One of the projects for Onondaga County Save the Rain, is the James Pass Arboretum. The project consists of two rain gardens, currently resembling empty sandy-bottomed ponds. From looking at them it appears that water will get displaced from the nearby streets through large drain pipes into what will be a group of plants simulating a small wetland. I can’t help but wonder what they are going to be planting in there, an assortment of native rushes, sedges, and grasses, perhaps Hierochloe odorata, and some moisture loving bloomers?
After my inspection of the rain garden areas, I walked around the entire arboretum. I visit this greenspace daily, but usually stay stationary in the open center area throwing a frisbee for my four-legged friend. Today I went to the furthest corner, bordered by a cemetery, and saw the real beauty in this arboretum. For a moment I felt like a kid at the zoo, getting excited before I visited each tree, but I soon became disappointed as I noticed the informative labels on the specimens have either disappeared or been vandalized.
The idea of an arboretum is to have a living collection of trees, usually available for the community to use and enjoy. This space is utilized regularly, most residents in the area bring their dogs and walk around the center , and a few wander further up the hill. The new rain gardens can hopefully bring a solution to the runoff water from the street, as well as some well needed attention to the identification of the trees.