Wisconsin

Volunteer Events and Work Party Calendar

July-December 2017

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 1: Trail Maintenance at Hemlock Draw, 9:00 – 12:30
Clear and mark trails at Hemlock Draw. Meet in Leland—directions below.

July 29: 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 9: Clear Fire Breaks for Prescribed Burning, 9:00 – 12:30
Clear fire breaks for future prescribed burning in the Baxter's Hollow Preserve. Meet at the parking lot on the east side of Stone's Pocket Rd just before the gate and first stream crossing.

To Baxter's Hollow parking lot: Take US Hwy 12 north from Madison or south from Baraboo. Go west on Kings Corner Road 1.6 miles to Stones Pocket Road. Turn right (north) on Stones Pocket Road for 0.7 miles to a parking lot on the right. Link to map

October 7: 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—directions below.

November 4: 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. Please try to arrive by 9:00. This is the meeting location; we will carpool to the work site.

December 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. Please try to arrive by 9:00. This is the meeting location; we will carpool to the work site.

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. This is the meeting location; we will carpool to the work site.

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 

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 8/ 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 12/ 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 16/ 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 7/ 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 fenced parking lot or along side of the road.

Thomson Memorial Prairie – Schultz tract

Saturday, November 4 and December 2/ 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.

WAUBESA WETLANDS
Dane County

Sunday, December 3/ 9:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.
Join the new volunteer effort to restore Waubesa Wetlands! Waubesa is known for its large high quality wetlands and spring complexes. With increased prescribed burning and brush control DNR crews and volunteers have increased efforts to improve this site. This workday will focus on removing invasive brush patches on ridge overlooking the meadow through cutting, treating, and burning (if snow). Some areas could have uneven terrain. No skills needed you will be trained onsite. If you plan to come please contact Alex at aewenthe@gmail.com or (608) 282-5403. Please contact Alex at (608) 282-5403 if weather conditions look poor to confirm the workday is happening.

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 parking area east of the road. Google map.

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. 

Crooked Creek Preserve – New Chapman Hills Girl Scout Camp Property
Saturday, January 20, 2018 – 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 noon
Saturday, March 24, 2018 – 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 noon

Come out and work with Land Steward Jerry Ziegler as we begin restoration work at the former Chapman Hills Girl Scout Camp, the newest segment of our Crooked Creek Preserve. We’ll work on removing invasive buckthorn and honeysuckle on this 107-acre site to encourage the growth of native plant species. Bring a lunch to eat in the lodge while Jerry explains our goals for the property and talks about our work in the Mukwonago River Watershed. Directions: N9372 Scout Road, East Troy.

From Milwaukee:

  • Take I-43 southwest to Exit 43, the Mukwonago exit, which is State Highway 83.
  • Turn right at the top of the exit ramp and immediately get over into your left lane.
  • Turn left at the first light, which is Bayview Road (Citgo Station on your left).
  • Follow Bayview around to the next traffic light, which is Highway ES.
  • Turn left on ES.
  • Follow ES for a mile or so to Highway J. (You’ll see a pale yellow barn on the right with a huge smiley face painted on it.)
  • Turn right on J and follow that for 6.6 miles to Little Prairie Road, on the right.
  • Turn right on Little Prairie and go for 1.5 miles to Scout Road.
  • Turn right on Scout Road and go for 1.2 miles to a group of red farm buildings and a silo on the right. Turn right and follow the directional signs on the driveway to the lodge, which is painted pale blue.

From Madison:

  • Take Highway 12 east to the juncture of Highway 67.
  • Continue straight ahead on Highway 20 for 1.5 miles.
  • Continue straight ahead on Highway J for 1.5 miles.
  • Turn left on Scout Road.
  • Follow Scout Road for 2.25 miles to a group of red farm buildings and a silo on the right. Turn right and follow the directional signs on the driveway to the lodge, which is painted pale blue. 
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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