 1 pint of maple syrup. If you are lucky, you may be able to buy a bottle in the gift shop.
Do not miss the left turn toward the Japanese garden. If you do, return 500 feet to the T intersection and proceed to the right. Should you want a diversion from your search, take the short spur to the Log Cabin built by the Dawes family in 1920. In early spring, this is the site of the maple syrup production.
Cross the road and walk to Holly Hill, passing the small parking area. The hollies you see need winter pruning so these clipping provide bright berries and evergreen leaves for the Christmas workshops, another volunteer opportunity.
Trivia: The red holly berries are poisonous!
In the holly grove, bear right toward the Japanese Garden. The grass path becomes a dirt path. You will soon come to two large boulders on your right that direct you along a narrow path to a place of serenity.
Now rest your weary legs while you sit on the granite benches and gaze down on the lake in the Japanese garden. This place of solitude was selected in memory of my parents because they had hosted Dr. Nakamura during his visits while designing the Japanese garden.
While seated, gaze to your right in a line along the benches to a large fallen tree trunk. Beside the large stump is the second letterbox. the stamp completes my parents family name.
Be sure to enjoy the quiet of the Japanese garden before returning to your car.