Upcoming Events

Monthly Update – May 2019

The brightest yellow of Spring, Marsh Marigolds (Caltha palustris)

Greetings Friends of the Prairie,

Once again, April was one of the coldest on record combined with another very wet Spring. While it makes for a very green Prairie, most Spring Bloomers are only just starting to bud. Bird’s Foot Violets, Marsh Marigolds, and Pussy Toes are among the few in full bloom; that is, among the natives. Unfortunately, the ubiquitous dandelion is everywhere and threatens the Prairie along roadsides and trails. Fortunately, our intrepid band of volunteers work to control it and all the other invaders. In 2018, Chiwaukee Prairie volunteers logged 1,065 hours; the most, and one fifth of the total hours logged in the 41 State Natural Areas with volunteer groups. They are phenomenal!

Five Sandhill Cranes dining on a bounty of chorus frogs. Photo by Nathan Robertson.
The distinctive honeycomb appearance identifies this as a Morel mushroom, prized by gourmet cooks and a hallmark of Spring in the Prairie.

Adding even a few native plants to your property can help increase habitat for native birds, bees, butterflies and other wildlife. Save the date and buy plants in twos so they multiply!

Saturday, June 1st 9:00 AM until 2:00 PM
Native flowers, grasses, ferns, trees and shrubs
Gateway Technical College Horticulture Center, 3520 30th Avenue, Kenosha

Among the earliest of Prairie Bloomers is the Bird’s Foot Violet (Viola pedata).

Naturalist Kay McClelland will lead Chiwaukee Prairie Walks two or three times a month from May 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. There will be a plant list available each time as well as occasional other handouts.

Gen Crema Trail Spring Bloomers: Thursday, May 16, 9-11 AM
Plant Identification: Saturday, May 18, 1-3 PM

Early Summer Bloomers: Thursday, June 13, 9-11 AM
Plant Identification: Saturday, June 15, 9-11 AM

Meet at the intersection of 121st Street and 2nd Avenue. Park on 2nd Avenue. Wear good walking shoes or boots and long pants. Sunscreen, 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


This summer, we plan to have extra workdays to control several invasives before they go to seed. If you would like to be notified about these opportunities, please email volunteer@chiwaukee.org or periodically check on our website. We will also post on our Facebook page.

The pernicious weed, Garlic Mustard (Alliaria petiolata).

This Saturday, May 18, we switch from cutting and herbiciding invasive brush to pulling the despised and very invasive Garlic Mustard, along with Dame’s Rocket and Lion’s Tooth. Although Garlic Mustard’s first year leaves are delicious in salads, the flowering second year plants are a threat to the savanna and prairie, producing 100s of seeds per plant. The prediction is for partly cloudy skies with a slight breeze off the Lake and a high of 68 degrees. Wear old clothes, long pants and sturdy shoes or boots. It is tick season, so consider bugspray. 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 along 4th Avenue north of 116th Street.
Please park on the east side of 4th Avenue.

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 volunteer@chiwaukee.org or call 773-515-2772.

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