|Rotary's Formal Gardens|
Rotary Gardens is a true treasure now. But in 1981, when I graduated, this area of the city was mostly piles of debris and left-over industrial relics from years past. On one side was the city's swimming spot called Lions Beach; on the other a water-filled former quarry known as locally as Atlas Pit.
In 1988, a retired doctor approached the local Rotary Clubs about developing a botanical garden.
The story is quite a read of civic pride and determination.
Good soil replaced bad.
Actually, good soil had to be trucked in by 800 dump trucks (15,000 yards) to cover the sand and gravel.
|The Fountain (dwm)|
The work continued and continues still. On my visit I chatted awhile with a gentleman who gives hundreds of hours each year to the garden. There are many like him and the results are on display around every turn.
|The Japanese Bridge from|
the north path. (dwm)
Ancient Bamboo sprouts like super-size Asparagus.
The Japanese Bridge is a beautiful focal point from nearly any part of the park. It leads from land on two sides, skims the water, and elegantly joins in the center.
Less impressive from a distance, but as beautiful is a stone arch.
|This arch framed the front door of|
the Parker Pen Headquarters. (dwm)
Fittingly, it now stands in front of the Parker Sunken Garden, welcoming guests again from around the world.
Parker Pen, like General Motors, were big pieces of Janesville during my youth. The idea of them disappearing someday would have sounded like a cruel joke.
Or, as likely as a dead stretch of land becoming the Janesville's Garden and attraction.