Discovering Allen Creek Fen

Kim Karow wrote this piece before she passed away in August 2020. The Prairie Enthusiasts, and the Glacial Prairie chapter, hope to honor Kim's life and legacy by sharing her work. This is a story that reveals a different way of thinking and engaging in a landscape, by watching and learning how others engage in meaningful participation. 

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Keeping Prairies in the News

We are excited to share this Milwaukee Journal Sentinel article and the mention of The Prairie Enthusiasts below:

Wisconsin's prairies shine in late summer, from Lapham Peak to the UW Arboretum
by Chelsey Lewis
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
August 19, 2021

As August winds down, the flowers in my home garden are nearing the end of their seasonal lifespan.

But here at Lapham Peak, yellow prairie dock and compass plant shoot into the sky, leaning toward the bright late-summer sun like miniature sunflowers. The goldenrod has just begun to bloom, its feathery yellow stalks peppering the hillsides. The wispy purple spikes of blazing stars are beginning to open, bees buzzing around them in search of pollen. A patch of black-eyed Susans are in full bloom, while a few yellow coneflowers hold on to their delicate yellow petals. Even the big bluestem grasses are getting in on the action, small buds emerging from the tips of their 6-foot-tall stalks.

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Blue Sky Botany - Blazing Stars

Here are the four Liatris species most likely to be seen on our beloved Wisconsin prairie remnants. All are members of the sunflower family (Asteraceae). All have tiny pink to magenta flowers bundled into ‘floral cups’, with outer bracts on those cups that form layers like shingles, and positively identify the species. Good eyesight is helpful. All species bloom from the bottom upwards. They are discussed here in their order of seasonal blooming.

 

 

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Member Survey Directs Planning Efforts in 2022

Click here to complete the 2021 Member Survey online. 

As we prepare to create a new vision for our future, we come to you, our prairie community, to ask for your advice and guidance. You have played an important role in our story, and we will need your help to write the next chapter.

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Native Pollinators Presentation

Some attendees trying to determine a species of native bumblebee  (Photo & article by Susan Lipnick)

On June 27, biologist Bev Paulan treated Northwest Illinois Prairie Enthusiasts members and guests to the presentation “Native Plants Need Native Pollinators” at The Prairie Enthusiasts Hanley Savanna in rural Hanover, Illinois. The event, originally scheduled for late June 2020 but postponed because of COVID, was well worth the wait.

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Taking Time for Turtles Workshop

Learning about how to protect turtle nests. (Photo by Martha Querin-Schultz)

The Southwest Chapter of The Prairie Enthusiasts held a Wisconsin turtle workshop on Saturday, June 26, 2021, at Jack Kussmaul’s beautiful home near Woodman, Wisconsin.

“Taking Time for Turtles” was conducted by Dr. Rebecca Christoffel who is co-director of Turtles for Tomorrow, a non-profit organization devoted to protecting Wisconsin turtles.

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Annual TPE Photo Contest Coming - Spring 2022

Whether you are spending time enjoying the prairie or working hard to restore it, be sure you take your camera. You never know when the perfect moment might arise for you to capture something incredible out there. Whether you use a cell phone or a professional camera and lens, you could have a chance to win The Prairie Enthusiasts Annual Photo Contest being held during our spring conference.

 

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2021 Annual Meeting & Picnic

There couldn’t have been a more idyllic scene for The Prairie Enthusiasts picnic and annual meeting.  Basking in the glow of a perfect summer day, members gathered on Sunday, July 18th, 2021 at the UW-Milwaukee Field Station at Waukesha to learn and celebrate together.  There was a palpable energy, a feeling of hope permeating the day, given all that has been accomplished in the past year. After a year of working independently in the field under COVID-19 restrictions, it was a welcome day of celebration. This day was all about reconnecting our prairie community through conversation, sharing, education and the passion that is at the heart of all we do.

Professor Teresa Schueller, Director of UWM at Waukesha Field Station (left) and St. Croix Valley Chapter member and TPE board representative Evanne Hunt (right) (Photo by Caleb DeWitt)

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Rare Plant Success Stories

“Success seems to be largely a matter of hanging on after others have let go.”  William Feather

People who are passionate about prairie restoration are a rare breed. However, as the number of these prairie warriors grow, so too will the numbers of successfully grown rare and endangered plants in our states.  We recently heard about some tiny successes with rare plants on a small farm in Illinois that are huge reasons for celebration.

Wood Lily blooming - Photo by Rickie Rachuy

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Effect of Wild Parsnip Removal on Black Swallowtails

Very often in the world of prairie restoration, there are differences of opinion on the 'best' way to improve a piece of land. After receiving the question below, Dan Carter wrote a reply that we felt would be helpful to share with everyone.

 

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