A Quarterly Newsletter of
Friends of Jensen - Olson Arboretum
Premiere Issue     February 2016
Quarterly News and Updates
In this issue:  Primula seeds, a new membership coordinator,
winter in the garden, brick order last chance, and more...
This Just In...
                                          It's that time of year!!!
Take this opportunity to show your support for
   Friends of Jensen - Olson Arboretum
                                              Pick.  Click.  Give.                                                             
New Primula seeds arrive
from around the globe
      During these winter months, seed has been arriving at the Arboretum from points around the globe. France, Scotland, England, China and sites across North America are contributing to the Arboretum’s growing plant palette.  In order to import seed from outside the U.S. we are required to hold a ‘Small Lots of Seed Importation Permit’ issued by USDA; we renew this permit every 3 years.  The vast majority of seed arriving this year will expand our nationally accredited ( JOA - Nationally Accredited Primula Collection)
plant collection for the genus Primula.      
     Envelopes arrive at the Arboretum from around the globe 
     New species will be introduced into the Arboretum beds 2 – 3 years after they are sown; patience is indeed a virtue when awaiting these new gems.  New Meconopsis are also in the mix from the Meconopsis Group out of Scotland – a location with a climate similar to Juneau’s.  We will anxiously await sprouts from these new acquisitions over the next few months and will look forward to the day when these new blooms can be enjoyed by all those visiting the Arboretum. 

FJOA announces
new Membership Coordinator: 
JOA employee adds FJOA volunteer
to her resume

     At 11 years old, together with her parents, her grandma and the family cat and dog, Chelsie Harris moved from Indiana to the Kenai.  She describes herself as an Alaskan through and through.  Currently, she is working on a Master’s degree in Education through distance courses at UAF and is interested in teaching and education administration.   In 2012, the first year that Chelsie worked as a seasonal gardener at the Arboretum, her innate curiosity quickly gave her an edge in learning plant names and the various cultivation requirements.  After spending a year away to teach English in Japan, Chelsie returned to Juneau and to the Arboretum where she was poised to take on botanical Latin; she was a rapid study and is happily still expanding her vocabulary.  Ask her about Primula cuneifolia.        
    Chelsie Harris in the vegetable garden
at the Arboretum  
       This innate curiosity coupled with her infectious charm make her a perfect fit in her new role for Friends of Jensen - Olson Arboretum as membership coordinator.  Chelsie joined FJOA in 2014 and recently volunteered to serve as its membership coordinator.  Thank you, Chelsie!   Her duties in this role include outreach, member recruitment, and staying in touch with current members. 
       When you see her in the garden this season, please take a moment to welcome Chelsie to the FJOA Board and to share with her any ideas you may have for membership development.
April:  Coming to an
Arboretum bench  near you
Winter brings indoor administrative work  to the Arboretum
     The desk of Merrill Jensen, Arboretum Manager and Horticulturist, is piled high at this time of year…not with gloves and plant labels and employee timesheets, but with reference books, seed catalogues, and CBJ budget documents.  Snow (or even lack of it) means deskwork at the Arboretum.  He is finalizing the budget for the coming fiscal year while simultaneously placing plant and seed orders and researching various taxa for inclusion in the collection.  
     One task that he especially enjoys during the winter months is working in the plant database (see photo below).  New plants and seeds are assigned accession numbers along with any pertinent collections information - source of the plant or seed, whether or not it was wild collected, and other standard curatorial attributes.  Each of these attributes is added to the database to form a comprehensive accession record for each plant.  This year, photos of each accession are also being added.  In the coming months, he intends to map the entire plant collection utilizing LiDAR imagery ( a few facts about LiDAR) ( a video explaining LiDar) of the Arboretum in order to generate a comprehensive map of where each accession is located.  The ultimate goal is to offer this type of map in a printed format to Arboretum visitors. 
     The Arboretum hours remain the same through the winter months, but Merrill gets to take a short break from the 7-day work weeks of Spring and Summer.    
A Tribute to Caroline
     The Jensen - Olson Arboretum exists primarily due to the vision and generosity of its benefactor, Caroline Jensen.  February is a most auspicious month in which to celebrate her life and legacy.
     In the community of Juneau her legacy provides an opportunity for school children to engage science simultaneously in the garden and in the intertidal zone; the foundation of a national collection of the plant genus that she dearly loved; a place where scientists, researchers, home gardeners and artists may observe the plants and animals associated with a cultivated garden in a temperate rainforest uniquely situated on ocean-front property; and, the inspiration for developing classroom space for experiential education.        
     Through a conservation easement with Southeast Alaska Land Trust, Caroline gifted her property to the City and Borough of Juneau to eventually become the Jensen – Olson Arboretum.  As noted by family members and friends alike, Caroline had a love of gardening and wanted to share that love in tangible ways even at her passing.    
                          Caroline; photo taken in 1936  
                                    Photo credit:  Marion Simpson  
     Below is an excerpt from the obituary printed in the Juneau Empire upon her death on February 21, 2006:   ‘She was born Caroline J. Hoff on February 27, 1917 in Eureka, CA.  She attended school in San Francisco, graduating from Commerce High School and later the Heald Business College.  In San Francisco she worked for the California Department of Motor Vehicles, Rosenberg Bros. & Co., and the United States Geological Survey.  In 1947 the Water Resources Division of the USGS transferred her to Juneau when that agency officially opened offices in Southeast Alaska.  She was presented with an award by the Alaska Housing Authority of her many years of volunteer service at the Mountain View Senior Center.  In 1951, she married Carl W. Jensen, who operated the Juneau Marine Ways from 1953 to 1965.  
     Family members said, “Caroline was an avid gardener receiving acclaim and recognition as Juneau’s foremost lay horticulturist and expert in primroses.  Among her many observations and experiments, she developed a hybrid primrose which proved especially hardy for Juneau’s soil and environment.”   In accordance to her wishes, she donated her historic property to the city of Juneau to be preserved as an arboretum for the public to enjoy and as an educational center for learning about gardening, horticulture and landscape design.  She was a member of the Juneau Garden Club, Pioneers of Alaska, Gastineau Humane Society and American Primrose Society.’    

     This month, Caroline, we tip our hats and raise our gardening trowels to your gift – may those of us entrusted with this gift be the very best of stewards for this valuable resource.

~ Look for these highlights in the April issue of TWIGS ~
*A View and a Shelter...     *Check out the new signage...     *Plant Sale details...
Commemorative Bricks
at the Arboretum

LAST CHANCE to order yours!
We will soon place the next order for commemorative bricks.  Thinking of a memorial gift?  Or a way of honoring a special friend?  Bricks with your choice of lettering are used throughout the Arboretum for paving and pathways...a memory to last.  

*Plant Sale - May 7   *Alaska Public Gardens Day - May 28  
*FJOA Annual Meeting (including election of officers) - April 13; details forthcoming 
Is it time to renew your Annual Membership?  Visit our website to renew today!
                Mission Statement              
  The vision of the Arboretum is to provide the people of Juneau a place that both teaches and inspires learning in horticulture, natural sciences and landscaping - to preserve the beauty of the landscape for pure aesthetic enjoyment - to maintain the historical and cultural context of the place and its people.
                                                                                                                          Caroline Jensen 
     Friends of Jensen - Olson Arboretum Partners  
    Friends of Jensen - Olson Arboretum Board Members  
*Pat Harris, President   *Peter Froehlich, Vice President   *Kim Garnero, Treasurer   *LuAnn McVey, Secretary
Members at Large:  Morgan Humphreys Davis, Chelsie Harris, Laurie Lamm, Julie Nielsen,
Karen Peska,  Natalee Rothaus, Deb Rudis
Ex-Officio Member:  Merrill Jensen
Newsletter Editor:  Kelly Jensen
Friends of Jensen - Olson Arboretum
friendsjoa@gmail.com | friendsjoarboretum.org
Friends of Jensen - Olson Arboretum is a 501(c)3 charitable organization.
Contributions to FJOA are tax deductible.
Caring for Caroline's Garden
Jensen - Olson Arboretum
23035 Glacier Hwy        Juneau, Alaska  99801         907.789.0139
Visitor Hours:  Wednesday - Sunday, 9am - 4:45pm, year round

Nationally Accredited Plant Collection of the genus Primula
Merrill Jensen, BS Ornamental Horticulture
Arboretum Manager and Horticulturist