Upcoming Events

Monthly Update – July 2018


Platanthera leucophaea
Prairie White-Fringed Orchid (Platanthera leucophaea) (Photo by Pam Holy)















Greetings Friends of the Prairie,


The orchid pictured above is the Star of the July Prairie, the beautiful and endangered Prairie White-Fringed Orchid. Each year a survey is conducted to locate and count individual plants.

This year, many plants were also hand pollinated to increase seed production and help out the nocturnal moth which normally does the job by zoning in on the flower’s sweet fragrance.

One of the turtles on the move in June was ‘Viola’, the largest and likely the oldest Blanding’s at Chiwaukee Prairie. She has been radio-transmitter-tracked for over a decade and could be 80 years old! Blanding’s do not reproduce until their late teens. Even so, Viola’s offspring could be legion!

Blanding's Turtle by Tyler Temple
‘Viola’: A Blanding’s turtle with tracking device (photos by Tyler Temple)








What was an extraordinarily wet Prairie just weeks ago, with overflowing streams and flooded roads, has returned to the usual dry landscape of midsummer, except for the early morning dew. The Youth Conservation Corps team pictured below starts work on the Prairie at 6:30 AM and they are often soaked to the thighs before the sun burns off the dew. Wet or dry, they are doing a terrific job helping control major invasive species including Yellow Hawkweed, Garlic Mustard and, especially, Common St. John’s-wort. They are removing truckloads and clearing vast areas. Their work is invaluable in managing the prairie!

2018 Youth Conservation Corps
2018 Youth Conservation Corps from left: Hunter, Roger, Simone, Alanna, Jacob, and Lily (Photo by Pam Holy)












Naturalist Kay McClelland will lead Chiwaukee Prairie Walks three times a month from June to September. Information includes a little history, a little geology and lots of plant names and facts. Over the summer we will look at and identify more than 100 different flowering plants, grasses and some sedges. Kay has a plant list available each time, as well as occasional other handouts.

Third Monday Third Thursday Third Saturday
6-8 PM or sunset: 9-11 AM 9-11 AM
July 21
August 20 August 16 August 18
September 20 September 15

For the July walks, we will meet at the intersection of 121st Street and 2nd Avenue. Park on 2nd Avenue. Wear good walking shoes or boots and long pants. Sun screen, insect repellent for possible ticks, and a hat are wise. We go in light rain but not if there is lightning.

Kay McClelland, Naturalist
262-994-1939 (Mobile)
kaymac1939 @ gmail.com

The Scourge of the Prairie

Hypericum perforatum
Common St. John’s-wort (Hypericum perforatum(Photo by Pam Holy)














June was a multiple target workday including Dames Rocket in the savanna, Canada Thistle and Curly Dock near 4th Avenue and 116th Street, and Red Clover plus White Sweet Clover on the Al Krampert Trail. This Saturday the target will be Common St. John’s-wort in several areas. Like Hawkweed, in some western states this invasive plant literally takes over range land. It has spread to many areas of the State Natural Area and is requiring multiple visits because of its extended blooming period.

The weather forecast for Saturday, July 21, is for cloudy skies and moderate temperatures in the mid 70s. Wear old clothes, long pants and sturdy shoes or boots. It is still tick season, so consider bug spray. We supply work gloves, tools, water, instruction and answers to all your questions about the Prairie. We will work unless there is lightning in the area.

The workday is from 10 AM – 1 PM. Come for part or all of it.

We will meet on 2nd Avenue at 121st Street.
(Map of the vicinity at www.chiwaukee.org/about/where/)

If you would like to be notified about additional workday opportunities, plant scouting opportunities or plant identification walks, please email volunteer@chiwaukee.org.

Workday cancellations will be posted on our website and Facebook by 8 AM on scheduled workdays. If you are unsure whether a workday will take place, please use good judgment when deciding whether to attend.

If you have questions, email volunteer@chiwaukee.org or call 773-515-2772.

Thank you for your support,
Chiwaukee Prairie Preservation Fund, Inc.