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United Tribes to dedicate new campus garden
Free fruit trees to be planted in orchard
1 September 2011

BISMARCK (UTN) - United Tribes Technical College will host a dedication program and tree planting party Tuesday, September 13 at 3 p.m. for Dragonfly Garden on the college’s new campus.

      The program will formally recognize and celebrate the establishment of the five-acre plot as a community demonstration and research garden. The event will include a Lakota ground blessing ceremony.

GARDEN HELPERS: Three sets of helping hands were at work planting rose bushes in June in the United Tribes Dragonfly Garden. From left, Jayzen Lee and Jonah Windy Boy, both age 8, rolled out the root-ball from its container and Miranda Medicine Crow, 9, gathered in soil. All are students at Theodore Jamerson Elementary School and part of the United Tribes Junior Master Gardener Program. They learned the technique from Tom Kalb, NDSU Extension Horticulturalist and co-coordinator of the display and demonstration garden on the college’s new, south campus. DENNIS J. NEUMANN United Tribes News

      During the program, United Tribes will recognize and thank Dreyer’s/Edy’s Fruit Bars and the Fruit Tree Planting Foundation www.ftpf.org for the donation of 54 fruit trees and shrubs. All are varieties suited to growing conditions in south-central North Dakota.

Online Contest

      Dragonfly Garden won the free trees over the summer in the on-line voting contest “Communities Take Root.” Hundreds of United Tribes friends visited the website www.CommunitiesTakeRoot.com and voted for the Dragonfly Garden Orchard. The mission of Communities Take Root is to award fruit orchards to deserving communities across the country to encourage good health with a locally grown fresh fruit supply.

      The Oglala Tribe’s Sustainable Homestead Designs project at Pine Ridge, SD earned an orchard earlier in the summer and assisted United Tribes with the voting campaign for Dragonfly Garden.

       “The work of our partners and staff, and the help of our friends around the country paid off,” said Pat Aune, United Tribes Land Grant Programs Director and Dragonfly Garden co-coordinator. “Soon we’ll be planting trees together in the garden. I expect to harvest fruit in two or three years.”

      Involved in the tree planting on September 13 will be students in the United Tribes Tribal Environmental Science program, youngsters who attend Theodore Jamerson Elementary School on the college campus, local officials, representatives of partner organizations, and members of the college staff.

      An arborist from the Fruit Tree Planting Foundation will also be present to work with volunteers to help install the orchard, and present a workshop about planting and caring for fruit trees.

Learning Environment

      Dragonfly Garden is the result of a proposal by Tom Kalb, NDSU Regional Extension Horticulturist, to establish a research and demonstration garden on the UTTC campus. The joint UTTC/NDSU effort is aimed at providing students with experiential learning that directly aligns with Native American culture and heritage, serves as an experimental plot, and offers local residents a showplace to see different plant varieties.

      During the 2011 growing season, over 400 rose bushes were installed by Kalb and youngsters in the United Tribes Junior Master Gardener Program. With 140 different varieties represented, Dragonfly Garden contains the largest number of different rose bushes that can be found in one location in North Dakota. The garden’s plots are arranged in a circular pattern that is symbolic of the Native American Medicine Wheel design.

      “Dragonfly Garden is open to the community,” said Kalb, who is also the garden’s co-coordinator. “Anyone can tour the plantings and use the information they gain to care for their own gardens and landscapes.”

      Dragonfly Garden has expanded gardening efforts on the United Tribes campus. Other gardening locations include a Youth Garden, a summer-student gardening plot, a traditional garden long tended by Donald Cain (Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa), flower beds at the campus entrance and in numerous other locations, a herb garden along the campus walking trail, and a kitchen garden at the Skill Center. All have been maintained with volunteer help.

Volunteers Welcome

       The public is invited to the program on September 13. Enter the campus on Burleigh Avenue and proceed east to the back gate. Refreshments will be served, including a meal for tree planters. A freezer full of fruit bars will be supplied courtesy of Dryers/Edy’s Fruit Bars. On location will be the North Dakota Department of Agriculture’s Mobile Food Processing Unit, a commercial kitchen on wheels, used at fairs, festivals and celebrations around the state.

      The Dragonfly Garden ground blessing will be conducted by Tom Red Bird (Cheyenne River Lakota), language and culture instructor at TJES.

       For more information contact: Pat Aune, Land Grant Director, United Tribes Technical College, 701-255-3285 x 1399, paune@uttc.edu.


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