Prairie Sands Chapter is located in the geological center of Wisconsin in the sandy soils of ancient glacial lakes. This region features some of the state’s premier examples of remnant dry prairies, pine barrens and oak savannas. Research and protection for the endangered Karner blue butterfly and the greater prairie chicken is centered in this region.
The Prairie Sands chapter covers Adams, Marquette, Juneau, Portage, Waushara, Waupaca, and Green Lake Counties in Wisconsin. We invite you to join us!
September 20 Chapter meeting outcomes
We had a successful meeting with discussion on Prescribed Burn Training, Karner Blue Butterfly grant information, communication topics, the Golden Sands invasive species management area (details) and other topics. Plans for our annual Holiday Party/Seed Exchange were also made. See the full minutes (click here).
Successful Mecan Prairie Tour: Informative and Fun
In spite of overcast conditions, the August 26th Prairie Sands Chapter tour of Mecan Prairie was a success.
Mecan Prairie is the privately owned 230 acre property of Dr. John Shillinglaw located in the Mecan River Priority Watershed. This property contains 140 acres of restored prairie in previously farmed fields, 15 acres of oak savanna and seven separate types of wetland communities under active management including ephemeral wetlands, a sedge meadow, cattail marsh, pond and sedge community and a large bog. The restoration has successfully created habitat for the federally endangered Karner Blue Butterfly and many species of birds including 10 of the top 13 grassland bird species in Wisconsin. This year alone saw the rearing of a Sandhill Crane colt on the property as well as many Dickcissels, Field and Grasshopper Sparrows and Bobolinks. Although the flight of the Karner Blue Butterflies has ended for the year there are dozens of monarchs and a host of other butterflies and dragonflies on all the prairie units.
Twenty-six people gather before touring Mecan Prairie to listen as John Shillinglaw, the owner of the property, gives a brief overview of the restoration work he has done on the 230 acres since the 1990's.
John Shillinglaw (first on the left) explains to the group how transects are set up for annual Karner Blue Butterfly counts which happen every week during their last flight in July and early August.
Sharing prairie stories and comradery and getting to know new friends over picnic lunches after the hike.
Seed collection opportunity
Lupine is overly abundant at the Hamel's prairie in NW Marquette County this year. If you are interested in collecting lupine seed for your restoration purposes, please contact David or Shelley Hamel (firstname.lastname@example.org). Sorry, but seed is only available to our chapter members. Seed will be ready within the next two-three weeks and we will email you as the opportune time approaches with directions to the location. Check out this video (link to video) of the impressive Lupine blooms!