Past Events (Original Announcements and Photos of Past Events)

Tuesday, February 8, 2011
Prairie Sands Chapter Meeting
Wautoma Public Library

Topic: Geology of Native Plant Communities
Guest Speaker: Dr. Maureen Muldoon, Associate Professor
of Geology, UW-Oshkosh

What's in your backyard soil? Clay, loam, sand, wet or dry? Well guess what? There are certain native plants that will do very well for you. Why? Enjoy Maureen's presntation as she weaves the entire picture for you starting with the geology of our local areas.

Meeting is open to the public. Invite your friends, and feel free to pass this information along to any other groups you feel might be interested.

Saturday, August 7, 2010
Morning Bird Hike at John Muir Park

Bird Hike at John Muir Park: Discovered the resident birds at the boyhood haunt of John Muir with local bird expert Daryl Christiansen.

Saturday, July 17, 2010
Heritage Plants at John Muir Park and Observatory Hill

A Prairie Hike discussing heritage plants with Neil Diboll. This event was in partnership with the Marquette Chapter of the Ice Age Trail.

Hikes were held at John Muir Park & Observatory Hill in Buffalo Township, approximately 7 miles south of Montello.

Saturday, July 27, 2009
Mecan River Discovery Center Prairie Management

We’ll meet at the Center and work on limbing and cutting out the pines that shade its borders, removing some black locus, and if there is still time, removing invasive species in the prairie areas. Bring tools to limb or remove trees, dig out plants, clippers, loppers, work gloves, plastic bags (for disposal), whatever other equipment you are comfortable using. Bring water, and a picnic lunch if you wish. The center is now being leased by the Renewable World Foundation; come and see what’s new there!

Saturday, July 18, 2009
Walk at Prairiehill Farm

Walk the restored and reconstructed prairie, burr oak savanna, and wetlands with restoration ecologists Alan and Laurel Bennet.  Prairiehill Farm is a 100 acre site that has undergone 25 years of restoration. As such, it has become a showcase for the successes and failures of various restoration and land management techniques.  Bring sturdy shoes and water, binoculars, your curiosity, and prepare for an informative and beautiful experience.

Wednesday, September 9
Prairie Sands / The Prairie Enthusiasts Annual Meeting
7:00 p.m.
Details to follow.

Saturday, May 23, 2009
Muir Park Trail Restoration Work at the Montello Highway

We built puncheons (planks) that we’ll later install on trails in Muir Park. We finished all 9 puncheon supports and most of the additional lumber cut before the heavy rains moved in.

Saturday, May 16, 2009
Crane Hike at Fox River Refuge and John Muir Park

This was a family event for nature lovers of all ages to learn about and observe sandhill cranes, experience using a spotting scope, explore some of the ways that endangered whooping cranes are supported and reintroduced into the wild. A joint effort with IAT.

Saturday, February 21, 2009
The Prairie Enthusiasts Annual Meeting

The Prairie Enthusiasts (TPE) Annual Meeting was held on Saturday, February 21, 2009, in Madison, Wisconsin.  This year TPE is joining with The Invasive Plant Association of Wisconsin Conference. You can find out more about the conference at IPAW's website.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009
Chapter Meeting at Wautoma WWII Memorial Building

Our winter meeting of the Prairie Sands Chapter of The Prairie Enthusiasts was on Wednesday, February 11, 2009, at 7:30 p.m. in the meeting room of the Wautoma WWII Memorial Building. 

Mike Engel of the US Fish and Wildlife Service led a discussion on developing an effective burn plan as an independent land owner.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008
Chapter Meeting at Wautoma Public Library

The Prairie Enthusiasts Chapter Discusses Local Project at Mecan Discovery Center

At the upcoming October 22 meeting of the Prairie Sands Chapter of The Prairie Enthusiasts, Paul Samerdyke, DNR wildlife biologist, will outline restoration efforts at the Mecan River Discovery Center in Marquette County.  Chapter members began helping the DNR this summer by taking a species inventory on a twenty-acre prairie as well as clearing hundreds of small pines encroaching on the prairie itself.  This long-term chapter project will help increase habitat for the federally-endangered Karner Blue butterfly which is located there, as well as increase native plant and animal diversity.  Paul will help create a calendar of events, such as seed gathering and sowing, prescribed burning, pine removal, and invasives management on this DNR property which is located 11 miles north of Montello, off Hwy. 22. 
In addition to Paul's presentation, the chapter will discuss how best to do species inventories of local remnant prairies.  One the state organization's goals is to locate and document the many small privately-owned prairies dotting the area.  Chapter volunteers will use a detailed species list to accomplish this and will seek members with knowledge of plant and animal species.
The regular meeting will be held  Wednesday, October 22, 7:30 p.m., at the Wautoma Public Library.  Public is most welcome and membership information will be available at the meeting.

Saturday, August 9, 2008
Prairie Walk To Be Led by Dr. Robert Freckman

Noted grassland authority, Dr. Robert Freckmann, will lead a prairie walk on land owned by Prairie Sands Chapter members, Fawn and John Shillinglaw, in southwest Waushara County on Saturday, August 9. The Shillinglaws’ conservation easement protects grassland bird habitat and they invite North Central Conservancy Trust ( members as well as persons interested in learning about land trusts and prairies to enjoy the prairie and the birds.

Bring your binoculars and a chair.

July 19, 2008
Prairie Day at Hugh Iltis Prairie and Savanna, Marquette County.

10 a.m. - 3 p.m. Friends and members will join here for a day-long program of prairie plant identification (led by Mike Engel, US Fish & Wildlife Service), butterfly and dragonfly identification (led by Dory Owen), birding, invasives identification and management techniques (led by Shelley and David Hamel) and Junegrass seed collection (to take to your own restoration project).

Event will be followed by the regular quarterly meeting of the chapter, to be held in the sod-roofed pole barn (estimated duration is 45 minutes). Bring a sack lunch and beverage cup, binoculars, field guides, scissors and bag if you’re collecting Junegrass. Ticks and chiggers can be a problem. This privately-owned but cooperatively managed (with generous assistance from US Fish & Wildlife Partners for Wildlife program and DNR LIP funding) is an 80-acre restoration prairie/savanna located at David and Shelley Hamel’s.

June 8, 2008
Triple Interpretive Hikes in honor of National Trails Day, John Muir Park

The Park is a listed site in the new Great Wisconsin Birding and Natural Trails booklet. There are three hikes scheduled during the day; participate in one, two, or all three:

9:00 a.m. - Hike Observatory Hill, a boyhood haunt of John Muir. View the remnant prairie at the base of the hill. This hike will be lead by Cathy Franks and Charlie Church, Prairie Enthusiast members who live at the base of the Hill.

11:00 a.m.-12:30 p.m. - Hike John Muir Park State Natural Area, learn about the prairie restoration efforts going on there, and participate in guided bird observations. This hike will be lead by Mark Martin DNR and Sue Foote Martin, Bureau of Endangered Wildlife and Coordinator of the Great Wisconsin Birding and Nature Trail project.

12:30 - 1:30 p.m. - Picnic Lunch at the park.

1:30 - 3:00 p.m. - Hike the Fox River Refuge. Identify and learn about restoration efforts on the prairie, and learn about Invasive Free Zones. The Hike will be lead by Sadie O’Dell of the US Fish and Wildlife Service.

Dress for the weather; bring plenty of liquids, binoculars, sturdy shoes, lunch, snacks, sun block, Frisbees, softball and bat, fishing poles, kayaks. Gather in the parking lot at John Muir Park 15 minutes prior to the listed time for each individual hike.

May 10, 2008
Search and Destroy: Garlic Mustard at the John Muir Park and State Natural Area

9:30 a.m. - 2:30 p.m. - Come prepared to help survey and identify garlic mustard and begin implementation of management strategies toward its removal. Bring gloves, long sleeves, parsnip shovels, other shovels, sturdy shoes, lunch, and lots of liquids. Carpools can be arranged.

How to get there: From the intersection of State Highway 22 and County Highway F south of Montello, go south on F 7.6 miles to the park entrance.
For information or to RSVP contact: Ann or Ralph Woldt

Great Job! 24 Bags Pulled!

April 22, 2008
Interpretive hike at the Fox River National Wildlife Refuge

6:00 p.m. - Join members of the Marquette Chapter of the Ice Age trail and celebrate John Muir's Birthday (April 21) and Earth Day (April 22). The hike will focus on the history of the refuge, Sandhill crane observation, and prairie/savanna restoration efforts. Hike and return to the park for birthday cake after the hike. Wear boots, layers, bring binoculars and your camera, and a drinking cup. Hike leader: Alan Bennett.

How to get there: From Portage, take Highway 33 east to County Highway F north; from Montello, take Highway 22 south to County Highway F south. Refuge is on west side of County Highway F, across from John Muir County Park.
For information or to RSVP contact: Karen Wollenburg