Volunteer work parties tackle specific tasks at Nature Conservancy preserves including invasive plant removal, brush cutting, seed collecting and planting. New volunteers are always welcome! Work party leaders will contact regular attendees with information about upcoming land management projects and scheduled work parties.
Kudos to Volunteers
Thank you to the many dedicated volunteers in our Door Peninsula Project area for their long-standing involvement in our stewardship work throughout Door County. They have spent many hours planting trees, hand-pulling and cutting invasive plants, removing structures and garbage, aiding in scientific research, and enthusiastically sharing information and knowledge with their friends and neighbors. Your commitment to preserving Door County’s unique diversity, wild places, and open spaces does not go unnoticed and has significantly contributed to our success on the Door Peninsula.
WHAT TO WEAR/BRING TO WORK PARTIES
Dress appropriately for outdoor, grubby work. Long pants, a long-sleeved shirt and sturdy footwear re essential, and always bring work gloves. If brush pile burning is mentioned in the work description, please DO NOT wear synthetic clothing (polyester, fleece, etc.) as it will melt or easily get burn holes in it from embers. Eye protection is always a good idea as well!
In most cases, work parties go on regardless of the weather, but we will cancel in the event of pouring rain or hazardous weather like thunderstorms. Watch for instructions about weather in individual work party descriptions. If you’re not sure, call the work party leader early the morning of the scheduled work day.
MILITARY RIDGE PRAIRIES
Dane / Iowa Counties
The Nature Conservancy is protecting hundreds of acres of critical habitat for grassland birds in this beautiful rolling landscape dotted with prairie and oak savanna remnants. Contact: Jim Lesniak (608) 576-3310
Muehllehner Addition--Barneveld Prairie
Saturday, January 10th, 9:00 – Noon
Monday, January 19th, 9:00 – Noon (MLK Day)
Saturday, February 14th, 9:00 - Noon
Saturday, March 14th, 9:00 - Noon
Volunteer activities will involve cutting invasive brush and weedy trees like buckthorn and box elder and cleaning up the debris in the cleared areas.
Saturday, April 11th, 9:00 - Noon
Saturday, May 9th, 9:00 - Noon
In April and May, activities will include brush clean-up and piling, and garlic mustard control.
Directions: Approximately 0.2 miles east of the village of Barneveld, turn south on Cnty Hwy K. Follow Hwy K for 2 miles and turn into The Nature Conservancy’s parking lot on the right. If you pass Prairie Grove Road, you have gone too far.
Thomson Memorial Prairie
Saturday, June 13th, 9:00 - Noon
Pulling wild parsnip
Directions: From the town of Mt. Horeb, take US Hwy18/151west to the intersection with Cnty Hwy F on the southwestern edge of Blue Mounds. Turn south on Cnty F and continue for just over one mile. At the intersection with Cnty Hwy Z, turn right - this will keep you on Cnty F. The preserve will be on your right in about one-half mile. Park in the small fenced parking lot or alongside of the road.
There are many different volunteer activities and locations within the Baraboo Hills. Contact Sherren Clark via email or at 608-225-2974 with any questions about the work parties below, or to subscribe to email updates about the Baraboo Hills work parties.
Baxter's Hollow is remarkable for the large area of deep forest and the mountain-like creek that it protects. Baxter's Hollow is the Conservancy's largest preserve in Wisconsin.
Saturdays: January 3, February 7, March 7 / 9:00 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.
Help control invasive buckthorn near the northern limits of the Baxter’s Hollow Preserve. Meet at the Hwy 12 pull-off and we’ll go to the work sites from there.
Directions for winter work parties: Take Hwy 12 north from Sauk City or south from Baraboo to a pull-off on the east side of the highway at the top of the south bluff, south of the intersection with Ski Hi Rd.
Saturday, April 25 / 9:00 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.
Plant trees to fill in an old farm field opening on the east side of Baxter’s Hollow. Note: Plans for this work party are tentative as of the newsletter publication so contact Sherren Clark via email or at 608-225-2974 to confirm or with any questions. Meet at the planting site near the end of Groth Road.
Directions for tree planting: From Sauk City, take Highway 12 west to Kings Corner Road, which is about 0.6 mile past the main entrance to the Badger Army Ammunition Plant. Turn left on Kings Corner Road, then right on New Haven Road, then left on Groth Road. From Baraboo, take Highway 12 to Groth Road and turn right on Groth. Follow Groth Road and look for TNC signs marking the parking area for planting.
Durst Rockshelter and Hemlock Draw
Durst Rockshelter contains an important archeological feature located within a southern mesic forest, and provides a beautiful display of spring ephemeral wild flowers. Hemlock Draw supports a stunning contrast in vegetation, with plant and bird species typically found in the northern areas of the state growing close to those typically found in southern Wisconsin.
Saturdays: April 4, April 11, April 18, May 2, May 9, May 16, May 30, June 6 / 9:00 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.
Help control invasive garlic mustard at Durst Rockshelter and Hemlock Draw preserves. The April to June work parties will be scouting, pulling, and/or spraying garlic mustard at various locations. Come to one work day or come to a few and see how the spring ephemerals progress. Meet at the park in Leland and we’ll drive to the work sites from there.
Directions to Leland: Take US Hwy 12 north from Madison or south from Baraboo. Go west on County Hwy C (across from the former Badger Army Ammunition Plant) for about nine miles, past Natural Bridge State Park, into the village of Leland. Meet at the gravel parking lot next to the park and mill pond.
MUKWONAGO RIVER WATERSHED - Walworth & Waukesha Counties
The Nature Conservancy’s preserves in the Mukwonago River Watershed in southeastern Wisconsin offer a mix of wetlands, grasslands and woodlands, including rare oak savannas. They are a little more than a 30 minute drive from Milwaukee and a little over an hour from Madison. Volunteers are always needed to help out with control of invasive plants, trail building and repair and maintenance on buildings at the preserves.
If you are interested in an opportunity as an individual or would like to bring a group of people to help with this important work, contact our watershed office at 262-642-7276.
SPRING GREEN PRESERVE - Sauk County
Many rare plants and animals such as prickly pear cactus and several rare leafhopper species are found on the bluff and sand prairies of Spring Green Preserve. We often hold volunteer work days throughout the winter to remove invading red cedars from the ecologically significant habitats located on the property. If you are interested in volunteering at Spring Green Preserve, please contact Gary Gates at (608) 255-2337 for more information on upcoming work parties.
In partnership with the Door County Land Trust, The Nature Conservancy holds work parties every Tuesday from April through early winter. If you are interested in more information or in joining the email list, please contact the Door office at (920) 743-8695.