Group sees sights of winter

PARKERSBURG – A group of area people took a walk Sunday to see what plants were thriving in wintertime.

Several people participated in the Winter Walk at the 12-acre arboretum behind Edison Middle School, walking along trails for about a mile through the wooded area as members of the Wood County Master Gardeners pointed out plants of interest.

Participants were thankful that temperatures were up in the 40s Sunday as opposed to the below-zero temperatures the area experienced early last week.

“We are just getting out for some winter exercise,” said Judi White, the guide for Sunday’s walk. “Once you get out, it is not as bad as it seems. You warm up. You can still get exercise outside.”

White brought along a book on winter buds to see if they might be able to find some.

“Dogwoods are about the only thing I can identify in the winter,” White said with a laugh.

Some of the participants mentioned being able to identify holly and beechwood trees.

“Surprisenly, there is still a lot of green out,” White said.

Sunday’s walk was something to do for Joyce McDougle of Parkersburg. She has worked on a number of projects with the Master Gardeners and said she always learns something new on the walks.

“I find it interesting,” she said. “I have always been a nature nut.

“Spring , winter… whatever, I just like to see what is going on.”

Pam Lutz had read about the walk and decided to be a part of it. She was planning to take a walk anyway on Sunday so she decided to come along on the Winter Walk.

John Sheets, of the Master Gardeners, brought his rescue dog Rex along for Sunday’s walk. Sheets also pointed out the arboretum grounds have also had some recent vandalism problems.

Last month, someone stole 150-180 feet of the toprail they used to repair part of the fence around the arboretum.

“We go to all the trouble of getting it over here and someone carries it out,” he said. “It is a neverending battle.

“You want to fix something up and someone else wants to tear it down.”

Sheets believes it probably ended up in a scrapyard somewhere, all cut up.

“It is always an ongoing battle,” he said.

The walk was put on by the Wood County Master Gardeners, which adopted the arboretum in south Parkersburg in 2002.