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Volunteers keep native gardens thriving at Myrick Park Center

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(WXOW) - A big part of what makes Myrick Park such a great place to visit is its native gardens.

These gardens not only add beauty but also create a diverse ecosystem. The cold spring conditions provide volunteers like Laurie Arzaga and Betty Kruck an opportunity to plan and examine how to help that life sprout.

"We do research on the plants we put here, and we select plants that are native to this particular region," said Betty Kruck.

Those native plants attract pollinators like bees and other wildlife to the area, fostering the growth of a healthy ecosystem.

"We try and have a variety of plants so that we always have something blooming from late spring to early fall," said Kruck.

It's work that Laurie fell in love around five years ago all thanks to Betty.

"She offered to give a tour of the native gardens and after the tour she asked for volunteers and I immediately raised my hand!" said Arzaga.

Since then, the two have spent time, along with their friend and fellow volunteer Joyce, preserving this natural habitat, observing the ripple effects of these native plants.

"The fun is that we learn, and we learn from each other and from the other volunteers that come," said Kruck.

"It's a passion and I'll be doing this for the rest of my life," said Arzaga.

Betty, Laurie, and their fellow volunteer Joyce are all being honored with the 'Volunteer of the Year Award' by WisCorps.

The garden and native landscaping projects are in partnership between Bluff Country Master Gardeners, WisCorps, Wild Ones, the City of La Crosse, and Friends of Myrick Park.

If you'd like to volunteer, you can stop by the Myrick Park Center on Thursdays from 9:30 a.m. through 12:30 p.m. from May through September. You can find more information right here.

For more information and volunteer opportunities, visit

Mike Beiermeister

WXOW Weekend Anchor and Reporter

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