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The Annual Newsletter of the Chiwaukee Prairie Preservation Fund
November 1999

The Grass

The grass so little has to do,
A sphere of simple green,
With only butterflies to brood,
And bees to entertain.

... by Emily Dickinson

     First the good news: In June the Chiwaukee Prairie Preservation Fund gave the Nature Conservancy a check for $25,000 to help pay for the purchase of nine (9) lots which sold for a total of $40,900. As we said in our last newsletter the price of land continues to increase. More land owners at Chiwaukee South and North are planning to sell. We will tell you more about those next year. With this last round of purchases we acquired the last two privately owned lots in the northwest comer of Chiwaukee South which completes a forty acre area. The Nature Conservancy purchased land of similar size in the southwest comer six years ago. We now own two solid blocks of over 40 acres each. Back in 1965, when preservation at the prairie began, there were approximately 500 lots to purchase. By the end of 1999 the Nature Conservancy expects to close on twelve more lots bringing us down to approximately 103 remaining lots.

    We repeat our promise: With your help, we will continue until the last piece has been preserved.

    The Chiwaukee Prairie Preservation Fund is writing for a match grant from Chicago Wilderness to pay for a DR-mower that will cut firebreak paths and help control exotics on the prairie. Chicago Wilderness will only give grants that are matched dollar for dollar. So we must come up with $1,400 and they will match it for the total amount needed.

    You will notice that there is a line on the membership form this year where you may make a gift for the, match grant. Words can't tell you how much easier this machine will make our management job to restore damaged areas to a higher quality.

    It has been our policy since 1985 to send out our newsletter only once a year to ask for membership renewals and donations. Our friends and neighbors have responded generously to our yearly appeal by giving us money with which we can continue to assist the Nature Conservancy and the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources with land purchases. These gifts also help us obtain tools and supplies to equip and help our volunteers with their work on the prairie. We feel certain that you appreciate getting only one appeal letter from us each year. We are grateful too that we only need to send one letter. It seems that there are plenty of other things at the prairie that require our time and attention. We appreciate your generosity!

    You are invited to join the Blazing-stars. With a first time gift of $100 or more you will receive a Blazing-star print especially designed for us by Bernice Rosen suitable for framing, plus an invitation to attend two special hikes, one in the spring and one in the fall.

    Blazing-star members who renew their $ 100 membership this year will receive a packet of eight spring flower note cards also designed for us by Bernice Rosen, as well as an invitations to attend two special hikes, one in the spring and another one in the fall.

    You are invited to become a life member by giving a gift of $500. For this gift you will receive a Certificate of Honor and a Blazing-star print. You will also be invited to the special spring and fall hikes.

    Our gift to you this year is a note card and envelope from our fresh new collection of note cards with spring flowers, graciously done for us again this year by Bernice Rosen. There are four different cards which feature a few of the many flowers that are found on the prairie each spring. They are Larger Blue Flag, Shooting Star, Golden Alexanders and Hoary Puccoon, Coreopsis and Spiderwort. They are printed on four different colors of card stock and will also be sold in packets of eight.

    Chiwaukee South - Work Schedule: continues to be the third Saturday each month from 10:00 a.m. until 2:00 p.m. Meet at 121st St. and Second Ave.

    Chiwaukee North - Work Schedule: will be the second Saturday of each month from 10:00 a.m. until 2:00 p.m. Meet at 102nd St. and Third Ave.

    All we need is you to help! Bring a lunch and wear old clothes. We have tools and the equipment to get the job done.

    The best times to work on the prairie are in the spring, fall and winter. In the spring and fall we cut brush. Winter is the best time for burning brush especially if there is snow on the prairie.

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   The Nature Conservancy burn crew is planning to burn large pieces of the prairie this spring. The problems resulting from federal regulations that caused delays last year have been eliminated and Chiwaukee is first on their burn list next year.

   Volunteers enjoy the experience of working on the prairie while at the same time they accomplish a great deal. Each year when the prairie glows with color they have a nice warm feeling of satisfaction knowing that they helped to destroy invading aliens and to keep the flowers and grasses blooming.

    Of course the wildlife is always around, peeking at us from a distance. Often we see where the deer walk, and catch glimpses of a flipping tail or a twitching ear, hear the bubbling song of the bobolink or see the silhouette of a red-tailed hawk against the sun.

    The Third Annual Picnic on September 18th was every bit as successful as the first two. It was a beautiful day and more than thirty adults and children came out to pick seeds in the morning and end the day with good food and good company. A big "Thank You" to the CPPF Board of Directors for their donations and help!

    Many thanks to Jim Major of "Keep Kenosha Beautiful" for his efforts at the Sand Dunes located at the north end of Chiwaukee prairie. He had the old car removed and wood chips laid on the entrance trail at the north end. Then he facilitated repairs on and an extension of the power pole fence on the south end. He also had signs installed, broken glass removed, illegal fire bowls removed and trash picked up and hauled away from the entire area. It is a wonderful improvement. We are most grateful.

    You can find the Chiwaukee Prairie Preservation Fund on the Internet at:

    The Girl and Boy Scouts of Kenosha, over the years have been good to the prairie and we can't thank them enough. They have helped to restore this special place and to make it a source of pride for the entire state. We expect that the prairie will be burned before the first week in May. We will need scout troops and school groups to come out and help with the clean-up of trash, such as plastics which have melted. The fun part of cleaning up is the variety of interesting things that we find as well as the nice warm feeling of accomplishment. Call Ria Crook, Scout Coordinator, at 694-2340.

    Eagle Scout projects have been a great help to us. They have done much to enhance the beauty of the prairie and to provide information for our visitors. The most recent project was carried out by Scout Leo Graf. He built and installed two kiosks, one for the sand dunes and one which greets hikers as they walk on the Al Krampert Trail north of 121st Street.

    Other Eagle Scouts include Andy Van Strien, Joe Snider, Jason Fennema and Erin Doil.

    How did we ever manage before there were scouts and their many helping hands?

What do you get when you cross poison ivy and a four-leaf clover?

ANSWER- A __ash of __ood __uck.

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    Floyd Catchpole is the newest member of the CPPF Board of Directors. Floyd lives in Kenosha and is employed by Hey & Associates as a botanist. Floyd attended Kansas State and is conducting an experiment on our prairie that he saw done in Kansas. Floyd's position on our board will be Public Relations.

    Chicago Wilderness recently approved a grant to our CPPF Board member, Floyd Catchpole. He is conducting a burning experiment on the prairie that will take ten years to complete. In the end his work will give us a much better idea of the effects of fire on the prairie flowers and grasses. This information will help us manage the prairie in the future. A similar experiment was conducted in Kansas, but this work has not previously been done east of the Mississippi River.

    The CPPF received a recognition award from the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources in August. The Secretary of the DNR, George Meyer, presented a beautiful plaque to our Vice President, Gus Hauser, in recognition of our many years of dedication to the preservation of Chiwaukee Prairie. The plaque will rotate monthly among the volunteers who have definitely earned it.

    A slide program on Chiwaukee Prairie has been prepared by Bruce Sedloff for presentation to any local clubs or groups that are interested. All honorariums are used to buy land at the prairie. Call Bruce at (262) 942-0803

    Chiwaukee Prairie lost a devoted friend, Jack Cahill, a former board member and long time friend. He passed away April 22nd. Jack was a retired forester from West Allis and known by his friends as Gentleman John. A tree has been planted at Prairie Springs Park in Pleasant Prairie by his arborist friends in recognition of his service on the Pleasant Prairie Park Commission when the park was planned and established. He often served as a very knowledgeable hike leader for our spring hikes. He loved nature and I new the importance of saving our natural resources. We were fortunate indeed to have known him and worked with him on our board. The world needs more men like Jack.

    The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources has resumed its program of purchasing lots in Chiwaukee North. There are approximately 30 lots in the pipeline with more on the way. This is the best type of news for prairie lovers. On that happy note we end our newsletter until next year.

"We abuse land when we regard it as a commodity belonging to us. When we see land as a part of the community to which we belong we begin to treat it with love and respect."

... Aldo Leopold



CPPF Board of Directors- 1999

Joan Rohan, President         643-5245
Gus Hauser, Vice-President        694-3631
Eric Howe, Treasurer             633.0420     
Ria Crook, Scout Coordinator   694-2340
Donna Peterson, Land Chair   637-3141
Bruce Sedloff, Programs; Secretary 942-0803
Dawn Feldman-Brown, Hike Coordinator   694-1748
Phil Sander, Historian
Joan Angelo, Barnes Prairie Land Acquisition
Richard Barloga, Naturalist
Tom Becker, Stewardship Co-Chair
Marcia Wensing, Stewardship Co-Chair
Floyd Catchpole, Public Relations
Renate Hauser, Corresponding Secretary
Irene Yerdon, Fundraising; Stewardship
Gary Zumach, Membership, Newsletter
Susan Tragesser; Steve Richter; Quan Banh
(All phone numbers are area code 262)