Monthly Update – January 2019

Dawn of a New Year
Photo by Jack Shouba

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Greetings Friends of the Prairie,

As the calendar year opens, we wish you all a healthy and fulfilling 2019! On the Prairie, we are seeing increased efforts to clear large areas of invasive brush, thus allowing the native seed bank to flourish. Beginning this year, Neighbor Stewards will manage areas near home and a new Seed Collectors group will help nature distribute seed in the Prairie. Off the Prairie, efforts to acquire the remaining private lots are ramping up. In all areas of our mission to acquire, restore and manage Chiwaukee Prairie, with your support as donors and volunteers, we look forward to a banner 2019!

NEWSLETTER

Our annual fundraising Newsletter went out in December and has had a great response. If you did not receive it in the mail, you can read it online here. It details our mission accomplishments in 2018, plans for 2019, lists of volunteers and donors, as well as a salute to four special women who have significantly impacted the efforts to preserve Chiwaukee Prairie. The dollar-for-dollar match for all donations from individuals continues until February 15, 2019.

More information at www.chiwaukee.org/donate

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

HAPPY NEW YEAR NATURE ENTHUSIASTS!

Make it your resolution to help monitor rare and endangered plants in the Chiwaukee Prairie during the 2019 growing season. The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (WIDNR) will be offering Rare Plant Monitoring training in March and April, a recommended prerequisite. The best way to stay informed on dates is to subscribe to the Natural Heritage Conservation email list or to visit the Rare Plant Monitoring Program website.

The training dates will be posted in both places in late January or early February. Until then, there is plenty for us to do while the prairie enjoys its winter “hibernation.”

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

Here are just a few reminders of why we do what we do! Photos by Jack Shouba

Smooth Phlox (Phlox glaberrima ssp. interior) by Jack Shouba

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Eastern Prairie White Fringed Orchid (Platanthera leucophaea) by Jack Shouba

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Fringed Gentian (Gentiana crinita) by Jack Shouba

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

NEW CONSERVATION WARDEN

Prairie neighbors and visitors often have questions or want to report issues with wildlife or hunting. Taylor Meinholz, the new DNR SE Wisconsin Conservation Warden (262-443-0969), is the person to contact.

WORKDAYS

Some of our intrepid December volunteers! Photo by Lindy Van Vlissingen

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Our December workday was, as usual, super productive with chain saws and brush cutters supplying the haulers and dabbers with plenty to do. This Saturday, January 19, we again will be working in the area of the Cottage to do brush and grapevine removal in several spots. The prediction is for strong NE winds at 10-20 mph with a high of 25 degrees and a 60% chance of snow. It does not look promising. 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.

Coffee and Kringle before the workday.
Bring a lunch for after. Cider and other beverages supplied.

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 – December 2018

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Greetings Friends of the Prairie,

This doe is looking to all of us to keep the Prairie a fit home for her and all the creatures that share it. With the invaluable support of our volunteers and donors, we pledge to continue our best efforts to support all the lives that depend on and benefit from the Prairie, including yours and ours.

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

NEWSLETTER

Our annual fundraising Newsletter is out! It details our mission accomplishments in 2018, plans for 2019, lists of volunteers and donors, as well as a salute to four special women who have significantly impacted the efforts to preserve 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 at:
www.chiwaukee.org/newsletters/2018CPPFNewsletter.pdf

GREAT NEWS!
$ for $ Match
For all donations from individuals until February 15, 2019.

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

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

WORKDAYS

November Workday Volunteers
November volunteers with a small part of the brush they cut and hauled.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Our November workday was super productive, in part because four new operators were trained to use the brush cutters. They really kept the haulers and dabbers busy. This Saturday, December 15, we will be working in the same area to finish cutting and herbiciding the invasive brush. The prediction is for a mostly sunny, breezy day with a high of 37 degrees. 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!

(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.

Monthly Update – November 2018

 

South Barnes Creek

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Greetings Friends of the Prairie,

NEWS

The first snow of the season marked the end of blooming and the beginning of hibernation. Reptiles, amphibians, ground hogs and 13-lined ground squirrels are snug for the season. Mice, voles, rabbits, foxes and others have prepared shelters from the cold. Deer, the most exposed to the elements, now sport their winter coats. Most of the sensible birds are migrating! Please feed our winter flying friends.

Leopard Frog by John Holt

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

While most frogs were digging into mud for the winter, this one (see photo) popped into the Holt’s laundry room when John opened the door. John redirected the frog to a more natural habitat.

Prairie Burn Spring 2017

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Firebreaks have been mowed north and south in the Prairie in anticipation of Fall and Spring burns. Prescribed burns are our most effective management tool and DNR has planned several for the coming season. Fires help control invasive brush and non-native vegetation which would otherwise take over the Prairie. They also recycle nutrients and darken the earth to receive the sun’s warmth in Spring.

EVENTS

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 2019, donation details, thanks and remembrances. Again this year, we are most fortunate to have a dollar-for-dollar matching grant for donations received from individuals during December to mid-February. 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.

Plants in Winter Course
The University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee Field Station Director, Jim Reinartz, will be teaching a two-day workshop on January 4 & 5, 2019 called Ecology and Physiology of Plants in Winter. For more information go to: https://uwm.edu/field-station/workshops

What a difference two months make! From September 8, 2018 to November 9, 2018.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

WORKDAYS

The October workday was weather wild. In the middle of it, the sky went dark and everyone sprinted into the Cottage garage as high winds were pelting the volunteers with hail! As soon as the hail stopped, they went right back to work. After stacking truckloads of cut brush, they were rewarded with hot cider and 2.5 gallons of homemade chili. MANY THANKS to those truly “hail” and hardy folks!

This Saturday, November 17, the weather forecast is for partly cloudy skies and temperatures in the low 30s with a 10-15 mph NNW wind. Don’t let that deter you. The work will warm you up! We plan to continue clearing invasive brush in the area we worked in last winter. 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 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!

(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.

Monthly Update – October 2018

 

The most glorious of Prairie flowers, the Fringed Gentian

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Greetings Friends of the Prairie,

NEWS

All around, migratory birds flit and twitter, insects scramble to prepare for winter, seed is blowing, popping and dropping, and the most beautiful of blooms have waited until the last. But time is running out to see them this year. As of last Saturday, the trail going north from the corner of 4th Avenue and 105th Street was still littered with late blooming Fringed Gentians.

New England Asters witness Milkweed Bugs (Oncopeltus fasciatus) feasting on the embryos in Common Milkweed by inserting their long slender beaks into the pods. If your Milkweed seeds lack a raised center, they are not viable.

Milkweed Bug (Oncopeltus fasciatus)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And the pods explode to send surviving seed to the winds!

Milkweed Seeds

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Wooly Bear (Pyrrharctia isabella)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Why does the Woolly Bear caterpillar cross the road?
Why to find a place to hide until Spring.
They have been abundant this week on the roads in the area.
After a winter in hibernation and more eating, they eventually reappear as Isabella Tiger Moths.

Isabella Tiger Moth (Pyrrharctia isabella)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

EVENTS

One of Kay’s Fall Prairie Plant Walk

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Prairie Plant Walks with Kay have ended for this year but will resume next Spring along with photos and lists of “Kay’s Bloomers”. On the last walk, September 29 pictured above, there were many varieties of Asters, Goldenrods, and Grasses along with Lady Tresses, and the most splendidly blue Gentians. And a very special white Gentian!

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

A rare white (leucistic) Fringed Gentian. Pretty in the photo. Unbelievable in person

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

WORKDAYS

The most wonderful September workday volunteers removed truck loads of Sumac. It was a beautiful day and energy was high. You all did a terrific job! THANK YOU!

This Saturday, October 20, the weather forecast is for partly cloudy skies and temperatures in the high 40s with a strong NW wind. We plan to continue clearing invasive brush in the area we worked in last winter. 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 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!

(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.

Monthly Update – September 2018

 

Sawtooth Sunflowers

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Greetings Friends of the Prairie,

NEWS

It’s September. Sawtooth Sunflowers reach 6 and 7 feet upward toward the early Fall sky, closer to the ground, Fringed and Bottle Gentian show off their delicate petals in striking blue, tall grasses form waves across the Prairie and migration begins for birds and Monarch butterflies. With the wetter than usual summer, the Prairie is enjoying a lushness of growth and blooms. Efforts to control non-woody invaders are winding down and soon the focus will shift to invasive brush.

Many thanks to our Prairie Neighbors for mowing nearby roadsides, collecting trash, notifying the Village about dumping, helping wayward turtles across the road and offering to become stewards of specific areas. This community involvement in the care and management of the Prairie helps insure the future of this terrific natural area for all creatures to live in and enjoy.

Fall vista looking west from 1st Court just north of 121st Street. Click here to view the west side grasses and forbs.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

EVENTS

CHIWAUKEE PRAIRIE WALKS 2018
This month, naturalist Kay McClelland will lead her final Chiwaukee Prairie Walks of the year. She will have a plant list available and offer information including a little history, a little geology and lots of plant names and facts. Don’t miss the most magical time on the Prairie.

Third Thursday September 20 9-11 AM
Fourth Saturday September 29 9-11 AM

Meet her at the intersection of 121st Street and 2nd Avenue. Park on 2nd Avenue. Wear good walking shoes or boots and long pants. The walk goes in light rain, but not if there is lightning.

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

Blue Lobelia

Swamp Thistle hosts a pollen-laden bumble bee

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

WORKDAYS

(Photo by Jaime Johnson)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sasha and Brynn Johnson wore their safety vests collecting Queen Anne’s Lace along 122nd Street. Together the girls prevented hundreds of flowers from going to seed and invading the Prairie. Earlier in the year they did a terrific job collecting Lion’s Tooth flowers.

Linda Opichka, Brandon Smith, Chad Heinzelman and Dave Sanders

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The August workday again focused on Queen Anne’s Lace (QAL). Pictured above are four of the volunteers who did a second pulling in the hawk monitoring field south of 122nd Street. The pile from the first pulling is in the foreground and, since then, a third pulling has been done! Efforts to control QAL over the past few years have greatly reduced its presence in the entire State Natural Area. Because it is a biennial, next year’s QAL will depend on last year’s control efforts.

The August volunteers managed to pull a truck load of QAL, control Black Swallow-wort, and enjoy a pizza lunch at the Chiwaukee Cottage after the workday. THANK YOU one and all!

This Saturday, September 15, the weather forecast is for mostly sunny skies and temperatures in the high 70’s with an ESE breeze. Wear old clothes, long pants and sturdy shoes. We supply work gloves, tools, water, instruction 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 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.

Monthly Update – August 2018

 

The Prairie in August (Photo by Pam Holy)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Greetings Friends of the Prairie,

NEWS

August is a wonderful time to visit the Prairie. Dozens and dozens of natives are blooming, ticks are near non-existent, and little leopard frogs are leaping their greetings on every path. Short distances provide changes in colors, shapes and composition. In the above photo, the first goldenrods of the year fill the foreground followed by the lavender of the blazing stars with the taller sun flowers craning in the distance.

Magusa divaricata versus Buckthorn (Photo by Pam Holy)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Buckthorn is a very invasive exotic shrub which is one of, if not the biggest threat to the natural area. Owing to a cathartic effect, birds and animals eating the berries spread the buckthorn seeds rapidly and widely. The photo above portrays very good news for the Prairie. It captures the defoliating work of a migratory moth’s larva. They fly up in spring, lay eggs, the larvae eat the buckthorn leaves top down, then pupate and the hatched moths fly back south! This cycle has, with repeated annual visits, killed the shrub in several areas. Ironically, the moths’ increasing presence at Chiwaukee is likely thanks to climate change and warmer winters.

EVENTS

CHIWAUKEE PRAIRIE WALKS 2018
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
August 20 August 16 August 18
September 20 September 15

For the August 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, 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

Chris Kemper (Photo by Pam Holy)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Chris Kemper is the King of Queen Anne’s Lace. Because he works weekends, Chris volunteers during the week and has single handedly pulled a truck load of QAL. Before that he pulled a truck load of Curly Dock. Before that it was Garlic Mustard. He is very special, and his many hours are much appreciated!

Also appreciated is the terrific work our volunteers did on the workday in July by pulling a truck load of Common St. John’s-Wort in the White Rock area south of 116th Street. This coming Saturday, August 18, we will be pulling Queen Anne’s Lace in several areas of the State Natural Area. It might be like a treasure hunt with maps to follow.

The weather forecast is for mostly sunny skies and temperatures in the high 70s with a 5-10 MPH NE wind. Wear old clothes, long pants and sturdy shoes. Also 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.

PLEASE NOTE:
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.

Monthly Update – July 2018

 

Platanthera leucophaea

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Greetings Friends of the Prairie,

NEWS

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)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

EVENTS

CHIWAUKEE PRAIRIE WALKS 2018
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)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

WORKDAYS

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.

PLEASE NOTE:
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.

Monthly Update – June 2018

Shooting Star (Dodecatheon media)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Greetings Friends of the Prairie,

NEWS

The beautiful shooting stars and other early bloomers have given way to the vivid blue Lupines, lavender Phlox, bright orange Coreopsis and many others, as the Prairie continues its sequential revelations of color and form. Young ground hogs follow their mother about, Tree Swallows are fledging, and turtles are on the move to find nesting spots. There is an abundance of life and lushness at Chiwaukee this time of year. Of course, it includes ticks and invasive plants, too. A few precautions take care of the former and lots of helping hands deal with the latter.

This year we are again fortunate to have the assistance of the Youth Conservation Corp teams from Lake County. Together with our regular workday volunteers, we hope to control some of the more aggressive bad actors including Yellow Hawkweed, Garlic Mustard, Dames Rocket, Common St. John’s Wort and Queen Anne’s Lace! Last week our board member Alan Eppers led the fourth annual corporate volunteer day for Xcenda employees, including his wife Amy Duhig, in removing an amazing amount of Hawkweed. If you have a company, club, or group who would like to volunteer for part of a day, please let us know!

Xcenda volunteers Rupali, Amy, Alan and Tom

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

EVENTS

CHIWAUKEE PRAIRIE WALKS 2018
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. She 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
June 18 June 21 June 16
July 16 July 19 July 21
August 20 August 16 August 18
September 20 September 15

For the June 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

2018 May Prairie Walk

On May 26, Kay led a group from the Unitarian Universalist Church in Milwaukee. Among those attending was Bernice Popelka (red hat center), a charter CPPF board member in 1985. By chance, Jack Shouba (far right with beard), friend of the Prairie since 1970 and CPPF benefactor, also took the hike and added some interesting folklore.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

WORKDAYS

May 19, 2018 workday volunteers with the flag signaling the meeting location.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In May, volunteers set out to remove Garlic Mustard from the savanna. As it turned out, Garlic Mustard was few and far between. Great news! The bad news was that Lion’s Tooth was in bloom and widespread. The flowers were bagged to prevent it from going to seed and turning the savanna into dandelion heaven.

This Saturday, June 16, we will be pulling the flowers off another dandelion-like forb, Yellow Hawkweed. In some western states this invasive plant literally takes over range land. The seeds are easily spread by wind and animals, so preventing seed production is critical.

The prediction is for partly cloudy skies with a south wind and a high of 80 degrees! Wear old clothes, long pants and sturdy shoes or boots. It is 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.

PLEASE NOTE:
We will meet along 4th Avenue north of 116th Street.
Please park on the east side of 4th Avenue.

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

Yellow Hawkweed (Hieracium caespitosum)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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 – May 2018

Marsh Marigolds (Caltha palustris)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Greetings Friends of the Prairie,

NEWS

April was one of the coldest on record and, it seems, we are about to set a record for one of the wettest Springs on record! It doesn’t affect the life of the Prairie as long as the days get longer (and it stays above freezing). Many of the spring flowers have begun to bloom, especially in areas
burned last Fall or this Spring. Among them are Shooting Stars, Hoary Puccoon, Wood Betony, Pussy Toes, Violets, Golden Alexander and many sedges, mushrooms and ferns. Come alone or join one of the walks listed in the events section below to see this marvelous Spring unveiling. While you are out there, listen for the exuberant cries of the Sandhill Cranes nesting far south.

One of the critical factors in keeping Chiwaukee Prairie healthy is groundwater recharge. Modeling by the U.S. Geological Survey showed that groundwater levels could drop as much as several feet if the lands west of the railroad, south of 116th Street, were developed into housing. Learning this, The Nature Conservancy of Wisconsin has been buying vacant agricultural land west of the Prairie. Long story short, they now own nearly 155 contiguous acres which they plan to restore in the next five years! What a tremendous continuing effort to put together funding and planning for acquisition and restoration of this incredibly important tract of land. For over 50 years, TNC has been a great Friend of the Prairie!

EVENTS

CHIWAUKEE PRAIRIE WALKS 2018
Naturalist Kay McClelland will lead Chiwaukee Prairie Walks 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. I will have 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
May 21 May 17 May 19
June 18 June 21 June 16
July 16 July 19 July 21
August 20 August 16 August 18
September 20 September 15

For the May 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

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

WORKDAYS

Our “all ages” volunteers in April; Chad, Sasha, Clarence and Nathan. Photo by Lindy Van Vlissingen

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This Saturday, May 19, we switch from cutting and herbiciding invasive brush to pulling the despised and very invasive Garlic Mustard. While 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. It likely will be somewhat wet conditions getting into the savanna. Wear old clothes, long pants and sturdy shoes or boots. It is 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.

SPECIAL REQUEST: Please bring us your empty half gallon milk/cider jugs.

PLEASE NOTE:
We will meet along 4th Avenue north of 115th Street.
Please park on the east side of 4th Avenue.

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

The pernicious weed, Garlic Mustard (Alliaria petiolata).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Starting in June, we will have extra workdays to control several invasives before they go to seed. 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 – April 2018

American Pasqueflower (Anemone patens)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Greetings Friends of the Prairie,

NEWS

One week ago, this beautiful native Pasqueflower was photographed near the Chiwaukee Cottage. It is regarded as the earliest harbinger of Spring, blooming during the Pasque season of Passover and Easter. Four days later, it was back in winter and covered with snow!

Along with snow, these wintery storms brought strong Northeast winds and high waves which dammed creeks at Lake Michigan. The result was creeks overflowing their banks and making this wet prairie very wet indeed!

Lakeshore Drive near 102nd Street looking west.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Surely Spring will stop fooling us and really show up soon with the Chorus Frogs resuming their joyous racket heard last week. In the meantime, keep your bird feeders full and, on Earth Day this Sunday, be proud of your support of the Chiwaukee Prairie!

EVENTS

Chiwaukee Prairie Preservation Fund will have an information table at the Gateway Earth Day event this Saturday. Please stop by and let us know how you think we’re doing.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The CPPF Annual Stewardship Dinner on March 27th was the occasion to acknowledge Clarence and Karen Kaplan as our Volunteers of the Year for their many years of faithful workday efforts. This award came just two days after they celebrated 50 years of marriage!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

WORKDAYS

Land Steward, Chad Heinzelman, greeted volunteers in the spirit of St. Patrick’s Day March 17th.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

On a sunshiny mild St. Patrick’s workday, volunteers continued the work started in February, clearing buckthorn south of the Chiwaukee Cottage. While much progress was made, we decided one more workday would be needed to finish the area and take advantage of DNR handling the chipping.

This Saturday, April 21, we will continue cutting and herbiciding invasive brush and saplings. The prediction is for cloudy skies with a slight breeze off the Lake and a high of 46 degrees. It should be dry conditions, as the snow will have melted and it is not a low area. 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.

SPECIAL REQUEST: Please bring us your empty half gallon milk/cider jugs.

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

We will serve lunch at the Cottage after the workday!

(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 262-658-8336.

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