Quarterly Newsletter of
Friends of Jensen - Olson Arboretum
Spring Issue March 2021
Quarterly News and Updates
For your Spring reading enjoyment, this issue is bursting
with updates and stories...
Spring updates and events from the FJOA president; introducing the new loo (with photos!); a discussion of the new endowment program; "Transitions," an article from the new manager; notifications of spring events; and a note of thanks to Kelly Jensen from the former manager and her best friend, Merrill Jensen.
We hope you enjoy this issue!

Spring Updates and Events:
A Letter from Board President, Pat White
The sun dipping low over the frosty Arboretum
Friends of the Arboretum:
It gives me great pleasure to be able to write in this spring 2021 edition of TWIGS.
It was just a year ago when the COVID-19 virus reached us, changing everything in our lives. And now a year later, we are cautiously optimistic about the vaccines, along with the push back of the virus. With that in mind, I am pleased to tell you that we have planned two spring events at the arboretum.
The board members of Friends will sponsor a ribbon cutting for the Lovely Loo on April 3, 2021 at 1:30pmWe also invite you to join us for Alaska Public Gardens Day on May 29, 2021.
Please plan on attending these two events, to not only witness the glory of the garden, but to help mark important milestones, the Loo installation, and celebrating public gardens in Alaska.
Both events will be COVID-19 safe: masking is required as well as physical distancing while remaining socially connected.
This TWIGS issue highlights transitions. As we get a new editor in place, I am glad that Kelly Jensen has agreed to oversee production of this issue. She has also been working to find a solution for getting the bugs out of our electronic delivery system of the FJOA newsletter. We have found a fix, and we sincerely hope it will work.
Additionally, we are working on a plan for current members, to have volunteer opportunities at the arboretum. We will send out more information soon about what types, and when these opportunities will be available.
As past or present members of the Friends, we thank you for your support through membership, raffle tickets, and donations.
Please renew your membership for 2021 with a visit to our website, and while there look for the calendar of events. Visit www.friendsjoarboretum.org, and click on the Support tab to renew.
And when looking at Facebook, please click on our page to like and share our content - Friends of Jensen-Olson Arboretum.
Thank you and see you at the arboretum,
Pat White
FJOA President
Are you a 2021 FJOA Member???
Visit our website to become a member
or to gift a membership today!
Introducing the "Lovely Loo"
(with ribbon cutting and refreshments)
Thank you for your support!
Completed "Lovely Loo," March 2021.
You told us the biggest improvement at the J-O Arboretum would be better toilet facilities. We listened!

Friends of Jensen-Olson Arboretum is very pleased to announce the completion of the Lovely Loo, March 2021.

Thanks to the many individuals who contributed to the Lovely Loo fund with donations and purchase of raffle tickets.

We are also very grateful for support from: Alaska Concrete Casting, Southeast Alaska Master Gardeners, Rasmuson Foundation, and Juneau Community Foundation.

You are invited to join the Friends for a ribbon cutting event to celebrate completion,
April 3rd, 1:30pm at the Arboretum.

COVID-safe refreshments will be served. Masks and safe physical distancing will be
Loo-In-Progress Photos
Top Left: One of the first pictures sent to us from Dave Hanna at Alaska Concrete Casting of test fitting form liners. Top Right: An update from Michele Elfers (Juneau Parks and Recreation) during her visit to Alaska Concrete Casting. At this point, the door was being painted, but everything else was ready to go! Middle Photos: Installation day photos courtesy of Kelly Jensen. Bottom Left: Loo nearly done and ready to be buttoned up for the winter. Taken by Michelle Duncan. Bottom Right: Installation of the new door with the frosted glass window by Ginger Hudson. One of the last big projects before completion.
Friends of Jensen-Olson Arboretum Perennial Endowment: We're Putting Down Roots

The Jensen - Olson Arboretum, Juneau’s outstanding public garden, exists primarily due to the vision and generosity of its benefactor, Caroline Jensen. Caroline was an avid gardener, well known in Juneau for her extensive and beautiful garden and her generosity in sharing knowledge and plants. Always observant and experimenting, she identified a naturally occurring hybrid primrose which performed especially well in Juneau.

Caroline wanted to share her love of gardening even at her passing. She donated the historic Jensen-Olson property at 23 mile Glacier Highway to the City and Borough of Juneau to be maintained as a public arboretum that would inspire learning in horticulture, natural sciences and landscape design while preserving its beauty for pure enjoyment and its historic context. Caroline's garden is permanently protected by a conservation easement held by the Southeast Alaska Land Trust to ensure that her garden will remain for future generations to enjoy.

Since it opened to the public in 2007, the arboretum has become a garden destination with over 1,200 native and cultivated species, featuring a Nationally Accredited Plant CollectionTM of more than 150 primrose varieties. An entry pergola, the Chilkats View Shelter, an improved toilet facility, new planting beds, The Word Garden, and educational programs have been added, all furthering Caroline’s vision.

Friends of Jensen-Olson Arboretum is a non-profit organization dedicated to supporting the projects and programs of the arboretum. Inspired by Caroline Jensen’s farsighted vision that created the arboretum and an endowment that helps sustain it, the Friends board has established a new endowment at the Juneau Community Foundation. The two endowments, however, serve different purposes. Caroline’s, invested by the City and Borough of Juneau, contributes to the arboretum manager’s salary and maintenance of buildings and grounds. The FJOA endowment, invested by the Juneau Community Foundation, will support the programs and projects not supported monetarily by the City. We invite you to nurture Caroline’s vision by contributing to the FJOA Perennial Endowment.

If you would like more information about our new Perennial Endowment or other ways to support FJOA, please contact us via email: friendsjoa@gmail.com

Pat Harris
Former FJOA President
A snowy scene from this very wintry spring
Transitions: an article by JOA Manager, Ginger Hudson

Inevitable. Life-altering. Disrupting. Opportunistic. A shift in processes hits like the first frost the day after a sunny hike. A job loss, a job gained. Perhaps the change in state happens as slow as water evaporating from a glass leaving a translucent film of salt behind. Rivers of fish, beds of gravel. Transitions are faced with anticipation, anxiety, excitement, or fear.

A microscopic disruption transitioned the day-to-day lives of nearly every human on the planet in the past year. The pivot met disapproval, was not understood, was argued with, denied, and millions lost the fight against the disease. As the shift slowly took hold, new methods of teaching, shopping, healing, and governing evolved. Processes stumbled, gathered momentum, tripped on cracks, filled in gaps, and flourished enabling people to survive alone, survive linked, or survive in new environments.

When transitions happen on a geological time scale, humans aren’t always aware. In the 1600s regions of the world independent of each other noticed the bitter cold and frozen waterways of northern Europe, or glaciers covering farms in western Eurasia. But none of those folks were alive in the mid-1800s to see the glaciers in North America stop advancing and begin to retreat. It wasn’t until the 1930s that an idea called the Little Ice Age demonstrated that around 1900 worldwide temperatures were warming. Communication technologies and measurement processes improved enabling comparisons and documentation. A warming climate meant relief from long cold winters in some areas and expanded agricultural land for others. New travel passages opened trade opportunities, yet transferred power, goods, and disease unevenly. Climate change accelerated as human technology and population increased. Our efficiency drained, or blocked waterways; exhausted soil health; extirpated forests and wildlife. Now areas once cold are warming, once above the shoreline become the shoreline, and food sources adapt to new routes and growth processes. Livelihoods move out or innovate to adapt to the transition.

Humans can change their locations easier than plants. But I cast a wary eye at the thought of picking up my roots to relocate from South Central to Southeast Alaska. I met anxiety, traveling on the ferry in winter; fear, being off the road system; and insecurity, do I want to commit to leading a garden in a neighborhood I didn’t grow up in? This issue of TWIGS brings gardeners’ favorite transition: winter into spring. A transition of eras with the change of garden managers rode on the same shift of winds. My husband Ken and I saw the exciting opportunities in this move. Plants may move inches or feet in a year as they adapt to changing conditions. Our move across six hundred miles only took four days–a month if we add packing and strategy! Living on the rocky shoreline of the Inside Passage, craning our necks to search the tops of ninety-foot evergreens, integrating into a different living culture, and nurturing a historic garden top our list of new ventures to explore. 

Institutions enable creative problem solving to help humanity adapt, or progress, through life on Earth. Medical research, transportation inventions, economic studies, and housing efficiency are a few subjects that strive to make life equitable. Food security, including botany, may be the most vital. Public gardens regardless of size play a vital role in saving, sharing documenting, and growing plants that support all life. Botanical gardens, arboreta, and experimental farms each offer specialized experience growing effectively for the climate where they reside. Horticulturists are passionate about plant successes, and eager to try new varieties or techniques after failures. Most current failures are the result of changes in weather. Weather means more than heavier or lighter rain, higher or lower temperatures, deep or wet snow. Weather includes timing. Will the pollinators arrive at the same time as blooms? Will the snow blanket the roots? Will the ponds and eddies hold water long enough for the fish to arrive?

The Jensen-Olson Arboretum nurtures a range of plants beneficial to humans, and wildlife—though sometimes to the disdain of the staff. Alaska’s climate has been in transition since the late 1800s. Some people were too busy smashing ore, scooping salmon, or slashing trees to notice. In recent decades, the weather has changed within a human lifespan making the transition easy to observe, and hard to deny. Some plants that were once cultivated on the arboretum property did not survive the change. Yet the opportunity is open for new trials. Even native plants in Alaska are changing their ranges. Though some, like Alaska’s yellow cedar, may not be able to adapt quick enough. 

The landscape of society and geography at times seems settled, and at other times shifts in ways we experience. Over thirteen years Merrill and Kelly built a respected arboretum and garden-lovers community. As I start seeds for the 2021 garden, I can’t imagine changing any aspect of the arboretum. However, I believe there is change in the air, literally and figuratively. I embrace the responsibility to build on the awareness of the arboretum yet keep a watch on plant transitions. I will strive to help garden lovers accept that we must mourn the loss of some of our favorites while trying out new prospects. There may be some stumbling, tripping, and U-turns, but I hope our members will allow grace through this transition and we will be met with successes, excitement, and innovation. Because landscapes transition, whether humans like it or not, whether we caused it or not. I look forward to seeing you in the garden, and hearing your stories of garden evolution.

Ginger Hudson
JOA Manager
Snowmelt on Snowdrops.
An expression of gratitude
The arboretum has come a long way in its first 13 years...infrastructure improvements, national accreditation for its collection of the genus Primula, ArbNet Level II Accreditation, and several successful grant proposals to fund various projects and needs. Much of this success is due to the volunteer efforts of Kelly Jensen, my spouse and best friend. Her efforts over these years helped to fast track the stature of the arboretum as a young public garden. Without her support and the variety of applicable skills she shared, all while being fully employed at UAS, the Jensen-Olson Arboretum would be a lesser place. She continues to work full-time as we have arrived in Oregon, and now I benefit from her encouragement to live fully into retirement. For all of Kelly's hard work and dedication to Caroline's vision, I am eternally grateful.

Merrill Jensen
newly, happily-retired JOA Manager

~~~ SAVE the DATE ~~~

April 3rd, 1:30pm Lovely Loo Grand Opening at the Arboretum

Alaska Public Gardens Day, May 29

Solstice Event, June 20

2021 Children's Programs:
June 5th: Peas are NOT vegetables?!?
July 10th: Poop in the Garden
August 14th: BugDay!

Stay tuned for details in your email Inbox as we set annual event schedules based on safety measures related to COVID.

Please remember the Arboretum
when you apply...your gifts make a difference!

2020 PCG donations supported
education programs, plant acquisitions, site access improvements, and the Lovely Loo.
~ Look for these highlights in the Summer issue of TWIGS 

*Spring and Summer Bloom Photos

*An Article from New Manager, Ginger Hudson About her First Summer Season at Jensen-Olson Arboretum

*Summer Updates
        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  

Juneau-Gastineau Rotary Club
  Friends of Jensen - Olson Arboretum Board Members  
*Pat White, President *Mary Mathisen, Vice President *Kim Garnero, Treasurer *Lauren Smoker, Secretary
Members at Large: Michelle Duncan, Pat Harris
Ex-Officio Member: Ginger Hudson
Newsletter co-Editors: Michelle Duncan and Ginger Hudson
All photos captured by Ginger Hudson and Michelle Duncan unless specified otherwise.
TWIGS - a quarterly publication 
Spring/March ~~ Summer/June ~~ Autumn/September ~~ Winter/December

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
Physical: 23035 Glacier Hwy, Juneau, Alaska 99801    
Mailing: PO Box 33936 Juneau, AK 99803    Phone: 907.789.0139
Visitor Hours: Wednesday - Sunday, 9am - 4:45pm, year round

Nationally Accredited Plant CollectionTM of the genus Primula