CBG’s mysterious pole barn

After a successful field season, Team Echinacea has moved back to the lab at the Chicago Botanic Garden.

Today, I received a cryptic email from CBG suggesting that there were free items left over from the Roadside Flower Sale, and they were located in Briller Hall, next to the pole barn. Lindsey and I decided to investigate, but we had never heard of Briller Hall or the pole barn. We looked for them on the map of the Garden, but they weren’t listed. We hunted for them on CBG’s website, but there were no search results. Mystified, we asked the volunteers in the lab whether these were real buildings. Neither Allen nor Char had been there, but Allen recognized the names and thought that they were located somewhere nearby. Determined to identify the elusive Roadside Flower Sale, Lindsey and I set off on a quest.

First, we walked south from the lab. We passed the greenhouses and spotted the maintenance sheds, but we didn’t find any pole barns there. How hard could it be to hide a barn? we wondered. When we passed some volunteers who were outside weeding, we asked them if they had heard of Briller Hall. They hadn’t, but they directed us to a CBG worker named Javier who was zipping by on his golf cart. Javier exclaimed that he was on his way to the pole barn just then! He invited us to hop on, so we crammed into the golf cart, and he dropped us off at the secret Briller Hall.

Inside, we found a wide array of marvelous items ranging from bags of acorns to stacks of staplers to a single wooden shoe. We collected many useful items, some for personal craft projects and some for the lab. Our glorious horde included:

  • 5-gallon buckets with lids (they smell rather strongly of lavender potpourri)
  • duct tape in at least 7 vibrant colors
  • a sturdy rake for Jared to clear burn breaks
  • sharp scissors
  • small notebooks for the summer team’s pouches
  • a giant hot glue gun for Lindsey’s craft projects
I celebrate the many goodies we found at the top-secret Briller Hall

Overall, we were quite pleased with the success of our reconnaissance mission, and the lab now has a grand supply of staplers, colorful cardstock, and thumb tacks.


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