Gold Finch Grove

On the southern edge of the land with a beautiful view of Big Woods State Park. There are several large rocks placed in this grove.

  • 14 trees
  • 14 planted
  • 8 dedicated

Red Oak dedicated to the memory of Paul, Sheila and Marsha Wellstone by Friends of Valley Grove

Northern Pin Oak dedicated to Mimi Veblen Curtin by her husband Donald Curtin as a surprise gift.

White Oak dedicated to the future by Gro Sandvik of Bergen, Norway

An oak dedicated by Mary Savina to her parents Anthony R. Savina and Julia J. Savina and to Gary Wagenbach and the other Valley Grove pioneers.

Bur Oak dedicated to the children of Gary and Linda Wagenbach, Jeff, Paul, and Brian.

A tree is dedicated to the memory of Lisa Hess of Des Moines, Iowa. While Lisa and her husband Joel lived in Northfield, they attended a couple of weddings at the Valley Grove Church. After moving back to Iowa, Lisa and her mother Marilyn Hrubes happened to stop at the church one evening while a wedding was going on. The sun was setting and the church was aglow from candles in the yard, children were playing outside, and the serenity and peaceful feeling they experience stayed with them for many years. One of Lisa’s wishes was to have a three dedicated in her memory. On June 24th, 2009 Lisa passed away after battling ALS for almost 2-1/2 years. Dedicated to the Memory of Lisa {Smith) Hess from her family: Joel Hess, Shannon & Christopher Johnson, Rachel Johnson & Donovan Bork, George & Marilyn Hrubes, Ellwyn (Bus) Smith, Dennis & Lizabeth Maach, Timothy Smith, Herbert & Julie Barrett and John Barrett, Mike & Bunny Barrett, Jim & Sharon Barrett, and Roger & Liz Wickland. Lisa was such an incredible woman and she will be dearly missed by her friends and family. You never heard her say an unkind word about anyone. She was so self-assured and confident of herself. Lisa was an avid gardener and loved to plant hostas and other shade-loving plants in the Des Moines yard which has lots of trees and plenty of shade. Lisa loved the sun and sought it out whenever and wherever she could. She could work in her garden all day and never break a sweat. Her skin would tan and her freckles would darken, and she just got more and more radiant. She loved living in Minnesota and in Northfield especially. It was a magical place for us. We loved everything about our adopted hometown, and I think it was just a very peaceful and loving time and place for Lisa. Lisa collected Czech pottery and violet plates. She loved to set on her patio and look out over the backyard, listening to the birds and cicadas, watching the wildlife and communing with nature. These are the simple pleasures she got of growing things. She was also a great mother. Her proudest accomplishment in life was raising her daughters, Shannon and Rachel Johnson, to be happy and successful young women. She would sit and listen for hours whenever either one of them had a problem or an achievement to share. She was never critical or condescending, and she always made sure that they knew they were loved. When our grandsons were born, she wanted to be right there to help in any way she could. We were so lucky to be able to share in raising both Christopher and Donovan in their early years. What could have been a very stressful and difficult time for two young women turned out to be a truly happy time thanks largely to her amazing ability to stay positive and to always look for the good in any situation. Lisa had a lot of friends, but her best friends were her mom, dad, sister and brother. When most of her family moved to Arizona, it was really hard not to follow them down there. But Lisa could have never lived that far from her mom, who still lived in Iowa. They shared everything and truly loved spending time together. She and her mom and sister, Liz went on many wonderful trips together. While visiting in Phoenix, Lisa always stayed with her dad Bus. That meant she was also spending time with her brother Tim. Everyone in her family is extremely close and they always shared in a lot of joy and fun. Lisa and her husband Joel enjoyed 29 years together. They had much in common and really enjoyed the time they had together especially the last 2-1/2 years. Lisa taught us all so many lessons, and the most important one to be good to everyone you know. If she had a philosophy, it was to always take care of those you love the most and they will take care of you. We are so lucky to have had the chance to repay her for taking care of us all these years. We will never forget her.

A bur oak is dedicated to the memory of Cookie Eden (Ruth Cushing Haworth Eden) by her children Brooke, Leah and Nick. She loved the rolling fields and wooded hills of Valley Grove, and the farms and neighbors of the countryside. During the 1960s and1970s she tended 80 acres of gardens, fields and forests as well as the three of us. We are grateful to our mother, who planted our roots in prairie soil, and we hold her safe in our hearts.

Marilyn Beth Hrubes 1/19/1926 – 2/13/2010 An oak tree has been planted in the Goldfinch Grove and is dedicated to the memory of our mother and grandmother Marilyn Beth Hrubes, who passed away on February 13, 2010. Her tree is planted next to the tree that was dedicated to the memory of Lisa Hess, her daughter who lost her battle with ALS on June 24th, 2009. Valley Grove church held a special meaning for both Marilyn and Lisa. One evening as the sun was setting they drove up the lane to the church as a wedding was taking place. The church was aglow with candles in the windows. Little girls in white dresses were running and dancing in the yard and looked like little angels with wings. Fireflies were lighting the sky with twinkly little lights. It was one of those magical moments that they both spoke of often. Whenever we visited Northfield, we always stopped at the church to experience the peace and tranquility that surrounds The Valley Grove Church. We love knowing that there are two special trees planted in memory of two very special people that we love and miss more than words can express. This tree is dedicated to them from: Timothy Smith, Joel Hess, Shannon and Christopher Johnson, Rachel Johnson and Donovan Bork, Dennis and Lizabeth Maach, Tony, Amber and Hailey Friedley.

A tree has been dedicated to the memory of Joel Hess. Joel passed away June 7, 2010. He was a dedicated husband, father and grandfather. Joel and his wife Lisa moved to Northfield in 1995 and lived there for 4 years. It was during this time they discovered The Valley Grove Church. They felt a peaceful tranquility among the wildflower fields and beautiful rolling hills. The church held a special place in both of their hearts. Joel and his wife Lisa had a special bond, the strength of which was tested when Lisa was diagnosed with ALS (Lou Gehrig’s Disease). Joel was a devoted husband who loved, supported and cared for his wife in her time of need. He was her rock, and they loved each other deeply. ALS claimed Lisa’s life in June 2009. Joel found comfort in spending time with family, close friends and riding his motorcycles. The time he spent on the open road, enjoying nature and the beauty surrounding him was when he felt closest to Lisa. We miss Joel every day, but take comfort in knowing he is once again with Lisa, the love of his life, and his mother-in-law Lynn. Their ashes have been scattered amongst the wildflower fields at Valley Grove. It’s very fitting that a place that brought them such peace and joy in their lives is where they have been laid to rest. His tree has been dedicated by Shannon, Rachel and Christopher Johnson, Donovan Bork, Ellywn (Bus) Smith, Tim Smith, and Liz and Denny Maach. This tree along with the trees dedicated his wife and mother in law will form a triangle in Goldfinch Grove.



(circles are clickable)
Grove Map