Greetings Friends of the Prairie,
The Red-winged Blackbird is the Harbinger of Spring. The males will soon be flocking to the Prairie to noisily stake out territories in the wetland before the females arrive. While it is impossible for humans to tell without an oscilloscope, each male has a unique call which females have no trouble discerning. Their calls of conk-la-ree! are less song than pronouncement, even command, come to me! The bigger and brighter his red and yellow shoulder patches, the more attractive the male is, the more socially prominent he will be and better to defend his territory, and likely polygynous. The females who will arrive next month have dark brown upper parts, heavily streaked underparts, and a mostly one note chirp. May the males command Spring!
ON THE PRAIRIE
Snow is indeed disappearing all over the Prairie. Also disappearing are large areas of invasive brush. In the areas where brush was mowed, follow-up treatment of invasive resprouts will happen. In areas where brush was cut and piled, the piles will soon be picked up giving the native seed bank a chance to sprout. Why not just burn the areas with brush instead of mowing or cutting? Because fire requires fuel and green brush doesn’t qualify. In a prairie, grasses supply the fuel for burns. Once brush crowds out the grasses, fire is no longer a control option. Hopefully, future burns will be more frequent, and the Prairie will now bloom in areas long lost to brush.
RARE PLANT MONITORING TRAINING
Kay McClelland, the Rare Plant Monitoring Program coordinator, is planning to monitor seven Heritage species from June to August. She needs lots of help. Monitoring and scouting are a great opportunity to get to see and know the Prairie with a limited time commitment. If you think this might be something you’d like to do, please contact Kay to get more information.
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FUND RAISING MATCH
What a terrific response! Total donations from individuals between December and February 15th more than doubled the previous year and, after they all recover from the shock, will be matched dollar for dollar by some very generous supporters, including Jack and Terry Shouba. Best of all, we hope to use the funds soon for additional land acquisition.
CELEBRATE EARTH DAY AT GATEWAY TECHNICAL COLLEGE – KENOSHA CAMPUS
Visit our booth on Saturday, April 13 from 10:00 AM – 2:00 PM
As at “Spring into Gardening” last week, CPPF will have an information table next to our friends from the Root River Chapter of Wild Ones, so that together we can tell folks about the importance of natural areas and native plants while giving away milkweed seed. Lots to see and learn!
As you can see in the workday photo featuring Chad Heinzelman and Dave Sanders on water break, the February workday was cutting and piling brush and saplings. We worked just northwest of the Chiwaukee Cottage and two volunteers trained on the brushcutters. Lunch after work included Pam’s delicious chili and Sue Holt’s delicious apple crisp! Join us this Saturday, March 16, for more exciting brush removal and tasty lunch.
The prediction is for partly cloudy skies with NW winds at 10-15 mph and a high of 38 degrees. Dress in layers and anticipate wet ground. We supply work gloves, tools, instruction, water and answers to all your questions about the Prairie.
The workday is from 10 AM – 1 PM. Come for part or all of it.
We will meet at the generously loaned Chiwaukee Cottage
204 -102nd Street
Please park on the south side of 102nd Street.
Lunch at the Cottage after the workday for the volunteers!
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.
(Map of the vicinity at www.chiwaukee.org/about/where/)
If you have questions, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 773-515-2772.
Thank you for your support,
Chiwaukee Prairie Preservation Fund, Inc.