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.

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.