St. Croix Chapter is located in an area that at one time included large dry prairies. Today there are small oak savanna remnants that still contain some uncommon plants associated with those historic prairies. Our chapter works on a few of these, visits others to appreciate what is left, and educates folks on fire-dependent ecosystems.
The St. Croix chapter covers Pierce, Polk and St. Croix counties in Wisconsin, and Washington county in Minnesota. We invite you to join us!
Learn more on our Sites and projects page.
Seed collection - Blueberry Hill
Join us as we collect seed! We supply hand clippers and bags.
Date: Sept 27 (Tues)
Time: 4:30 - 6:00 pm
Location: Blueberry Hill
Address: 2900 Quant Ave. N, West Lakeland Township
We will collect boneset, prairie dropseed, leadplant, purple prairie clover, liatris, and anything else that may be ready.
The Minnehaha Creek Watershed District (MCWD) is currently seeking applications for Project Maintenance Program Manager. Details can be viewed on MCWD’s website.
Salary Range: $78,200 - $109,500
Starting Salary Range: $78,200 - $93,900
Chapter Business Meeting
Date: October 18 (Tues)
Time: 6:30 - 8:00 pm
Location: River Falls Public Library, Board Room
Address: 140 Union St, River Falls, WI
Butterfly Survey recap -- July 26
Bob Marquis led nine of us on an initial butterfly survey of Alexander oak savanna. Our goal is to create a list of the butterfly species that occur at Alexander.
Managing Buckthorn with Goats recap -- July 12
The goats are here! TPE members Gaynor and Federer just began tackling the buckthorn in their woodlands and round 1 goes to the goats. ScapeGoats LLC was contracted to bring in a herd of goats to eat the invasive shrub. We watched them work on this hike.
Cedar Creek Ecosystem Science Reserve -- July 10
We met at the Lindeman Center of Cedar Creek Ecosystem Science Reserve about 10:00am. We introduced ourselves and met our leader, Katrina Freund. Katrina was an intern at Cedar Creek and had made an excellent presentation at the “Lunch with a Scientist” series at Cedar Creek about the “Women of Cedar Creek”. She has an extensive knowledge of the workings and history of the place going back many years, from personal experience and research.
We were off to a good start.
Our first destination was Cedar Bog Lake, which is about a mile walk from Lindeman Center through a prairie, white cedar swamp, and ending at a bog lake. 3 biomes in a short walk, and before noon! Following our walk to Cedar Bog Lake, we had lunch back at the Lindeman Center.
Next on the agenda was a short drive to Beckman Lake, to see another bog and a special treat, Rose Pogonia (Pogonia ophioglossoides) was in bloom. Also, Pitcher Plant and other bog species were visible.
A short carpool to some experimental sites on the property, Big-bio and Bio-CoN, where Katrina explained the experiments and her personal involvement with them, having worked there as an intern a number of years ago. Big-bio is a long term experiment in bio-diversity with over 300 9 meter by 9 meter plots planted with various native plant species and subjected to various stress factors, such as heat lamps and rain shelters. Bio-CoN is an experiment where experimental plots are subject to an elevated CO 2 level, heat lamps, and rain shelters to determine possible climate change effects. Both of these long tem experiments have been going on since the 1990’s and more information can be viewed at:
If this was not enough, our caravan continued South on old East Bethel Rd. to an open field that was an experiment in itself, determining how long it takes for an ag field to return to a native ecosystem. After many years, the question remains unanswered. Walking around the field, which it a burn unit that is burned 2 out of 3 years, We heard about the prescribed burns that have been taking place at Cedar Creek since the 1960’s and saw the results when we arrived at the intersection of 3 burn units where one unit was burned 2 out of 3 years, another was burned 1 out of 3 years, and the 3 rd was not burned at all. The difference was obvious.
Our final encounter of the day happened when we drove further South to the bison enclosure where we hoped to observe the bison herd briefly before they trotted off to another part of the enclosure. Sad to say, the herd was not around when we wanted. Oh well, better luck next time. This year, there are 18 2 year old females, that arrived on May 20 th , and we be returning to the North Star Bison Ranch sometime in October.
A good time was had by all.
Blueberry Hill Party recap -- June 25
Great turnout as we celebrate the enrollment of the Blueberry Hill site into the Minnesota Dept. of Transportation's Highway Sponsorship Program. Thank you to all the volunteers and supporters who helped us get to this point!
We had food, sharing, and guided hikes!
Work Party Schedule
Our chapter: the people, the sites we manage, the work we do
Burns at Blueberry Hill: