Wisconsin

Volunteer Events and Work Party Calendar

July-December 2016

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. 

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!

WEATHER

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. 



BARABOO HILLS

Sauk County

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. Contact Sherren Clark (608-225-2974 or sclark99@outlook.com) for more information about the work parties below, or to subscribe to monthly email updates about the Baraboo Hills work parties.

Baraboo Hills work parties are on Saturdays. We meet at 9:00 and work until 12:30 or 1:00, then usually eat lunch/snacks together before heading home.

Work party plans sometimes change, so if you’re planning to attend a future date, it’s a good idea to check back here within a week of the work party date to confirm.

July 9: Trail Maintenance, 9:00 – 12:30
Clear and mark trails at Hemlock Draw or Baxter’s Hollow. Meet in Leland—directions below.

July 30: Japanese Hedge Parsley Patrol, 9:00 – 12:30
Search for and remove Japanese Hedge Parsley—a relatively recently arrived non-native invasive plant that is beginning to spread in the Baraboo Hills. Meet in Leland—directions below.

September 3: Clear Fire Breaks at Hemlock Draw, 9:00 – 12:30
Clear fire breaks for future prescribed burning. This project is at the south end of the Hemlock Draw preserve. Meet in Leland—directions below.

October 1: Monitor Tree Plantings at Baxter’s Hollow and Hemlock Draw, 9:00 – 12:30
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 pull-off parking—directions below.

November 5: Battle Invasive Buckthorn at Baxter’s Hollow, 9:00 – 12:30
Control buckthorn and other woody invasives in the large Baxter’s Hollow preserve. Meet at the Hwy 12 pull-off parking—directions below.

December 3: Battle Invasive Buckthorn at Baxter’s Hollow, 9:00 – 12:30
Control buckthorn and other woody invasives in the large Baxter’s Hollow preserve. Meet at the Hwy 12 pull-off parking—directions below.

DIRECTIONS

To Highway 12 pull-off parking: 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. Link to map

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. We will drive to the work sites from there. Link to map

To Baxter’s Hollow trailhead on Stones Pocket Road: Take US Hwy 12 north from Madison or south from Baraboo to Kings Corner Road (across from the former Badger Army Ammunition Plant). Go west on Kings Corner Road 1.7 miles. Turn right on Stones Pocket Road and follow it 1.7 miles to a gate at the trailhead. Link to map 

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 9/ 9:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
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 Hwy. K parking lot south of Langberry Road.

Saturday, August 13/ 9:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
Volunteers will pull Queen Anne's lace and other weeds from a hillside prairie remnant. Meet at the Hwy. 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 parking lot on the right. If you pass Prairie Grove Road, you have gone too far.

Thomson Memorial Prairie

Saturday, September 10/ 9:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
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 15/ 9:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. (Note new date, changed from October 8.)
This preserve is a lovely remnant of dry prairie that has managed to survive in a mostly agricultural landscape. Volunteers will assist in seed collecting.

Directions: From the town of Mt. Horeb, take US Hwy 18/151 west 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 along side of the road.

Thomson Memorial Prairie – Schultz tract

Saturday, November 12 and December 3/ 9:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.
Volunteers will assist in clearing invasive brush and trees such as boxelder and mulberry. Meet at the Thronson Rd. parking lot.

Directions: Coming from Madison on Hwy 151, about 0.7 of a mile past Hwy F, you'll come to the intersection of 151 and East Brigham Rd. Turn left (south) onto E. Brigham Rd and continue for about 0.4 of a mile. Turn right (west) onto Thronson Rd. There is a gravel parking lot near the end 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. 

DOOR COUNTY

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 or visit the Door Stewardship Alliance web page.

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