CCC Bickelhaupt Arboretum Ready to Welcome Visitors



Bickelhaupt Arboretum SignThe Clinton Community College Bickelhaupt Arboretum is now welcoming guests to the east portion of the arboretum for the remaining weeks of Arts at the Arb 2020. The fifth annual Arts at the Arb features artist Terry Rathje whose work will be displayed through October. Due to the large number of trees damaged during the August 10 derecho, the Bickelhaupt Arboretum has been closed to guests. The CCC Bickelhaupt Arboretum is located at 340 South 14th Street, Clinton, Iowa, and open from dawn to dusk. As with all CCC facilities, masks are required for all visitors.

The CCC Bickelhaupt Arboretum sustained heavy damage from the August 10 derecho including the removal of 28 trees. Clinton Community College President Brian Kelly shared an update on the cleanup, “We are very excited to welcome guests back to the arboretum. The fall colors are starting to change, and the artwork is interactive and exceptional. Although our hearts are heavy having suffered a loss of many of our most cherished and historically significant trees, we are excited to rebuild our collection both with and for our community.”

Artist Terry Rathje of rural Long Grove earned a masters degree in 3-D design from the University of Iowa. His exhibit features pieces he describes as nomadic architecture, which explores the inside as well as the outside of the pieces. Such is the case with Migratory Road, which looks like a cart, yet the observer is pleased to find a treat when viewing the eyepiece on the side. Another unique piece is Environmental Sound Chamber featuring a variety of bells inside and outside of the structure. Visitors are encouraged to explore each unique piece of art.

In the previous years, more than 5,000 people per year have wondered through the public display. Past artists include John VandeWalle who showcased his metal artwork throughout the arboretum in 2019. Several VandeWalle pieces are nestled throughout the arboretum.  In 2018, Iowa native Kristin Garnant, who creates large objects out of steel, exhibited her metal pieces created from the toolshed of the farmyard including metals, tools, clutter, odds and ends. In 2017, portrait photographer Jean Black displayed her unique portraits of area children. The nearly 130 portraits were printed in large format on weatherproof Tyvek and displayed throughout the grounds of the Arboretum. The previous year, artists v. skip willits and Robyn Smith partnered to exhibit 10 sculptures and 17 paintings throughout the Arboretum grounds, encouraging visitors to wander the 15 acres looking high and low to enjoy the works. 

Clinton Community College Bickelhaupt Arboretum showcases over 2,000 different tree and shrub species in its many plant collections. The 15 acre, manicured grounds are open to the public from dawn to dusk. Come and enjoy nature at its best. Call Margo Hansen at 563-242-4771 for more details.