November 2006

The real significance of wilderness is a cultural matter. It is far more than hunting, fishing, hiking, camping, or canoeing; it has to do with the human spirit.” 

From The Spiritual Aspects of Wilderness by S. F. Olson.

A Word From Our President

Late in August or early September, while it was still hot and dry before the rains came, I had occasion to visit Chiwaukee Prairie with a friend. It had been several weeks since I had been there.

I was somewhat disappointed and shocked. When we turned east on 116th Street, I found that my beloved prairie was not in its usual splendid array of late summer exuberance with tall waving grasses, and glowing with the warm yellows of sunflowers and goldenrod. The tall grasses were shorter than usual and the golden patches were smaller, less numerous and, not as bright.

However, about two weeks later I was there again, after the rains came. Things had changed! There were more glowing yellow areas. The rose purple blazing stars were dancing in the breeze, and the fringed gentians had appeared along the roadside. Chiwaukee was alive and well again!

It struck me that the prairie was somewhat like the history of our past year. We have been worried by the threat of development on the western edge of the prairie, and we have acquired no new acreage, though we still take loving care of what we have. I feel that, like the prairie, we shall recover, and with the warm rain of your support we shall march on.

May you be blessed with a happy holiday season and a wonderful year in 2007.

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


Become a “Blazing Star” For your first time gift of $100 or current “Blazing Star” members who renew $100 memberships you will receive a gift packet of note cards with envelopes by Artist Rebecca Venn. You will also receive a special invitation to the Breakfast on the Prairie in June, and the Picnic on the Prairie in September.

Become a Life Member with a donation of $500. We will reward you with a Certificate of Honor, and a packet of note cards with envelopes by Artist Rebecca Venn. You will be our guests at the Breakfast on the Prairie in June, and the Picnic in September.

Work Parties We need volunteers for our work parties. We meet every third Saturday of each month from 10:00 AM to 2:00 PM. Meet us on 121st street and 2nd Avenue. Pack a lunch, dress for the weather, and don’t forget your work gloves and protective eye wear. This is also a great way to get some fresh air and exercise! The work days in November and December are held on Barnes Prairie. Meet us on 121st Street and 2nd Avenue, and we’ll drive the short distance to Barnes.

CPPF needs your help! Our current president, Joan Roan, and current land acquisitions, Donna Peterson, have announced to the board that they are retiring, and do not plan to run for their positions in the February election. We are looking for volunteers for the board. If you would like to be a member of the board, please call Donna Peterson at 262-637-3141.
We wish them all the best as they retire.

Phil Sander passed away this year. He will long be remembered for his preservation work for Chiwaukee Prairie. Without him and his efforts preservation of the prairie may not have happened. His dedication was lifelong, it was a way of life. He will be sadly missed.


CPPF’s Joan Roan was inducted into the Southeastern Wisconsin Educator’s Hall of Fame for 2006. Joan also celebrated her 90th birthday this year! Congratulations and Best Wishes!

Our congratulations and thanks to Dan Renner for receiving his Eagle Scout Award. Dan received his award for completing the renovation to the Gen Crema Trail on Chiwaukee Prairie. Dan’s effort was published in last year’s newsletter. The trail was rededicated in a ceremony this past May.

Land Purchases in Chiwaukee Prairie
No lots were purchased in Chiwaukee South this year. We are currently in the process of contacting the owners of 15 priority lots. The DNR acquired 4 lots (1.44 acres) in 2005, and 3 lots (1.27 acres) in 2006 in Chiwaukee North.

First Impressions
The first time I saw Chiwaukee Prairie located south of Kenosha on the shores of Lake Michigan was in 1950. I was 15 years old, and looking out of the train window going south to Waukegan. Today, if you take the Metra train from Kenosha to Chicago, and sit on the east side you can see it for yourself. It was springtime. The whole area was awash with color and small ponds. The sky was at its bluest and the equally blue lake stretched out as I could see. The wildflowers made a carpet of white, pinks, blues and yellows dotted with numerous ponds that reflected the sky. The sight of so much color dazzled my eyes and took my breath away. On the way home I again sat on the east side of the train in an attempt to determine the exact location of this spectacular place. In my mind I could hear the countless frogs croaking and envision the small wildlife darting around cattails. I could almost feel the warm water around my feet and ankles as I waded in hunting for polliwogs to take home in a jar. I wanted to stand up and shout, "Stop the train! I need to get off and explore. This is my kind of place!" But, I didn’t. Instead I noted landmarks to use when finding my way back on my bicycle. I did make a valiant effort to actually find this wild spot, but had no luck. Finally, in the spring of 1983, it found me. My Sierra Club took a hike there on a narrow dirt path. I was amazed to learn how special my wetland was to so many other people around Wisconsin and beyond. Today this is still "my" special place. I am happy to have a part in its preservation, and I am thankful for everyone who is helping to preserve our beautiful Chiwaukee Prairie.
Donna Peterson

Nicholas Zahn completed his Eagle Scout Project when he,
and troop #520, built and installed 10 Bluebird houses on Chiwaukee Prairie near Marina Road, and 122nd Street. He has been monitoring, and will continue to monitor the houses for Bluebirds. A special thank you from us, and the Bluebirds! Also congratulations on completing your Eagle Scout project!

What if CPPF earned a penny every time you searched the Internet?
Well, now we can! is a new search engine that donates half its revenue, about a penny per search, to the charities its users designate. You use it just as you would any search engine, and it’s powered by Yahoo!, so you get great results.
Just go to and be sure to enter Chiwaukee Prairie Preservation Fund as the charity you want to support. Just 500 of us searching four times a day will raise about $7300 in a year without anyone spending a dime! And, be sure to spread the word!


Thank You To All Of Our 2006 Volunteers.

Kathy Lill Bonner
Dawn Feldman-Brown
Alan Eppers
John Harbeck
Gus and Renate Hauser
Pam Holy
Eric Howe
Mary Ann Ironsides
Ann Jolicoeur
Kaytlin Lowrey-Jolicoeur
Robert Lyndgren
Jim Major
Vicki Martinson
Kay McClelland
Bob Moreland
Susan Morgan
Marcia O’Day
Rich Odegaard
Robert Osborn
Donna Peterson
Dan Renner & Troop
Joan Rohan
Stan Rosenstiel
Dave Sanders
Vera Scekic
John & Monica Schluckbier
Don Snyder
Susan Tragresser
Lenny Weiss
Marcia Wensing

CPPF Board of Directors 2006

Joan Rohan, President  (262) 634-5245
Gus Hauser, Vice President  (262) 694-3631
Eric Howe, Treasurer  (262) 594-5853
Bruce Sedloff, Secretary  (262) 857-7082
Renate Hauser, Corresponding Secretary

Marcia Wensing, Stewardship Chair-South
Donna Peterson, Land Acquisition-South
Lenny Weiss, Stewardship-South
Pam Holy, Chicago Wilderness Representative
Dawn Feldman-Brown, Hike & Education
Ann Jolicoeur, Newsletter Editor


Sue Tragesser, Membership & Labels
Steve Richter, The Nature Conservancy
Marty Johnson, DNR Wildlife Manager 
Richard Barloga, Naturalist

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