A group of people got together Friday to enhance the already beautiful Marsh woods.
The goal was to replace invasive species such as buckthorn and garlic mustard, previously cleared from the area.
As part of The Marsh's 27th anniversary celebration, three groups of people from , the and Prairie Restorations worked together to plant 65 trees and shrubs, which included 14 native species. These site-appropriate species include Red Maples, Sugar Maples, American Hazel, Witch Hazel, Choke Cherry and Ironwood.
"I love to walk along this path, and it was taken over by some awful growth for quite awhile," said Mary Dulmade, a Marsh employee. She added she was happy to help make the woods gorgeous again.
Ruth Stricker, who opened The Marsh along with her husband Bruce Dayton in Minnetonka in 1985, said Ron Bowen (of Prairie Restorations) had worked on developing the prairie behind The Marsh from the beginning.
"It took awhile for people to understand they weren't weeds," Stricker said. "Part of wellness and health is the natural environment, so it became very important to us. It's as important as diet, nutrition and exercise."
, Minnetonka's new city manager who takes on the role beginning June 1, was on hand at the planting to hear about the new plants and see the progress of the woods.
"One of the strongest values we have in Minnetonka is our natural resources," she said. "The city makes a strong commitment to make sure we continue to enhance them."
Barone said the other piece to the success of plantings such as the one in The Marsh woods is education.
"It involves volunteers, who through this process are educated, and we hope that they take it home," she said. "The idea is not just to do this once but to spread it through the community."
Larry Carlson was another member of the team out planting Friday morning. He has worked for Stricker and Dayton for almost 25 years as a grounds keeper and property manager.
"I enjoy doing things over here at The Marsh," Carlson said. "I enjoy being outside and doing outside activities."