St. Croix Valley

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. We invite you to join us! 

Learn more on our Sites and projects page.

 

Chapter contact:  Evanne Hunt, evanne.hunt@outlook.com; 715-381-1291 
Facebook:  Chapter page


What's New

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Winter work parties

Get outside and help restore a native oak savanna!  We typically cut buckthorn and other invasive woody plants to clear the canopy over native plants.

Dress for the weather and bring some drinking water.  We will provide hot dogs for lunch and beverages.  (Feel free to bring your own lunch if hot dogs are not your thing.)

Date:  Saturday, November 16

Time:  10am to 2pm.  Come for one, two, or three hours -- whatever time you can volunteer is very welcome!

Location:  Alexander oak savanna

Directions:  From River Falls, take highway 65 south (35 turns into 65) toward Ellsworth.
On the right side (east), just before the River Falls Town Hall is a driveway to the quarry. The gate will be open.

Future dates: (subject to change)

November 30 (cancelled)
December 7
December 21 (winter solstice)
January 4
January 25

February 1
February 22

February 29

Live near the Rush River?

In the 170 years since government surveyors first crossed the lower Rush River in 1849, the landscape is threatened with loss of water quality, invasive species and deer overpopulation, fragmentation and decline of hardwood forests, the disappearance of prairies, and a loss of biodiversity. Now, in 2019, the fate of the Rush and other rivers hangs in the balance.

To preserve what is left, current landowners, as stewards of the land must understand the threats and what can be done to combat them. 

TPE member and Rush River resident Carl Nelson is forming an exploratory group of three to five individuals to discuss and reach a consensus on priorities and a plan of action. 

You can read his report here.  Contact Carl if you want to help (cnelso96 at gmail.com).

 

Chapter Meetings

All meetings are at the River Falls Public Library in the Board Room at 6:30 pm. Everyone is welcome at the monthly meeting of the St. Croix Valley chapter of TPE.

Next Meeting:  Tuesday, November 19
Time:  6:30 pm
Location:  River Falls Public Library, 140 Union St, River Falls, WI 54022  
Main Level meeting room

Eric Chien, a graduate student at the University of Minnesota, has developed an oak savanna restoration assessment tool for the average landowner. 
 
The tool provides landowners, managers and stewards who are less experienced in oak savanna restoration with a method to determine the likelihood of success. It takes into account the type and level of restoration effort to be used.
Eric's tool is based on data collected from 533 oak savanna restorations across four Midwestern states, including TPE's Alexander oak savanna property.

Next Meeting:  Tuesday, December 17
Time:  6:30 pm
Location:  River Falls Public Library, 140 Union St, River Falls, WI 54022  
Main Level meeting room

Emily Roberts, a member of the Minnesota Herpetological Society, showcases Minnesota’s native snakes, reptiles and turtles. She has a bachelor’s degree in fisheries and wildlife, as well as two summers of work with the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources.


Other Events

Seed collecting

Next collecting day:  TBD
Its getting late and is very rainy!
The local genotype seeds we collect will be cleaned and reseeded onto native remnants we have cleared of undesirable vegetation.  We only use seeds collected from within 25 miles because plant species become adapted to their local environments by passing on those genes that favor survival in a particular place. Over time, plants of the same species from different parts of their range may develop different genetic makeups called genotypes, even if they look very similar. 
Participating in seed collecting teaches you 
  • when seeds are ripe
  • how to collect different plant seeds
  • how to store and clean seeds
We plan to collect seed this fall as long as possible.  Contact Evanne if you are unsure whether you are on the email list.
The confirmation, locations, and directions (Alexander oak savanna and Foster Cemetery) will be emailed no later than the day before.
Bring:  drinking water, long pants, leather gloves (some of the seeds are a little rough on the hands.  Seeds will stick to cloth gloves.)