LISMA Partnership Projects

Woodland Dunes Control Project

With funding provided by a grant from the USDA Forest Service, Glacierland RC&D and Woodland Dunes Nature Center are treating 45 acres of the Woodland Dunes State Natural Area for buckthorn, honeysuckle, and Japanese barberry that have been covering the habitat and walkways and conducting an educational invasive species workshop for the public.

The Woodland Dunes Preserve contains a 387 acre state natural area that features richly bio diverse ridge and swale topography that is incredibly important for migratory birds. The Preserve is a designated Important Bird Area, a Wisconsin Wetland Gem and has 7 miles of recreational trails. To learn more about the preserve you can visit www.woodlanddunes.org 

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New Volunteer Group Manages Northern Unit’s Invasive Plants

During the winter of 2019, Connie Ramthun, a board member of the Friends of the Kettle Moraine for more than 20 years, contacted numerous Wisconsin State Park System Friend’s groups to ask how they manage their properties for invasive plants. She found out that some of the Friend’s groups applied for grants or conducted fundraising events for invasive species control. While others organized volunteers to help control buckthorn, garlic mustard, and other invasives in their State Forests and Parks. 

For more than 15 years, Connie has worked with the Friend’s board to designate funds for controlling invasive plants within the Northern Unit.  Funding for this was severely cut after the reorganization of the Dept. of Natural Resources under then Governor Walker. Since 2017, very little or no invasive species work was done by paid staff within the Northern Unit. Because of this, she organized three consecutive years of volunteer efforts in Haskell Noyes State Natural Area. Garlic mustard crept its way throughout this parcel. This year the volunteers were successful in removing garlic mustard from several large areas within the State Natural Area.  A big help was Doug Stadler, one of the volunteers, who organized and led four additional days of garlic mustard work.  In total, 24 volunteers contributed over 130 hours of time. Many of the same people return each year to help with Haskell Noyes.

This year Connie also asked for help to control reed canary grass in Spruce Lake Bog State Natural Area. Reed canary grass is an aggressive non-native plant that chokes out the diverse native vegetation of the bog. Volunteers met for two Saturday mornings in June and bundled 276 clusters of reed canary grass to aid in the application of a herbicide. This effort took 35 hours of volunteer time from ten different people.

An additional workday focused on Little Mud Lake, a Habitat Preservation Area, east of New Prospect. With eight people providing 20 total volunteer hours, they cut and treated woody shrubs and trees that invaded the remnant prairie near the lake. The remnant serves as an excellent example of what the Kettle Moraine looked like before European settlement.

The continued invasion of garlic mustard, buckthorn, Japanese barberry, spotted knapweed, wild parsnip and other invasive plants is having a significant impact on the Forest ecosystem and threatens to diminish the richness of the Kettle Moraine State Forest-Northern Unit.  In addition to these plants, Japanese hedge parsley recently became established here and continues to rapidly spread throughout the area.  

We plan to organize more volunteer workdays in 2021 and would appreciate your help.  In light of the pandemic, we easily maintain at least six feet from each other while working in an outdoor environment.  It is a great way to learn native plants, get outside with like-minded people, and accomplish something positive for the Northern Unit.

 

For more information and to sign up for email announcements of workdays, please contact Connie at connieramthun@gmail.com.

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