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Robin's Music
Wild Sweet William


Songs From The Garden

We're Going Off the Grid at Bartlett Arboretum With a Human-Powered Concert and Eco-Festival

Bartlett Arboretum celebrates personal environmental action and alternative energy sources with an eco-festival and the final Tree House Concert of 2014.

The Sunday, Oct. 19, event will feature music by local artists, informational presentations on a variety of environmental themes and a concert by Austin singer-songwriter Eliza Gilkyson.

It's the first of what arboretum steward Robin Macy hopes will become an annual celebration exploring and calling attention to strategies that help us all leave a smaller environmental footprint.

Gates open at noon to kick off an afternoon of speakers, musicians and artists performing and exhibiting in consort with the Arb's stewardship mission. Alternative energies will be on display, including a bicycle-powered PA system, courtesy of MakeICT, and a wind-energized kinetic art installation by Mike and Meghan Miller. A kid's tent will offer eco-crafts.

Speaker Presentations in the Depot

  • 12:30 Pollinators in a GMO world – Britt Hopper, apiarist
  • 1:30 Eco-Laureate – Molly Traffas, InnerWorks
  • 2:30 Sustainable landscaping with native plants – Brad Guhr, Dyck Arboretum
  • 3:30 Alternative energies – Patrick Atwatter, One80 Solar
  • 4:45 Our Climate Reality – Lynate Pettengill, Citizens' Climate Lobby

Music on the Arb Stage

  • 12:30 World on a String
  • 1:15 Common Folk
  • 2:00 Brutal Bear
  • 2:45 Robin Macy & Kentucky White
  • 3:15 Irish Ceilidh

At 4 p.m., environmentally-minded and poetically gifted Eliza Gilkyson will take the stage.

The Arboretum hopes to make it a zero landfill event, with recycling initiatives. Environmental science students will help compost food refuse on site.

$10 at the gate.
Free if you bicycle to the event.
Bike valet will be available thanks to Bike Walk Wichita.
Bring a picnic or enjoy barbecue by the Lyon's Den and Italian fare from Luciano's of Mulvane.

Thanks to our participants and sponsors. KMUW
Howerton + White
Wichita Rain Barrels
LED Source
Interstate All Battery Center
One80 Solar
Medical Loan Closet
BikeWalk Wichita
Friends University Environmental Studies graduates
Air Capitol Salvage
ProKansas Miller Recycling Center
Lyon's Den BBQ
College Hill Coffee

Uncommon Ground

Songs From The Garden Jaime Green's lyrical documentary ventures up the garden paths and down the Euphrates Creek, exploring how this 100-year-old wood made it into our lives today. This short film was underwritten by the Kansas Humanities Council as part of initiative Kansans Tell Their Stories for the state's 150th anniversary.

Located 20 miles south of Wichita, the century-old, historic Bartlett Arboretum is home to massive cypress, oaks and champion Japanese maples. For nearly 100 years many generations of Kansans have enjoyed this unique sanctuary once touted as "the only mature arboretum between the Mississippi River and the Rocky Mountains."

In 1910 Dr. Walter Bartlett, a general practitioner from Belle Plaine, purchased about 40 acres of pastureland along a winding stream called the Euphrates Creek. A consummate naturalist, Dr. Bartlett collected waterfowl and minerals, but the hobby that continued throughout his lifetime and into a second century and a fourth generation was his passion for horticulture and his varied collection of trees. In the 1930s the arboretum became an approved government testing ground; the Department of Agriculture sent plants and trees from all over the world to Belle Plaine to see if they could be grown locally. In 1926 the first Tulip Festival was held at the arboretum and it was open each year until 1942 when World War II made it impossible to get help or import bulbs. In celebration of the 1961 Kansas State Centennial the garden was again open to the public and then closed officially for good in the mid-1990s.

In its mature state the arboretum has great educational value. Each year many students of botany visit the grounds. But mostly it remains a haven for wildlife, artists, nature and bird lovers, brides and grooms. The Bartlett Arboretum is privately owned and is not endowed or subsidized. Current steward Robin Macy and her volunteers are in the process of restoring the grounds, rebuilding bridges, removing dead and diseased plant material and trees in an effort to preserve this favorite retreat. Although the property is no longer open daily to the public, Ms. Macy makes the gardens available for educational purposes, concerts on the lawn and for private functions.