November 2001

In All things of nature there is
Something of the Marvelous


Chiwaukee Preserve Grows

Trish Stocking has done it again! Trish is The Nature Conservancy’s Land Acquisition Specialist for Chiwaukee South. Thanks to Trish’s efforts and the donations of many, six lots have been acquired in the year 2001. Chiwaukee Prairie Preservation Fund gave $19,450.00 to acquire these lots, a small price to pay to ensure the preservation of one of our Earth’s gems.

In 1965 there were 530 privately owned lots. TNC now owns 434 of them. That means there are only 96 lots left for us to acquire! Keep up the good work Trish!

The DNR has recently purchased one 11-acre parcel on Sheridan Road. Since 1999, 49 lots have been acquired for Chiwaukee North. Grow Prairie!

Anonymous Donor Contributes

We recently received an anonymous donation of valuable stock from a long-time Friend of the Prairie. The timing of this donation couldn’t be better. This money will be used to buy more land. Our many thanks to this anonymous donor.


The Chiwaukee Prairie Preservation Fund has applied for a $2,300.00 grant from the Wetland Initiative Network. (WIN) The grant will be used to purchase a new Billy Goat Mower and a new Brusher. No word on the status of the grant as yet. WIN, based in Racine, is a not-for-profit watershed based effort.  (UPDATE 12/15/2001 - WITH THE GRANT APPROVED, OUR MOWER AND BRUSHER WERE DELIVERED AT THE WORK PARTY)

ur gift to you this year
is a note card & envelope that was designed especially for us by the talented, Kenosha artist, Rebecca Venn. Our many thanks to you Rebecca.

It is time again for our once a year petition for donations. We thank you for your support and generosity for this past year. We hope that just one look at the Prairie will inspire you to keep pledging your financial support. You make it possible!

We invite you to join the Blazing-Stars. For your first time gift of $100 or more you will receive a Blazing-Star print ready for framing, and especially designed for us by Bernice Rosen. You will also receive an invitation to attend two special hikes, one in the spring and the other in the fall.

All Blazing-Star Members who renew $100 memberships will receive a gift packet of note cards with envelopes designed especially for us by Rebecca Venn. You will also receive an invitation to attend the two hikes reserved for Blazing-Star members, one in the spring and another in the fall.

We also invite you to become a life member. When you give a gift of $500, you will receive a Certificate of Honor and a Blazing-Star print. You will also be invited to the special spring and fall hikes.


“We repeat our promise: With your help

we will continue until the last

piece of land has been preserved.”  

Work Schedule for Chiwaukee South is still on the third Saturday of every month from 10:00 am until 2:00 pm. Meet at 121st St. and 2nd Ave.

We value your help! Pack your favorite lunch and wear old clothes. If you have work gloves, bring them. Wear sunglasses to protect your eyes. We have all the tools needed to assist us in our efforts!
See you there!

Work days for November & December are located at Barnes Prairie. We will meet at 121st St. and 2nd Ave. and then drive over to Barnes.

As always, the prairie presents a variety of tasks that need our attention. As stewards we need to clear brush and small trees, as well as weed out sweet clover, garlic mustard, purple loosestrife, and Queen Anne’s Lace. Our many volunteers also take part in an annual orchid count, collect wildflower seeds, and monitor insects and mammals. Though there was no burn at the Chiwaukee Prairie this year, volunteers do take part in controlled burns here and at other sites around the state. It isn’t all work and no play! In June we have Breakfast on the Prairie, and in September we have a cookout lunch. So come on out and join us!

The fifth annual picnic on September 15 was a great success. We had a box lunch provided by The Nature Conservancy. There were 45 volunteers that day, with 36 of them from Chiwaukee Prairie. Besides collecting wildflower seeds, volunteers cut brush while Eric Howe tagged numerous Monarch Butterflies. Five out of the 97 tagged that day were found in Mexico wintering colonies, a distance of over 1730 miles!  A marvelous feat, helped powered by the Joe Pye Weed and Showy Goldenrods.  

A tagged Monarch Butterfly - photo by John Harbeck   Cathy Chybowski, John Rock, and Eric Howe tag Monarch Butterflies - photo by John Harbeck

We also celebrated Phil Sander’s 95th birthday with kringle and a rousing chorus of “Happy Birthday”! It was an honor to have Phil in attendance. Everyone enjoyed the day’s activities. KUDOS to everyone who attended, and a big thank you to TNC for a delicious lunch.

Audubon Magazine mentions the Chiwaukee Prairie in its September-October 2001 edition, in an article titled “Windy City Wilderness” by James Campbell.

Stephen Packard, the director of Audubon-Chicago Region, and coordinator of the Habitat Project, is concerned about restoring nature. He is quoted as saying “It’s true that all this so-called wilderness is within a heavily urban and suburban core. But the term (Chicago Wilderness) in this context refers to the natural communities that extend into parts of Wisconsin, Indiana, and the six-county Chicago region, and that have existed here for thousands of years.” The article continues by saying, that “for all it’s richness, the landscape is losing it’s native biodiversity at an alarming rate.” In addition, “Chicago Wilderness proposes to save what remains of the degraded habitat through active stewardship…” and, in applying the methods of restoration ecology, Packard sees the emergence of citizen science as crucial to the rehabilitation and management of natural landscapes-especially those that dot the ever-growing Chicago metropolis.

“The key,” Packard says, “is helping people become active guardians and stewards of their natural heritage.” Ultimately, he envisions, the region’s population will provide the workforce for the job of ecological management. “If there are people out there who care about the land and keep an eye on it, then it’s going to last from generation to generation,” he says.

“Using the data collected by citizen scientists, this goal is well on its way to being achieved at several other preserves under the Chicago Wilderness umbrella. In 2000, volunteers worked year-round at sites from Chiwaukee Prairie in southern Wisconsin, to the Midewin National Tallgrass Prairie. The restorationists removed smothering invasives, helped set controlled spring burns, and sowed the seeds of native plants. “ A healthy prairie,” Packard says, “should be home to hundreds of plant species as well as thousands of species of birds, mammals, reptiles, insects, mites, fungi, and bacteria.” The article ends with Packard saying, “...with the help of committed volunteers, we can do it. In fact, we are already doing it.”


Do you enjoy wildlife?

Kenosha’s Billie Long enjoys it so much that she has taken steps to bring it into her backyard. Billie has over a dozen bird feeders, several bird baths, and even “homes for toads”! Billie has also planted different types of plants that attract animals. Since she provides food, water, and a suitable habitat for wildlife, her yard has been certified a backyard wildlife habitat by the National Wildlife Federation. If you would like to turn your yard into a certified wildlife habitat, contact:

Backyard Wildlife Habitat Program
National Wildlife Federation
8925 Leesburg Pike
Vienna, VA 22184-0001
or, on the web at:

Art in the Park was a smashing success, due mostly to the Free Chiwaukee Prairie water provided by Gus and Renate Hauser. Thanks to all the volunteers who participated. See you next year at the park!

The Prairie’s own Phil Sander, has been awarded the Lapham Medal for distinguished service in archaeological research. The Kenosha Public Museum credits Phil with enabling them to relocate the mammoth to the new museum site. Thanks to Phil’s map, they were led back to the site where bone piles, butcher marks and ceremonial ocher were found. This find is the first documented mammoth east of the Mississippi River that shows the interaction between man and the mammoth! Phil has donated his maps, as well as related slides, to the museum. Be sure to stop by the new Kenosha Public Museum and view this mammoth display. The museum is located at 5500 First Avenue, Kenosha, WI. It is open on Sun. - Mon. from 12 Noon to 5:00 P.M. and Tues.-Sat. from 9:00 A.M. to 5:00 P.M. Admission is free. Our Congratulations to you, Phil!

Mother Nature Has A Helper

Two years ago, Renate Hauser collected lupine seeds near the railroad tracks, and spread them on the east side of Marina Road near 121st St. This was the first year that they bloomed! Be sure to look for them next spring!

The wild lupine is the only host plant for the Karner Blue butterfly caterpillar, which is an endangered species in Wisconsin.


A hearty welcome to CPPF’s newest board members:

John Rock, Cathy Chybowski, and Mark Roycraft. It’s great to have you on board! Pun intended!


Joan Rohan, President
Gus Hauser, Vice-President
Eric Howe, Treasurer
Bruce Sedloff, Secretary
Renate Hauser, Corresponding Secretary
Richard Barloga, Naturalist
Marcia Wensing, Stewardship South
Donna Peterson, Land Acquisition South
Dawn Feldman-Brown, Hike Coordinator
Cathy Chybowski
John Rock
Mark Roycraft, Stewardship North


Tom Becker, Stewardship North
Dick Christiansen
Marty Johnson
Heather Patti, The Nature Conservancy
Susan Tragesser
Steve Richter
Phil Sander, Historian


Prairie Daze

Aroma of lake breezes,
Wild flowers, yellow, fuchsia, green, pink,
Sway in balmy breezes.
Sound of a light rush, as it gently rocks to and fro,
the tall grasses of prairie,
what once was long ago.
Glimmer of white, soft, misty visions,
raised to the highest of vast open spaces outstretched.

By Vicki Martinson
Kenosha, WI


Our volunteers deserve special recognition.

The following individuals have chosen to spend their time working on the prairie.

Patti & Quan Banh
Dawn Feldman-Brown
Faith & George Bushnell
Floyd Catchpole
Cathy Chybowski
Eugene Dodd
Arnon Gerhardt
Glenn Gordon
John Harbeck
Gus & Renate Hauser
Pam Holy
Eric Howe
Ann Jolicoeur
Jason Kauten
Elizabeth Kimbrough
Henry Koch
Jim Major
Louis & Jim Mantino
Vicki Martinsen
Kay McClelland
Robert Osborne
Heather Patti
Donna Peterson
Steve Richter
John Rock
Joan Rohan
Stan Rosenstiel
Dave Roszkowski
Mark Roycraft
Vera Scekic
Bruce Sedloff
Don Snyder
Chris, Kevin,& Maria Spaight
Don Spangenberg
Betsy Wagner
Lenny Weiss
Marcia Wensing

Breakfast on the Prairie for the Volunteers - June 2001

Photo by Faith Bushnell
Left to right: Lenny Weiss, Gus Hauser, Heather Patti, Renate Hauser, Marcia Wensing, Ann Jolicoeur, & Donna Peterson

Photo by Faith Bushnell
Left to Right: Dawn Feldman-Brown, Joan Rohan, & Gus Hauser

Photo by Faith Bushnell
Left to Right: Dave Roszkowski, Floyd Catchpole (lower left), Renate Hauser, Patti & Quan Banh, & John Harbeck


See our newsletter from November 2000