Wisconsin

Volunteer Events and Work Party Calendar

July – December 2018

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.

The Baraboo Hills work parties listed below 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.

If weekdays are better volunteer days for you, contact Steve Jandl (sajandl7008@gmail.com) to join his email list for weekday work parties in the Baraboo Hills.

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 7: Trail Maintenance at Baxter’s Hollow, 9:00 – 12:30
Clear and maintain the Baxter,s Hollow hiking trail.  Meet at the trailhead on Stones Pocket Road at 9:00—directions below.

July 21: Trail Maintenance at Hemlock Draw, 9:00 – 12:30
Maintain the Hemlock Draw trail and help build a rerouted section where the stream channel has eroded the former trail.  Meet in Leland at 9:00—directions below—and we’ll head out to the work site from there.

July 28: 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 at 9:00—directions below—and we’ll head out in search of JHP from there.

September 8: Clear Fire Breaks for Prescribed Burning, 9:00 – 12:30
Clear fire breaks for future prescribed burning in the Baraboo Hills.  Meet in Leland at 9:00—directions below—and we’ll drive to the work site from there.

October 6: Monitor Tree Plantings at Baxter’s Hollow and/or 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 at 9:00—directions below—and we’ll split up in teams and drive to the work sites from there.

November 3: Clear Fire Breaks for Prescribed Burning, 9:00 – 12:30
Clear fire breaks for future prescribed burning in the Baraboo Hills.  Meet in Leland at 9:00—directions below—and we’ll drive to the work site from there.

December 1: 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 at 9:00—directions below—and we’ll head out 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.   We will drive to the work sites from there. Link to map

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 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 PRAIRIE
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, August 11/ 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 15/ 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 13/ 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 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 parking lot by the preserve sign.

Thomson Memorial Prairie – Schultz tract

Saturday, November 10 and December 8/ 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 with control of invasive plants, trail building, and repair and maintenance of buildings at the preserves. If you would like to bring a group of people to help with work at any of our preserves, contact our watershed office at 262-642-7276. 

WAUBESA WETLANDS

Join the effort to restore Waubesa Wetlands! In Madison’s backyard, Waubesa is known for its high-quality wetlands and springs that provide habitat for waterfowl and migrating birds. The Nature Conservancy is partnering with the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources to protect and restore the wetlands and surrounding woodlands. 

July 7, 9:00 – 12:00

This workday will focus on removing invasive sweet clover from a restored prairie and adjacent woods. Dress for the weather and outdoor work (long pants, closed-toed shoes) and bring drinking water; we’ll have equipment for volunteers. Link to event flyer

Contact: Jared Urban, jared.urban@wisconsin.gov, (608) 228-4349

September 8, 9:00 – 12:00

For this workday, we will clean up the parking lot area and end with a picnic lunch. Full details coming soon.

November 3, 9:00 – 12:00

We will cut invasive brush to improve habitat for native species. Full details coming soon.

Directions: From the intersection of U.S. Highway 14 and County Highway MM south of Madison, go south on MM 1.3 miles, then east on Goodland Park Road 0.9 mile, then south on Lalor Road 0.8 mile to a small parking area east of the road. Google map

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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