2018 TPE Conference highlights
Another successful TPE annual conference and banquet brought out more than 230 people on a chilly Saturday, Feb. 24 at UW-La Crosse. This year's conference was hosted by the Coulee Region Chapter and organized with the help of TPE Chapter Support Team.The day began with a relevant and troubling keynote address by Dr. Karen Oberhauser, Director of the UW-Madison Arboretum, describing the population status, ecology and conservation of monarch butterflies. A wide range of prairie-related topics followed focused on large-scale restoration, private land conservation, invasive species, reptiles and more. Prairie enthusiasts were able to choose from 12 talks and two panel discussions. The day ended with a social hour and dinner banquet that provided attendees with more time to talk prairie. After dinner, Dr. Barrett Klein from UW-La Crosse, in an insect costume, provided a fascinating overview of cultural entomology in an informative and entertaining manner.
Once again, the annual raffle and silent auction were organized by Evanne Hunt and raised $3,265 to support the activities of TPE's chapters. The winner of the annual TPE Photo Contest, which had 45 entries by 17 photographers, narrowed down to five by the host chapter, was Randy Schindle's photo “Rusty Patched Bumble Bee on Anise Hyssop.” Our second year of the “haiku contest” produced 19 short writings on prairies.
The volunteer organizing committee for the conference included Scott Cooper, Donna Justin, Don Nelson and Jim Rogala. Everyone involved would like to thank all the speakers and presenters, the staff at UW-La Crosse, our sponsors and exhibitors, and the many volunteers who all contributed to making the event a tremendous success! Hope to see many of you at next year's conference at UW-Stout in Menomonie.