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ROAD TRIPPIN' Clinton: Bickelhaupt Arboretum

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The brightest red cardinal you've ever seen flutters on the upper most branch of a spruce tree to announce in glorious song that Spring has sprung.

There are places you visit where you quickly realize Mother Nature is in charge. She controls the pace, the volume of chirping birds and croaking frogs and the amazing spectrum of color that leaves you in awe.

The 14-acre Bickelhaupt Arboretum in Clinton is one of those places. A carpet of blooming yellow daffodils glows under the exploding, fragrant blossoms of fruit trees. Some are a beautiful bright pink and a crab apple is covered in vibrant crimson. Wildflowers blanket the hillsides as bluebells seem to jingle in the breeze and giant ferns and hostas spread across the shaded borders.

Horticulturist Margo Hansen says she's loved every moment of the last five years in this natural oasis that showcases more than two thousand native and unique species of trees and plants. "It's just an emerald gem of Clinton, Iowa, tucked right in the middle of the city. It's a place where you can come and read a book, take pictures of the kids .. you can just enjoy the beautiful blossoms and nature all around."

David Horst is in charge of the grounds and has kept this magnificently manicured jewel a favorite with nature lovers for decades. The arboretum began in the 1970s as a hobby of sorts for Frances and Bob Bickelhaupt. At an age when most couples are thinking about retirement, they were so passionate about the trees and wildlife around us, they dedicated the rest of their lives to collecting species and opening up their property for all to see and enjoy. Today it is one of the premier collections in the Midwest and treats visitors to a constantly changing new look for every season. Margo says she hopes it has become everything

Bob and Frances dreamed, " What I really hope is that people are more in touch with nature and protect the wonderful earth we live on. We are so fortunate and I just really want them to respect Mother Nature and Mother Earth."

Come along as Matt Hammill takes you on a tour of what may be the most peaceful place in Iowa, as we go ROAD TRIPPIN' to Clinton!

http://www.eicc.edu/about-eicc/colleges-and-centers/bickelhaupt/index.aspx

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