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Wisconsin Parent

St. Feriole Island Gardens, Prairie du Chein

Aug 17, 2014 07:00AM ● By Julie Henning
We often pass through Prairie du Chien, Wisconsin on our way to Northeast Iowa and it seems like we are always "almost there" or "just getting started" on our trip. So, I intentionally started looking for places to stretch our legs in this Mississippi River Town. While Villa Louis and Prairie Fun Land are still on the bucket list, I'll start with St. Feriole Island Gardens.

When we first tried to visit the gardens earlier this summer, St. Feriole Island was still about half under water from record rainfall (and the swollen Mississippi River looked ready to burst at the seams). As I wandered the grounds, I couldn't decide if the current damage to some of the perennial shrubbery was from too much water, extreme temperatures from last winter's Polar Vortex, or a dry August. Either way, it took two tries to enjoy this community garden spot.

IMG_8448While finding a website describing the history and missions of the gardens is not as straightforward as I thought, I did find this description on Pinterest: "The gardens consist of 10 acres of pocket gardens and full fields of gardens. Included are the Children's Garden, Spring Pond, Shade Gardens, Backwater Garden and the Patio Garden." It does have a Facebook page.

IMG_8453Either way, the park seems to be a collaborative community project enlisting the help of green thumbs, volunteers, and clubs like the local 4-H. I loved the Children's Garden with the climbing log and row boat sandbox.

IMG_8452As I was meandering through the grounds taking photos (and finding a really cool geocache, wink wink) I did notice two mobile homes/campers on the edge of the property (I wonder if the people who waved at me are seasonal garden groundskeepers?). A nice location for family, senior, and wedding photos, why not have a picnic at this spot?

IMG_8454Also worth noting is the Frisbee golf course directly across from the gardens and the baseball fields within a short walk. If you have any additional information about the St. Feriole Island Gardens please leave a comment below.