This artwork representing
the five clans of the Menominee people is among several installations
donated to CMN as part of the 35-acre botanical garden, which
will host the college's environmental research station initiatives.
Artists represented in the "Menominee Clans" grouping are
Ren Katchenago, Larry Fenske, and David Bartels. Photo by
A Wisconsin couple's interest in horticulture and environmental
education has inspired a unique and significant gift to the College
of Menominee Nation (CMN). Andrew and Sharon Gleisner deeded to
CMN the 35-acre garden that had been their personal project since
After extensive restoration and planting on the former farmland,
the Gleisners opened the tract to the public in 2000 as Arbor View
Gardens. Its botanical array features many varieties of wildflowers
and other flowering plants, the state's largest collection of woody
plants, outdoor art installations, and facilities for educational
and social events.
The development of Arbor View Gardens benefited from Sharon Gleisner's
professional background in education and Andrew Gleisner's expertise
in horticulture. Aiding in their project was Andrew's mentor and
horticulture professor at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, Dr.
Edward Hasselkus. A former curator of the University of Wisconsin
Arboretum's Longenecker Horticultural Gardens, Hasselkus offered
professional advice to the Gleisners and provided nearly 20% of
the woody species now in the Arbor View collection. Other plantings
on the property include many non-invasive plants from around the
world that are acclimated to Wisconsin conditions.
Upon retiring, the Gleisners identified CMN as an appropriate recipient
of the gardens, which had been occupied by European settlers following
an 1830s treaty that ceded more than four million acres of ancestral
Menominee land to the U.S. government.
While the garden is no longer public, its mission as a place for
environmental conservation and biodiversity education will continue.
CMN's president, Christopher Caldwell, says the college is planning
on ways faculty members and CMN's Sustainable
Development Institute can make use of the property's special
characteristics. "We are grateful for the careful stewardship the
Gleisners have given to this piece of Mother Earth," Caldwell says,
"and for their thoughtfulness in returning it to the care of the
Caldwell noted that the college envisions possible environmental
research station projects, adding that the land will be used for
"our continuing academic work on the impact of climate change, phenomenology
in this region, sustainable agriculture and ancient gardens of the
Menominee people, and for classes such as natural resources, geoscience,
and soil microbiology." CMN's imminent environmental research station
is located near the city of Clintonville in Wisconsin's Waupaca
Having access to a large land area that is fenced and cleared of
invasive species adds to its research potential, Caldwell says.
"We have demonstration gardens adjacent to the college, but having
additional space a few miles distant offers control sites that can
extend knowledge gained in projects."