The Nature Conservancy Expands
Barneveld Prairie in Southwest Wisconsin

The Nature Conservancy has added 173 acres to its Barneveld Prairie Preserve in the Military Ridge Prairie Heritage Area in southwest Wisconsin.

Madison, WI | November 13, 2012

Barneveld Prairie, Military Ridge Prairie Heritage Area
Barneveld Prairie, Military Ridge Prairie Heritage Area, Wisconsin. © Clint Farlinger

The Nature Conservancy announced today that it has added 173 acres of remnant and restored prairie, scenic ridge tops, agricultural fields and a small, perennial stream to its Barneveld Prairie Preserve in the Military Ridge Prairie Heritage Area, which is open to the public for walking, hunting, birding, wildlife-watching and other recreation opportunities.

“We’re very pleased we were able to work with landowners at Military Ridge to add these lands to Barneveld Prairie Preserve,” said Mary Jean Huston, who directs The Nature Conservancy’s work in Wisconsin. “This is a great place to see a remnant of the vast prairies and savannas that once covered southern Wisconsin and some of the birds and butterflies that need these open, treeless grasslands to survive.”

The Military Ridge Prairie Heritage Area is a 95,000-acre grassland landscape in Dane and Iowa counties in southwest Wisconsin. The agricultural history of the area has helped keep the landscape open and grassy, making it possible for plants and animals, which have disappeared in more developed parts of the Midwest, to survive. The area provides important habitat for meadowlarks, bobolinks and other grassland birds whose populations are declining worldwide.

Military Ridge is part of the larger, 473,900-acre Southwest Wisconsin Grassland and Stream Conservation Area, which was established in 2009 in Dane, Iowa, Green and Lafayette counties to conserve and enhance grassland, savanna and stream ecosystems across this landscape and establish Bird Conservation Areas for grassland birds.

The Conservancy is part of a coalition of partners working with local landowners and the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources to conserve this unique mix of exceptional grassland bird populations, remnants of original prairie and savanna, rare plants and animals and spring-fed streams set within an expansive agricultural landscape of farm fields, pastures and oak woodlands.

Conservancy volunteers spend countless hours each year working with staff to restore grassland habitat by removing buckthorn, honeysuckle, prickly ash and other invading trees and shrubs; planting prairie; and collecting the seeds of native wildflowers and grasses for use in future prairie plantings.

Acquisition of the land at Military Ridge was made possible by grants from the Knowles-Nelson Stewardship Fund and private support from Nature Conservancy members and donors.

For more information about The Nature Conservancy’s work at Military Ridge or to become a volunteer, visit or contact Steve Richter.

NOTE: Download a map of Barneveld Prairie and the 173-acre addition.

The Nature Conservancy is a leading conservation organization working around the world to protect ecologically important lands and waters for nature and people. The Conservancy and its more than 1 million members have protected nearly 120 million acres worldwide. Visit The Nature Conservancy on the Web at

Contact information

Chris Anderson
(612) 331-0747 (office)
(612) 845-2744 (mobile)

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