Botanical Gardens

Robert W. Monk III has donated over 20 acres of his land to UW-Marathon County to help them establish a botanical garden.

Monk's property sits on the north side of town. The area will include an enabling garden for kids with disabilities, a butterfly garden, and an enclosed glass plant gallery.

"They say when an old man plants a tree, you don't do it for yourself; you do it for someone else," says Monk.

The garden plans have been completed by Marshall Tyler Rauch of Pittsburgh, PA, and adopted by the garden board of directors and are presently being implemented.

See Botanical Garden Webpage

Fri, Jan 7, 2005
Monk Gardens grows closer to reality
By Keith Uhlig

Wausau Daily Herald

A Wausau botanical garden that someday might include a glass-enclosed plant gallery, coffee house and garden plots accessible to people with disabilities, is one large step closer to reality.
Landowner Robert Monk, 86, last week turned over a little more than 21 acres of his property on the north side of Wausau to a nonprofit group devoted to developing the project.
Monk and officials at the University of Wisconsin Marathon County have been working since May 2001 toward the establishment of botanical gardens on his property.

The group organized to make that happen, called Robert W. Monk Gardens Inc., will celebrate the land transfer Wednesday with a presentation at the University of Wisconsin Marathon County.

"We have something tangible now that we can discuss in our fund-raising process," said Wayne Geurink, president of the Robert W. Monk Gardens board of directors. "Right now we're feeling awfully good about things."
The group already is in the planning process, and hired a Pittsburgh landscape architectural firm, Marshall, Tyler, Rausch. The firm is designing a master plan and developing a business plan for the botanical garden.

Organizers expect to have a draft of the first phase of the plan in hand by the end of this month.

Monk said he decided to officially turn the land over to Robert W. Monk Gardens Inc. because the group cleared significant hurdles toward establishing the gardens.
"I decided they've made enough progress now, they should have title to the property," Monk said. "I think this is a start. I look at this as a start."
Hooshang Zeyghami, the vice president of the gardens' board of directors, said the gardens could be used for a variety of purposes but will have a primary goal of giving people a hands-on place to learn about plants.

"There are lot of people interested in those kinds of things," Zeyghami said. "It will be used as an educational tool, for high schools, for the university. That's the best part in my mind."
UWMC Dean Jim Veninga said that with Monk's property donation "everything is really now set ... for this project to move forward."
He said the beauty of the project is that it can be built gradually.

"You don't have to have everything done at once for it to be viable and useful," Veninga said.

1801 - 1921 East Crabtree Drive
Wausau, WI 54401
Phone 715-432-5733