Two chickens take shelter
under one of the straw dinosaurs in the children's area
Tuesday morning at Lammscapes in the town of Jackson.
The nine dinosaurs made of mostly straw barrels took
about two weeks to construct.
John Ehlke/Daily News
JACKSON — When Laurie Lamm McGraw sees the eyes of the
visiting children light up and they scream, “That’s a
triceratops,” that means the mission was accomplished.
Wait — a triceratops in Washington County? Through the
end of the month, yes. There is also a T-Rex, a
brachiosaurus, a stegosaurus and five other dinosaurs.
Lammscapes, 2708 Sherman Road, looking for innovative
ways to engage students with learning in the outdoors,
built nine dinosaur statues — all out of strawbales.
McGraw, the executive vice president at Lammscapes, said
each dinosaur weighs a couple hundred pounds, some more
than 1,000 pounds.
stegosaurus is about 30 feet long and the T-Rex is about
12 feet tall.
dinosaurs went up in late September and remain up
through the end of the month. They are part of
Lammscapes’ monthly Pumpkins in the Pines program.
“It’s very educational,” McGraw said. “We talk about why
the trees change colors, how we’re harvesting, getting
ready for winter. We gear toward the younger kids. We
get a lot of preschool and kindergarten, first and
During a visit, the kids will learn about the harvest
season and crops in the field, while going on a hay
ride. The students are also given a tree identification
makes it a little more fun to learn,” McGraw said,
adding, “You don’t see straw-bale dinosaurs every day.”
is the fourth year of using a theme for the harvest
season tours on the property.
were looking to do something different that other
pumpkin farms and placed weren’t doing, but using the
natural element of straws and tree and what we have with
the fall to make with things the kids can play on,”
McGraw said. “But in a fun theme all the kids can
first year was trains and were built out of strawbales.
That was the theme because there is also a train exhibit
inside the retail shop.
staff assembled a train — all out of straw — about four
or five cars long and it was a hit.
Bethlehem Lutheran School
of Germantown student Colin Zausch, 4, of Menomonee
Falls grabs his bag near the stegosaurus made of straw
as his father, Jake, follows.
John Ehlke/Daily News
next two years the themes were farm and circus.
Quickly, a tradition was born.
“People are now wondering, ‘What are you going to do
next?’” McGraw said with a smile. “It’s something
added, “It’s kind of evolved.”
Lammscapes has an artist on staff — Nancy Schoettel. She
has worked at Lammscapes for nearly two decades and
makes most of the merchandise available.
the dinosaurs, she designed them and made them out of
her imagination. It takes a few weeks to build them.
They are held up with rods and “lots of rope,” McGraw
“They’re holding up pretty well with the weather we’ve
had,” she added.
When the kids arrive, McGraw is amazed at what the
students already know.
“They know the names of these things,” she said. “They
name them sometimes too. It’s just funny because all
kids recognize dinosaurs.”
a way, this tactic is a way to have kids learn and may
not know it. But, the adults, including McGraw and the
staff at Lammscapes, see the children absorbing all the
information they’re being told not only about the
dinosaurs but nature and farming.
It’s a neat sight.
see things through the eyes of a child, takes on a whole
different look because they’re so excited and they’re
learning,” McGraw said.
added, “They’re the next generation of gardeners. People
are losing that because maybe they don’t have a garden
or they live in the city and aren’t seeing the farms,
for next year, McGraw said the staff is still figuring
out what theme to go with.
“We’ve got to top dinosaurs,” she added with a smile.
“We’ll be brainstorming this winter.”