Eloise Butler

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She bucked the trend of park development in Minneapolis that involved transformation of wild spaces into controlled and contained recreational landscapes such as dredging a swamp to create Lake of the Isles. She preserved a bit of almost primeval wilderness within Glenwood Park, now Theodore Wirth Park, which opened as the Wild Botanic Garden in 1907. She understood that hands-on learning and exploration are the best ways for students of all ages to learn. She was one of the first to extol the virtues of native Minnesota flora and tried to teach the public this as well through garden tours, lectures, newspaper columns, and exhibits at the State Fair. Created what is now the nation's oldest public wildflower garden, which will have its 100th anniversary in 2007 - an inclusion in Minnesota 150 would be a fitting tribute.
~MaryLynn Pulscher, Minneapolis, MN


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