Monthly Update – February 2020

Grand Surprise – photo by Jack Shouba

Greetings Friends of the Prairie,

So why a butterfly in February? Because this big beautiful butterfly may be seen basking in the sun on warm days all year-round. The Mourning Cloak overwinters as an adult hibernating in hollow logs or creases in tree bark. With an up to 4-inch wingspan and their unique coloration, they are easy to identify. They breed in early spring and adults emerging in June or July may live up to 11 months. We could all use some sunshine about now!


Before the next Monthly Update, it is likely the creators of the nest pictured above will be returning to stake out their 2020 territories. The male Red-winged Blackbirds will be filling the Prairie with calls that all sound alike to us, but that the females will have no trouble distinguishing. Likewise, in the next month the shrill and repetitious “peep” of diminutive (0.7 to 1.1 inch) Northern Spring Peepers will be heard across the wetlands. These little noise makers reproduce very successfully in our fishless wetlands. It doesn’t seem like it now with snow and ice all around, but in no time the first sounds and sights of spring will be upon the Prairie.

Northern Spring Peeper (archive photo)

Newsletter Donation Match

Our annual newsletter in December promised a dollar for dollar match for all donations received from individuals until January 31, 2020. Great news! You all dug deep and we received just over $20,000, which is being matched by Jack and Terry Shouba and anonymous supporters. We are deeply grateful to all who donated and to all who matched your donations. As always, all donations are available for land acquisition and, if designated, also for land management.

Events

National Invasive Species Awareness Week (NISAW) is February 24 to 28. Some things to know: Aside from trail mowing, almost all of our management activities involve the control and removal of invasive species from the Prairie. The list of invaders is long. The methods and timing of management vary with each one. How did invasives get here? Some blew in on the wind, some were distributed in bird poop, some came in yard waste dumped in the Prairie, some were planted in the 1920’s golf course, some came on roadside mowers, some hitchhiked on animal fur, some flew off passing trains, and others came in ways unknown. What can you do? If you are a Friend of the Prairie, you already help; likewise, if you are a workday volunteer. Make sure you do not have invasives in your own garden and spread the word. The biodiversity and peak ecological function of the Prairie depend on controlling invasives.

SPRING INTO GARDENING, Saturday, March 7, 2020 at Union Grove High School
The keynote address, “Genetic Diversity & Plant Preservation” by Neil Diboll from the Prairie Nursery, promises to be inspiring for anyone interested in getting native plants into your garden. Several other sessions involve native plants, pollinators, monarchs and lots of great gardening information. CPPF will have an information table at this event. For more information on all the sessions and to register go to https://kenosha.extension.wisc.edu

Workdays

Nathan, Suzanne and Rick burning the December workday brush.
A well-soaked oval of ash is all that remains!

In December, the workday volunteers set out to clear a quarter acre lot of 8- foot buckthorn. When they finished, the lot was cleared but surrounded by neatly lined up huge piles of cut brush! We had hoped to burn that brush in January, but snow caused the workday to be cancelled. Last week, after two days of hauling and a total of eight hours of burning, all that remained was a six by eight foot oval of ash!

This Saturday, February 15, we will continue to clear invasive brush in the areas around the Cottage. We will have folks using brushcutters as well as hauling and dabbing. The prediction is for a mostly cloudy day with a 10-20 mph SW wind and a high of 35 degrees. We supply work gloves, tools, instruction, water and answers to all your questions about the Prairie. The workday is from 10:00 AM to 1:00 PM. Come for part or all of it.

PLEASE NOTE:
We will meet at the Chiwaukee Cottage at 204 -102nd Street.
Please park on the south side of 102nd Street.

Lunch at the Cottage after the workday for our volunteers!

(Map at www.chiwaukee.org/about/where/)

If you would like to be notified about additional workday opportunities, 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.

Monthly Update – January 2020

A New Year Dawns on Chiwaukee – photo by Jack Shouba

Greetings Friends of the Prairie,

The beautiful sunrise over Lake Michigan pictured above is in utter contrast to the horrific nor’easter storm that hit this past weekend. Huge waves fed by winds at times over 50 miles per hour deposited sand, rocks and debris, flooded yards and roads, and tore apart poorly protected shoreline areas, including in the Kenosha Dunes. The facts that the lake is near or at its all-time high and that there is no ice pack along the shoreline to act as buffer exacerbated the damage. The waves pushed sand and gravel into the mouths of creeks blocking out-flow and contributing to flooding. Residents in the area reported water in areas and at levels they have never before seen. But it has happened before and will likely again.

Newsletter

Our annual fundraising Newsletter went out in December and has had a great response. If you did not get it in the mail, you can read it online by clicking here. It details our mission accomplishments in 2019, plans for 2020, lists of volunteers and donors, as well as expressions of kinship between humans and Chiwaukee Prairie. The dollar for dollar match up to $20,000 from individuals continues until January 31, 2020.

Read more about it and please consider donating at
www.chiwaukee.org/donate

Chiwaukee Prairie Preservation Fund, Inc. is a 501(c)(3) charitable organization.

Long view across the winter Prairie rich in native grasses and forbs, free of invasive brush.
Photo by Jay Johnson

Happening on the Prairie…

This winter, a combination of grant funded contractors, DNR staff, and, of course, our volunteers are making great strides in removing invasive brush and returning the Prairie to its native plants. Beneath the brush waits a seed bank of native grasses and forbs that, given this chance, will explode on the scene and send their roots deep into the soil to sequester carbon and provide habitat for the Prairie’s more mobile occupants.

Workdays

Before
During
After

On Saturday, December 21, we planned to start clearing an entire quarter acre lot of invasive brush and small trees. WE DID IT! (The small trees came down 5 days later.)

This Saturday, January 18, we will move all that cut brush into burn piles. Unfortunately, it is highly unlikely we will be able to burn because of the wind conditions. The prediction is for AM snow showers, winds WNW at 20-30 mph and a high of 32 degrees. We supply work gloves, tools, instruction, water and answers to all your questions about the Prairie. The workday is from 10:00 AM to 1:00 PM. Come for part or all of it.

PLEASE NOTE:
We will meet on 2nd Avenue at 121st Street.

Stop by the Cottage at 204 -102nd Street after the workday for snacks and beverages. Bring your lunch.
Please park on the south side of 102nd Street

(Map 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.

Monthly Update – December 2019

Holiday Impostor – photo by Jay Johnson

Greetings Friends of the Prairie,

It may appear as though this sprig of green in the Savanna is trying to celebrate the season by emulating a Christmas tree. A fun scene to come upon during a quiet winter walk, but we can’t be fooled. It is actually Queen Anne’s Lace, one of the Prairie’s exotic invasives, demonstrating its tenacity. For more color, the Savanna sports red viburnum berries drooping like ornaments in front of a Chiwaukee Prairie State Natural Area sign. That’s it for red and green. The Prairie itself is grasses of tan and gold and copper interspersed with the dried remains of forbs in all shapes and sizes. It is quiet now. No frogs or birds or insects clamoring for attention. But they will return soon enough, as soon now the days grow longer.

As the calendar year closes, we wish you all peace and happiness shared with family and friends.

State Natural Area Ornaments – photo by Jay Johnson
Snowy December Sunset – photo by Jay Johnson

Newsletter

Our annual fundraising Newsletter is out! It details our mission accomplishments in 2019, plans for 2020, lists of volunteers and donors, as well as expressions of kinship between humans and Chiwaukee Prairie. If you have not, but would like to receive a mailed copy, let us know at cppf@chiwaukee.org. The newsletter is also on our website. Please check it out here.

GREAT NEWS!
$ for $ Match up to $20,000

For all donations received from individuals until January 31, 2020.

Read more about it and please consider donating at
www.chiwaukee.org/donate

Chiwaukee Prairie Preservation Fund, Inc. is a 501(c)(3) charitable organization.

Workdays

November Volunteers – photo by Eric Howe

Our November workday volunteers did a great job removing buckthorn and honeysuckle that was encroaching on two sites which are home to endangered species. This Saturday, December 21, we will be starting to clear an entire lot of invasive brush and small trees. We will have folks using brushcutters as well as hauling and dabbing. The prediction is for a partly cloudy day with a mild west breeze and a high of 40 degrees. We supply work gloves, tools, instruction, water and answers to all your questions about the Prairie. The workday is from 10AM to 1PM. Come for part or all of it.

PLEASE NOTE:
We will meet on 2nd Avenue at 121st Street.

Lunch at the Cottage at 204 -102nd Street after the workday!
Please park on the south side of 102nd Street

(Map 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 8:00 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.

Monthly Update – November 2019

Greetings Friends of the Prairie,

The red twig dogwood is now bare, copper leaves clinging to the scattered oaks will hang on until next Spring, and grasses wave in a dozen shades of gold. There is no mistaking late Fall on the Prairie. There is also no mistaking that it is a wetland, a designated Wetland Gem and a Wetland of International Importance. The entire growing season has been wetter than usual with flooding and roads closed more than once. Because of continuous wet conditions, complete trail mowing was accomplished only once all season. We postponed extensive fire break mowing south of 116th Street until after the first hard frost to be sure we did not interfere with seed setting. Unfortunately, heavy rains at the end of October pushed mowing into November. Because of equipment problems, we barely finished the day before last Sunday’s major snow. The plan is for a joint prescribed burn across the state line by next spring. Fingers crossed!

Thanksgiving is two weeks away and we want you all to know how very, very thankful we, the CPPF Board members, are for all of your interest, volunteering, and support throughout the year. Amazingly, you hale from all over the area and the country, sharing the deep belief that this amazing jewel of nature is well worth all our caring. HAPPY THANKSGIVING!

Rick Wadleigh pauses during his three days and several miles of fire break mowing.

Annual Newsletter

We anticipate our CPPF annual print newsletter will be in the mail the first week of December. The Prairie News features an update on our mission accomplishments, plans for 2020, donation details, thanks, donor and volunteer listings. Again this year, we are most fortunate to have a dollar-for-dollar matching grant up to $20,000 of donations received from individuals during December and January. If you would like to receive the newsletter but don’t think you are on our mailing list, please send your name and street address to the email below. A link to the Prairie News will also be in the December Monthly Update.

Workdays

Don’t tell the calendar, but winter has definitely arrived. So, do we have workdays in the snow? Definitely we do, with a few caveats: not if it’s too deep, not if it’s below 10 degrees or 10 degrees windchill, not if it’s a whiteout, not if there is lightning. Really though, we seldom cancel workdays.

Don’t the folks in the photo above look happy (see photo)? They were justly proud of their accomplishment. They cut and dabbed and hauled buckthorn for the better part of three hours. For their efforts, they went home that day with a belly full of Pam’s famous chili and the satisfaction of really helping the Prairie.

Jenny says, “Come on out for fun and hard work!”

This Saturday, November 16, the weather forecast is for partly cloudy skies and temperature high of 34 degrees with a 10-15 mph SSE wind. We plan to clear and treat invasive brush in three special areas south of 122nd Street. Best to wear old clothes, sturdy shoes and dress in layers. We supply work gloves, tools, water, instruction and answers to all your questions about the Prairie.

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

PLEASE NOTE:
We will meet on 2nd Avenue at 122nd Street

Lunch at the 102nd Street Cottage after the workday for the volunteers!

(Map of the vicinity at www.chiwaukee.org/about/where/)

If you would like to be notified about additional workday opportunities, 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.

All photos above by Pam Holy.

Monthly Update – October 2019

A Prairie Welcome Sign (photo by Jay Johnson)

Greetings Friends of the Prairie,

It is the time when Woolly Bear caterpillars cross the path where the very little Redbelly snake is sunning and hawks migrate high overhead. And much else is happening on the Prairie as blossoming comes to an end. Plants, as long as they are green, continue packing energy into their roots for spring. Hibernators, like Ground Hogs and Thirteen-lined Ground Squirrels, are packing on fat while other furry critters, like Chipmunks, are storing food in burrows and Coyote and Fox are fashioning dens. Insects are laying eggs in stems, or migrating, or tucking themselves into bark crevices, like the adult Mourning Cloak butterfly. Pollinators are winding down their flurry of activity to get the last food of the season to pack with their eggs. All this activity, yet it is a relatively quiet time on the Prairie. A magic time. A time when the tall grasses wave in the wind almost like a “Sea of Grass” and spiders still have their welcome sign out!

Prairie Plant Walks with Kay have ended for this year but will resume next Spring. On the last walk of the season, September 28, many varieties of Asters, Goldenrods, and Grasses along with petite Lady Tresses orchids and the most splendidly blue Gentians were all on display.

Eight inch tall Lady Tresses orchid (photo by Pam Holy)

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

Workdays

Looking west on 122nd Street toward railroad (photo by Pam Holy)

The most wonderful September workday volunteers removed truckloads of brush that was narrowing the 122nd trail. It was a rain shortened workday but not before everyone had a chance to view Gentians off the side of the trail.

You all did a terrific job! THANK YOU!

“Karen and the Giant Saw-Tooth Sunflower” (photo by Pam Holy)

Karen Kaplan wanted everyone to know that the Saw-Toothed Sunflower really can be over 7 feet tall. She was taking a break from loading brush into a truck during the last workday.

This Saturday, October 19, the weather forecast is for partly cloudy skies and temperature high of 61 degrees with a 10–20 mph SSW wind. We plan to continue clearing invasive brush in the areas we worked in the last two winters. Best to wear old clothes, sturdy shoes and dress in layers. We supply work gloves, tools, water, instruction and answers to all your questions about the Prairie.

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

PLEASE NOTE:
We will meet at the Chiwaukee Cottage at 204 -102nd Street
Please park on the south side of 102nd Street.

Lunch at the Cottage after the workday for the volunteers!

(Map of the vicinity at www.chiwaukee.org/about/where/)

If you would like to be notified about additional workday opportunities, 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.

Monthly Update – September 2019

Pollinators flock to Stiff Goldenrod (Solidago rigida) Photo by Rick Wadleigh

Greetings Friends of the Prairie,

Fall has painted the Prairie yellow with 10 kinds of Goldenrod, Sunflowers 7 feet tall, Sneezeweed and False Sunflower. Mixed in beautifully are the white, blue and purple Asters, purple Ironweed and lavender Joe-Pye-weed. All are attended by the tall bronze and golden Big Bluestem and Indian Grasses waving. Drive down 1st Court south of 116th Street to take in a vista that will make it easier to say goodbye to Summer. But something you won’t see from the road are the exquisitely blue Gentians that nestle among the other plants but can often be found along the trails. Chiwaukee is home to four Gentians: Bottle, Downy, Fringed (photo below) and Lesser Fringed. To pollinate the Bottle Gentian, a bumble bee must force its way inside. How does it learn to do that? Like so much in nature, when you look carefully, it is astounding. Come see Fall on the Prairie!

Top photo of Asters and Goldenrod Photo by Pam Holy
Ironweed and Swallowtail Photo by Pam Holy
Fringed Gentian (Gentianopsis crinita) Photo by Jack Shouba

Fall has painted the Prairie yellow with 10 kinds of Goldenrod, Sunflowers 7 feet tall, Sneezeweed and False Sunflower. Mixed in beautifully are the white, blue and purple Asters, purple Ironweed and lavender Joe-Pye-weed. All are attended by the tall bronze and golden Big Bluestem and Indian Grasses waving. Drive down 1st Court south of 116th Street to take in a vista that will make it easier to say goodbye to Summer. But something you won’t see from the road are the exquisitely blue Gentians that nestle among the other plants but can often be found along the trails. Chiwaukee is home to four Gentians: Bottle, Downy, Fringed (photo below) and Lesser Fringed. To pollinate the Bottle Gentian, a bumble bee must force its way inside. How does it learn to do that? Like so much in nature, when you look carefully, it is astounding. Come see Fall on the Prairie!

PRAIRIE PLANT WALKS

Naturalist, Kay McClelland, will lead the last Chiwaukee Prairie Walks of 2019 later this month. Information includes a little history, a little geology and lots of plant names and facts. There will be a plant list.

Later Fall Bloomers: Thursday, September 26, 9-11 AM
Plant Identification: Saturday, September 28, 2-4 PM

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
Kaymac1939@gmail.com

Longest Serving Director Retires

Dawn Feldman-Brown joined the CPPF Board of Directors in 1993 motivated by a love of the Prairie and a strong desire to help preserve it. Living across from the Prairie made Dawn uniquely positioned to engage neighbors and newcomers about its importance and over the years she brought new directors and many volunteers to CPPF. She was our liaison to the Carol Beach Property Owners Association and to our longtime supporters, the Four Seasons Garden Club. Leaving the Board, but not leaving the Prairie! THANK YOU, DAWN

Students travel far to visit Chiwaukee

Classes from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and the Milwaukee Area Technical College made the trip recently to study the native plant communities of the Prairie. In the upper right of the photo below, the specks are dozens of monarchs which took flight as the students moved into the field for a closer look.

Mequon MATC class visit Photo by Pam Holy

Bat monitoring opportunity

The Department of Natural Resources has an easy to use echometer to do bat surveys at Chiwaukee. If you are interested in doing a bat survey, email Samantha Kiser at samantha.kiser@wisconsin.gov.

WORKDAYS

Last month, volunteers gleaned a variety of invasives along the sides of all the trails south of 116th Street including Queen Anne’s Lace, white sweet clover, chicory, mullein, asparagus, sow thistle and cottonwood saplings. The volunteers were handsomely rewarded with hotdogs and chips!

This Saturday, September 21, we may be gleaning invasive forbs or collecting seed or cutting sumac or something else. Reconnaissance before Saturday will determine the task. Sorry for the uncertainty. The prediction is for mixed clouds and sun with a 40% chance of scattered thunderstorms, a high of 77, and southwest wind at 10-20 mph. Wear old clothes, long pants and sturdy shoes or boots. 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 or a downpour.

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

PLEASE NOTE:
We will meet on 2nd Avenue at 121st Street.

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.

Monthly Update – August 2019

The beginning of the Liatris Bloom west of 1st Court (photo by Ingrid Verhulst)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Greetings Friends of the Prairie,

As with the Lupine and Spiderwort Blooms before it, the Blazing Star (Liatris) Bloom promises to be spectacular this year. Perhaps the rainy cool weather this Spring is the cause. Whatever the cause, the Prairie will soon be awash from one end to the other in lavender spikes. Dozens of other forbs are also blooming in abundance, including the relatively rare Rattlesnake Master pictured below. It is impossible to adequately convey in writing or photos the majesty and mystery of the diverse August blooms at Chiwaukee Prairie. Come out and take a walk on your own or with our naturalist, Kay McClelland (times and dates listed below). Delight in the company of dragonflies and Monarchs. Listen for the unique cries of Sandhill Cranes and watch a flock of Cormorants fly over. Walk north on the gravel road from 2nd Avenue at 121st Street and see how the Prairie is taking back the road, filling it with Rushes and Sedges in the low spots, with grasses and forbs moving in on the sides. The prairie was here for thousands of years before us. With help from all of us, it will continue to be its wonderful self, long into the future!

Rattlesnake Master (Eryngium yuccifolium) (photo by Nathan Robertson)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

PRAIRIE PLANT WALKS
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. During the season, we will look at and identify over 100 different flowering plants, grasses and some sedges. There will be a plant list available each time as well as occasional other handouts.

Late Summer Bloomers: Thursday, August 15, 9-11 AM
Plant Identification: Saturday, August 17, 9-11 AM

Early Fall Bloomers: Friday, September 6, 9-11 AM
Plant Identification: Saturday, September 7, 9-11 AM
Later Fall Bloomers: Thursday, September 26, 9-11 AM
Plant Identification: Saturday, September 28, 2-4 PM

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
Kaymac1939@gmail.com

Cedar Waxwings (photo by Joshua Smith)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

WORKDAYS

Last month, for the first time ever, CPPF canceled the volunteer workday because of an Excessive Heat Warning from the National Weather Service. And it was the right thing to do. At one point that day the temperature in the area of the Prairie reached 104 degrees in the shade. Therefore, we add Excessive Heat Warning to wind chills and temperatures below 10 degrees, lightning, downpours, blizzards or really deep snow on the list of weather that can spoil our fun time on the third Saturday of the month.

Five members of the Youth Conservation Corps with Chris Kemper, who helped them haul their morning harvest of Common St. John’s-wort out of the Prairie.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

From June 10th until August 1st, Chiwaukee Prairie benefited from the work of the six-member team of the Youth Conservation Corps out of the Lake County Forest Preserve District. For several years, the YCC teams have helped us control a variety of invasive species. It is hard work that starts at 6:30 in the morning and goes to 3 PM. They deal with ticks and mosquitoes, wet feet and muddy clothes, in drizzle and in heat, bending all day to pull plants. They do it with good humor and interest in learning. They delight in animal sightings, which this year included a pig up near the railroad! Without their efforts, the Prairie would be overrun by their targeted invasive species. These young people are truly amazing and we are very grateful to this year’s team: Nathan, Ariana, Simone, Alana, Melissa and Hannah.

This Saturday, August 17, we will be gleaning a variety of invasive species including Queen Anne’s Lace, White Sweet Clover, Mullein, Sow Thistle, Bouncing-bet, Common St. Johns-wort and Asparagus. We will be gleaning because the YCC Team has been through the area once or twice to get most of the plants, but late bloomers still threaten the Prairie with their seeds. Gleaning means more walking than pulling and will provide an excellent opportunity to really enjoy the August Prairie.

The prediction is for partly cloudy skies with a south wind and a high of 82 degrees. Wear old clothes, long pants and sturdy shoes or boots. Tick season appears to be over but still 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 or an excessive heat warning was issued.

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

PLEASE NOTE:
We will meet on 2nd Avenue at 121st Street.

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.

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.

ANNUAL NATIVE PLANT SALE BY WILD ONES ROOT RIVER CHAPTER
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).

PRAIRIE PLANT WALKS
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
kaymac1939@gmail.com

WORKDAYS

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.

PLEASE NOTE:
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.

Monthly Update – March 2019

Red-winged Blackbird, Agelaius phoeniceus            (CPPF Slide Archives)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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.

Snow melt after a Fall                                                   (CPPF Slide Archives)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
 
 
 
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.
kaymac1939@gmail.com Mobile 262-994-1939 Home 262-664-4563

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!

Celebrate Earth Day at Gateway Technical College – Kenosha Campus
Visit our booth on Saturday, April 13 from 10:00 AM – 2:00 PM

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

WORKDAYS

February 2019 Workday                                           (Photo by Eric Howe)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
 
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.

PLEASE NOTE:
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 volunteer@chiwaukee.org or call 773-515-2772.

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

Monthly Update – February 2019

The view from Chiwaukee View Park 1/29/19 Photo by Nathan Robertson

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Greetings Friends of the Prairie,

A few Januarys back, we had fruit trees blossoming and the sounds of spring peeper frogs! A month and a half into this year, and we have had snow storms, ice bergs, and minus 50 wind chills. We must accept there is no more “usual weather” and that changes to come will affect many aspects of Prairie life. We have already seen both native and invasive plants blooming earlier than in past years. Hopefully, both the Prairie and all those who care for it will be able to adapt in the future.

CHIWAUKEE WEST 
The area west of the railroad and east of Sheridan Road between 116th Street and 128th Street is now called Chiwaukee West. The approximately 150 acres was purchased by the Nature Conservancy over the past few years and is now undergoing restoration efforts. These include ongoing removal of invasive trees and brush, followed by removal of extensive drain tile systems and then native seeding. Most importantly, in addition to creating habitat for grassland and wetland birds, the entire project will protect the ground water under the original Chiwaukee Prairie to the east.

SPRING INTO GARDENING
The annual conference is on Saturday, March 9 at the Westosha Central High School in Paddock Lake. 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. For more information, click here.

Spring into Gardening Display

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

FUND RAISING MATCH

Generous supporters have pledged a dollar-for-dollar match of all donations received from individuals by February 15, 2019. THAT’S THIS FRIDAY!!! PLEASE DONATE NOW.

More information at www.chiwaukee.org/donate

(Chiwaukee Prairie Preservation Fund, Inc. is a 501(c)(3) charitable organization.)

RARE PLANT MONITORING TRAINING

Unfortunately, the class in this area is already full. While the training is a recommended prerequisite, there still will be many opportunities to assist in the monitoring of rare and endangered plants at Chiwaukee Prairie. Later in the Spring, this Monthly Update will provide information on how to participate in the Monitoring Program.

Kay McClelland is the Rare Plant Monitoring Program coordinator for Chiwaukee Prairie.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

INVASIVE SPECIES AWARENESS WEEK February 26 TO March 6

Garlic Mustard, Dame’s Rocket, Lion’s Tooth, Hawk Weed, Common St. John’s-wort, Phragmites, Purple Loosestrife, Black Swallow-wort, Queen Anne’s Lace, Hairy Willow Herb, Ox-eye Daisy, Bouncing Bet, Sow Thistle, Reed Canary Grass, Narrow-leaved Cattail, Canada Thistle, Crown Vetch, Japanese Knotweed, Chicory, and, of course, Buckthorn. There are several dozen more in Chiwaukee, but these are top of mind. As the growing season proceeds, we will have photos.

WORKDAYS

For the January workday, volunteers got to sleep in as the snow piled up!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Our January workday was cancelled due to high winds and a heavy snow. This Saturday, February 16, we again will be working in the area just north of the Cottage doing brush cutting, herbiciding and hauling. The prediction is for cloudy skies with NNE winds at 10 mph and a high of 25 degrees. Dress warmly in layers. 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.

PLEASE NOTE:
We will meet at the Chiwaukee Cottage at 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 volunteer@chiwaukee.org or call 773-515-2772.

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