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Sustainable Yard and Garden Tour

Saturday, July 20, 2024

9 am to Noon

Sustainable Yard and Garden Tour

Powered Up Baraboo (PUB) invites people who want to make their yards and gardens more sustainable to join a free guided tour of several Baraboo yards on Saturday, July 20, 2024, starting at 9 AM. Participants will learn how to incorporate more native plantings in their own yards while supporting pollinators and managing rainwater runoff. 

The tour starts at the Carnegie-Schadde Memorial Public Library, 230 4th Avenue Baraboo, where tour participants will receive a map of the succeeding tour stops. Participants will tour each yard together as a group, travelling independently from the first stop through each succeeding scheduled stop. The last stop will be 531 11th St., with refreshments and a plant giveaway. Hosts at each stop will tell how and why they developed the sustainable features in their yards or gardens. Marcy Huffaker, landscape designer and owner of Half Aker Designs, will join the host at each stop to help answer questions about landscaping with native plants.

“Because helping people capture and sequester carbon dioxide, a greenhouse gas, is one of the goals of Powered Up Baraboo, we are dedicated to increasing practices that promote this carbon sequestration,” said Lena Nissley, chair of PUB’s Green Spaces Action Team. “Native plants develop extensive and deep root systems that help the plants capture and move the carbon they absorb from the atmosphere, deep into the soil, where the carbon does not contribute to atmospheric warming.”

Nissley points out other advantages of converting lawn areas to native plantings. “Besides supporting pollinators throughout the growing season, the deep root systems of native plants stabilize the soil and help rainwater infiltrate into the soil year-round. This helps prevent rainwater from running across your yard and into the storm sewers, which empty into the Baraboo River.”

Nissley, who has been gradually converting her lawn to areas of native plantings over the last several years, comments that one of the reasons she began this home project is to avoid adding toxic chemicals to her yard. “Native plants evolved in this region. Once established, they don’t need the fertilizers, pesticides, or the labor often needed to keep a lawn looking green and manicured.”

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