Volunteer Events and Work Party Calendar

January-June 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. 


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. 


Dane / Iowa Counties

Contact Jim Lesniak (608-576-3310) for more information about the work parties below.

Thomson Memorial Prairie

Saturday, January 16, 9 a.m. – Noon
Monday, January 18, 9 a.m. – Noon (MLK Day)
Saturday, February, 13, 9 a.m. - Noon
Saturday, March 12, 9 a.m. - Noon
Thomson Memorial Prairie Schultz tract: Volunteer activities will involve cutting invasive brush and weedy trees like mulberry and boxelder and cleaning up the debris in the cleared areas.

(New) 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.

Muehllehner Addition - Barneveld Prairie

Saturday, April 9, 9 a.m. - Noon
Saturday, May 14, 9 a.m. - Noon
In April and May, activities will include brush clean-up and piling, and garlic mustard control.

Thomson Memorial Prairie

Saturday, June 11, 9 a.m. - Noon
(Hwy F): Pulling wild parsnip  


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 via email) 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.

Saturday, January 2: 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.

Saturday, February 13: 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.

Saturday, March 5: Buckthorn or ?, 9:00 – 12:30
The March work party plan will depend on the weather. If it’s still wintry, we will probably keep working on buckthorn, but if it’s already spring we may work on getting grids marked for the upcoming garlic mustard control season. Meet at the Hwy 12 pull-off parking—directions below.

Saturdays, April 2, 9, 16, 23, 30 and May 7, 14, 21: Control Garlic Mustard at Hemlock Draw and Durst Rockshelter Preserves, 9:00 – 12:30
The April and May 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. It’s a beautiful time to be in the woods, and the garlic mustard work helps keep it that way. Meet at the park in Leland—directions below—and we’ll drive to the work sites from there.

Saturday, June 18: Vegetation Monitoring at Baxter’s Hollow, 9:00 – 12:30
Collect vegetation data to support an oak regeneration study in Baxter’s Hollow. Some plant identification knowledge is helpful, but not required as there are many tasks. Meet at the trailhead on Stones Pocket Road—directions below.


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 


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. 


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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