Our Readers Share – Ginny Coburn: East Gateway Prairies are Blooming

East Gateway Prairie – Photo courtesy of Ginny Coburn

Ginny Coburn writes, “Shown here are purple prairie clover and coreopsis, two of the native Wisconsin plants growing in the mini-prairie surrounding a public art piece at East Milwaukee St.  A matching sculpture and prairie is found across the street at East Main and together the area is known as the East Gateway to Whitewater.  Other plants found in the landscapes are white prairie clover, silky Canadian rye, black-eyed Susan, rattlesnake master, butterfly weed, bee balm, liatris, milkweed and more.  The growing of native plants benefits the environment by hosting caterpillars and pollinators.  Birds need protein to feed their babies and caterpillars are a great source but some species of caterpillar are “specialists” and will only feed on one plant family. The monarch caterpillar, for example, only feeds on milkweed leaves.  Growing a variety of native plants benefits birds and encourages a variety of butterflies and moths. 

The pair of sculptures by Richard Taylor is titled “Ascent and Bloom” and suggests a tree with branches, each of which has symbols of Whitewater history such as agricultural implements, native birds, flowing water, Esterly Reaper factory parts and a wooly mammoth representing the Ice Age which shaped our Kettle Moraine topography.  Pedestrians enjoy interpreting the various symbols for themselves, then making a visit to the Whitewater Depot Museum to see the actual artifacts.

The sculptures and prairie were made possible by a generous grant from Fort Community Credit Union.”

— Our thanks to Ms. Coburn for sharing this beautiful photograph and interesting information with us.

— Our Readers Share: We hope that you might have something that you’d be willing to share.  Anything that’s been created by someone else should, of course, be credited, and you should ask their permission if you’re able. We cannot post copyrighted material without permission. We can’t guarantee that we’ll have space for all submissions, and contributions will be subject to editorial board approval. The one definite exclusion is anything politically oriented. We will assume that you’re willing for us to include your name as the submitter unless you indicate that you prefer to remain anonymous. Send to whitewaterbanner@gmail.com or click on “submit a story” near the top right of our homepage.  Thanks for thinking about this!

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