Memorial Forest and Arboretum
Brewer Lake Centennial Arboretum and Memorial Forest
Brewer Lake Centennial Arboretum was established in 1990 in the SE 1/4 of Section 20-142-53 (Erie Township), Cass County, North Dakota. The Arboretum is 1 miles south and 1.25 miles west of the town of Erie, ND. This land is owned by the North Dakota Game and Fish Department (See attached map of area) and is leased through Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to Cass County Soil Conservation District. It serves as a Centennial tree planting, an arboretum and an outdoor classroom that has been utilized by the Cass County Soil Conservation District in providing environmental education to all interested persons in Cass County. The arboretum consists of 33 rows of tree species, shrubs and conifers that are normally planted in Cass County. The maintenance of the arboretum has been shared by the Cass County Park Board, Cass County Soil Conservation District, NDSU Extension Service and the Cass County Weed Board.
A memorial tree planting was completed in the spring of 2010 in the southern portion of the arboretum. The planting serves as a memoriam of the 41 retired supervisors of the Cass County Soil Conservation District covering a period of time from 1946 to present. An area will be marked and set aside for future retiring supervisors. There is a single tree planted in a separate area of the arboretum to memorialize the late Roy Laframboise, who served as manager of the Towner State Nursery for 38 years. The planting will assist in the beautification of the area adjacent to the Brewer Lake Dam and recreation park. The forest consisted of 42 American Linden trees provided by the Lincoln Oakes Nursery and will be positioned with 25’ spacing between trees. Each tree is identified for each of the supervisors with a sign stating the name and period of time that supervisor was in office for the district and the community of which he was from. The district also planted 4 rows of trees, consisting of Scotch Pine and Flame Willow, on the western border to protect the area from wind and snow. The Memorial Forest was dedicated in the spring of 2011.
The memorial planting is sponsored by the Cass County Soil Conservation District, the North Dakota Game and Fish Department, Cass County Park Board, NDSU Extension Service, Cass County Weed Board and Natural Resources Conservation Service.
Memorial Forest Renovation
In 2015, it was determined that the survival rate of the American Lindens was very poor. The decision was made to remove the dead trees and re-plant. In the autumn of that year, the District tilled up the rows, and laid 4 new rows of fabric. In the spring of 2016, alternate rows of Scotch Pine and Bur Oak were planted in three rows, and wire cages placed around them to protect them from animal depredation. In the 4th row, closest to the road, alternating Hardy Apricot, Seaberry, Honeysuckle and Skunkbrush Sumac was planted. Check this page for updated photos as the renovation continues.
The Arboretum was established in 1996. It consists of 32 rows of various tree and shrub species. Four rows were planted on the west side to act as a windbreak for the Arboretum. Scotch Pine, 2 rows of Flame Willows, and Hackberry was planted in the windbreak. Planting A consists of Paper Birch , Siouxland Cottonwood, Norway Poplar, Robusta Poplar, Silver Maple, Green Ash, Common Chokecherry and Schubert Chokecherry. Planting B consists of Russian Almond, Hansen Hedge Rose, Nanking Cherry, Golden Currant, Black Chokeberry, Common Lilac, Villosa (Late) Lilac, Buffaloberry, Mongolian Cherry, Redosier Dogwood, Caragana (Siberian Peashrub), American Plum, Hawthorne, Flame Willow, Harbin Pear, Midwest Crabapple, Russian Olive, Amur Maple, Ponderosa Pine, Scotch Pine, Black Hills Spruce, Colorado Blue Spruce, Eastern Red Cedar, and Rocky Mountain Juniper.