Volunteer Events and Work Party Calendar

January-June 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. 


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. 

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.

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.

January 7: 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.

February 11: 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.

March 4: Battle Buckthorn or Another Invasive Species, 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.

April 1, 8, 15, 22, and 29 and May 6, 13, and 20: 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.


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 

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).

Thomson Memorial Prairie - Schultz Tract

Sat. Jan 14th, 9:00 – Noon
Sat. Feb 11th, 9:00 - Noon
Sat. March, 11th 9:00 - Noon 

Volunteers will help remove invasive brush and weedy trees like mulberry and box elder and clean up the debris in the cleared areas.

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.

Barneveld Prairie – Muehllehner Addition

Sat. April 8th, 9:00 - Noon
Sat. May 13th, 9:00 - Noon

In April and May, activities will include brush cleanup and piling, and garlic mustard control.
Meet at the parking lot just north of the Hwy K & Prairie Grove Rd intersection

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

Sat. June 10th, 9:00 – Noon

Volunteers will help pull wild parsnip. Please wear gloves, long pants, a long-sleeved shirt and closed toe shoes to avoid contact with wild parsnip sap.

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. 

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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