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. Click here for a printable version of the volunteer events and work party newsletter (161 KB pdf).
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, July 12
9 a.m. – 12 Noon
Volunteers will pull wild parsnip. Note: wild parsnip contains juice that can cause a rash or burns if it comes in contact with skin and with sunlight. So please wear long sleeves and gloves. Meet at the Highway K parking lot south of Langberry Road.
Saturday, August 9
9 a.m.–12 Noon
Volunteers will pull Queen Anne’s lace and other weeds from a hillside prairie remnant. Meet at the Highway K parking lot south of Langberry Road.
Saturday, November 8 & December 6
9 a.m.–12 Noon
Volunteers will assist in clearing invasive brush and trees such as buckthorn and honeysuckle. Meet at the Highway K parking lot south of Langberry Road.
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, September 13
9 a.m. – 12 Noon
This preserve is a lovely remnant of dry prairie that has managed to survive in a mostly agricultural landscape. Volunteers will collect side oats grama and other native seeds.
Saturday, October 18
9 a.m.–12 Noon
Volunteers will assist in clearing invasive brush such as autumn olive at the south end of the preserve.
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.
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.
Volunteer work parties in the Baraboo Hills help maintain and protect the Nature Conservancy preserves in this unique landscape of quartzite bluffs and large contiguous forest blocks. Email Sherren Clark or call 608-225-2974 for more information about the work parties below, or to subscribe to monthly 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. Despite years of human habitation, this area still seems wild and untouched. There many different volunteer activities and locations within this large preserve.
Saturday, August 2
Saturday, September 6
9 a.m –12:30 p.m.
Projects for late summer and early fall at Baxter’s Hollow will include maintaining the hiking trail, helping with a Timber Stand Improvement (TSI) project, and/or controlling invasive autumn olive at the north end of the Baxter’s Hollow preserve. The TSI project involves selective cutting in test units with a goal of supporting oak regeneration in the Baraboo Hills. Meet at the intersection of Happy Hill Rd and Forest Drive for these dates.
Saturday, October 4
9 a.m. – 12:30 pm
Support TNC’s reforestation efforts in the Baraboo Hills by monitoring the success of previous tree plantings at various locations. Meet at the Hwy 12 pullout and we’ll go to monitoring sites from there.
Saturday, November 1
Saturday, December 6
9 a.m.–12:30 p.m.
Projects for late fall will include controlling buckthorn and other woody invasives within the large Baxter’s Hollow preserve. Meet at the Hwy 12 pullout and we’ll go to the work sites from there.
Directions for August and September: Take US Hwy 12 to the intersection with County Hwy W near the south edge of Baraboo. Go west on County W to Happy Hill Rd, then south (left) on Happy Hill to Forest Dr.
Directions for October, November, and December: Take Hwy 12 north from Sauk City or south from Baraboo to a pull-out on the east side of the highway at the top of the south bluff, south of the intersection with Ski Hi Rd.
Of all the hollows in the Baraboo Hills, Hemlock Draw supports the most stunning contrast in vegetation. You can see plant and bird species typically found in the northern areas of the state growing close to those typically found in southern Wisconsin.
Saturday, July 12
9 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.
Help control Japanese Hedge Parsley—a relatively recently arrived non-native invasive plant that is beginning to spread in the Baraboo Hills. Meet at the park in Leland.
Directions: 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. We will drive to the work sites from there.
SPRING GREEN PRESERVE
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.