The Kettle Moraine Wild Ones meets at 10 AM (unless otherwise noted) on the third Saturday of each month except December.
Indoor programs are given at the South Kettle Moraine State Forest Headquarters, Eagle, Wisconsin: S91 W39091 Highway 59 (one mile west of Eagle). Indoor programs are open to the public and guests are welcome. No admission fee. Refreshments will be available. 10 AM (unless otherwise noted).
Outdoor programs, April to September, are held in various locations and are for members only. No dogs allowed.
Membership: Basic annual family membership is $40. For more information, call 262-642-2352.
Banking on Savanna - a Timely Investment
New Year’s Potluck Party and Native Seed Exchange
January 18, 2020
Jim Uhrinak, Consulting Arborist, and Milwaukee Audubon Senior Representative
Presentation will be followed by our New Year’s Potluck Party and Native Seed Exchange
NOTE: This special program will be presented at the Mukwonago Library.
Midwestern, deep soil, oak savannas have a variety of expressions and are globally endangered plant communities. Our oak savannas were the basis for Wisconsin’s early prosperity as the Dairy State. Today, remnant oak stands allow us to better understand land history and provide encouragement for those interested in land protection and restoration. Threats and opportunities at this time in history will be discussed.
Gardening to Combat Global Change
February 15, 2020
Laura Ladwig, Department of Integrative Biology at the University of Wisconsin, Madison
Humans have changed the earth at a global scale – reducing habitat for wildlife, changing climate, and polluting the air, water and soil. These global changes can have negative influences on natural systems, human health, and economics. In Wisconsin, the climate is changing fastest during the winter, leading to inconsistent snow cover and more freeze-thaw cycles, which can harm overwintering organisms. Although we as humans are the main cause of these problems, we can also be the solution. From planting trees, limiting fertilizer use, and maintaining native landscapes, activities in the garden and yard can help counteract climate change and other global changes. We’ll discuss the ecological benefits of different choices in the garden to help mitigate the impacts of global change and preserve our Earth.
Laura Ladwig is an ecologist investigating the impacts of global change on the natural world, specifically focusing on plants. She is currently a postdoctoral researcher in the Department of Integrative Biology at the University of Wisconsin – Madison where her research focuses on the long-term effects of global change on prairie and savanna plants of Southern Wisconsin.
Herbicides: Minimizing Impact and Maximizing Benefit
March 21, 2020
Mark Renz, University of Wisconsin Extension Specialist
Can we succeed in an herbicide-free native landscape? Many times we can, but herbicides can improve the result and reduce the potential for failure in some instances. Professor and Extension Specialist Mark Renz of UW- Madison helps us understand when to use herbicides and how to use them correctly to minimize risk while maximizing benefit.
Fostering Wisconsin’s Native Bees in Your Garden
April 18, 2020
Susan Carpenter, Native Plant Gardener at the UW-Madison Arboretum
NOTE: This special program will be at the Mukwonago Library.
Learn about Wisconsin’s remarkable native bee diversity. Explore their life cycles and where they develop and live. We can foster these important pollinators in our gardens with bee-friendly plants and practices. This presentation will help you appreciate and support native bees—from bumblebees to tiny solitary specialist species.
Susan Carpenter is the native plant gardener at the UW-Madison Arboretum, where she works with students and community volunteers to maintain and monitor a 4-acre garden representing the plant communities of southern Wisconsin. She leads a bumblebee conservation project that monitors these important pollinators, including the federally endangered rusty-patched bumblebee, Bombus affinis, which lives at the Arboretum and perhaps in your own garden.
Tour: Spring Flora in a Woodland or Prairie
Mid-April 2020 (Date TBD)
Date/place to be determined by weather – watch for an email to members.
Tour: Susan and Mike Bong’s Woodland Restoration
May 16, 2020
The couple welcomes members to their 20 acres of woodland. Mike likes to tell people how he crawled on his hands and knees with a clippers and compass, through multiflora rose and buckthorn, to create the path. They've since developed their own method of buckthorn removal that's back saving and more efficient. In many areas native flowers popped up, including a few they had not seen elsewhere. Some areas just grew a carpet of garlic mustard. These invasives were removed and the area was seeded with a "no mow" grass and native flowers that Sue found grow well in the grass. The walk is about a mile and quite flat.
Tour: Jim Marrari and Barb Carstens’s Bird Sanctuary
Tour: Mariette and Dave Nowak’s Twin Kettles Property
June 20, 2020
Jim Marrari and Barb Carstens purchased their 5-acre property, located in the town of Troy, in 2006 and immediately began removing garlic mustard and Japanese hedge parsley. They built their house and moved onto the property in 2008 and then began their efforts to restore the oak savanna. To the south, their property overlooks the Nature Conservancy’s Scout Road preserve, which includes one of the headwaters of the Mukwonago River. To the north, the property borders the Nature Conservancy’s recently acquired addition to the Crooked Creek preserve. Active birders interested in providing bird habitat, Jim and Barb have documented 153 bird species on the property so far.
Mariette and Dave Nowak have two small kettles bisected by their driveway, plus a small woodland, several prairie patches and a small water feature. They have worked over the years to remove invasive shrubs from their woodland and Crown Vetch and Knapweed from their prairie patches. Today, they harbor about 250 native species, as well as many frogs, turtles, and birds. In June, Lupine and Spiderwort are likely to be in bloom. But don’t expect a pristine yard – the Nowaks are firm believers in Lorrie Otto’s warning about the “Tyranny of the Tidy Yard.”
Tour: Peter Mischka’s Prairie Restorations
July 18, 2020
Peter lives on a 4.5-acre property in the Southern Kettle Moraine State Forest. It includes 16,000 sq. ft. of tall mesic (medium) soil prairie and 9,000 sq. ft. of wet mesic to mesic soil, the latter freshly planted in the fall of 2019. Most of the invasives are now under control (buckthorn, honeysuckle and parsnip, etc.). He makes horse manure compost and adds it to garden and prairie. Now that the parsnip is gone, he is able to plant seedling trees and shrubs.
Tour: Ray and Kathy Knoeppel‘s Hillside Prairie
August 15, 2020
As you approach the Knoeppel property, you’ll enjoy a beautiful view of the prairie on a hill below their home. On site, members will be able to compare an established prairie with a newly planted one. The hillside in front of the house has two prairie plantings. The original prairie was established approximately 20 years ago by seed in and is 3/4 acre. The second prairie was planted in fall 2018 is approximately 1 1/2 acres.
Special Meeting: Hummingbird Banding at Home of Wild Ones Members, Larry and Emily Scheunemann
September 12, 2020 7:30 AM
Micky O’Connor, a master bird bander and an avian zookeeper at the Milwaukee Zoo, will again be banding hummingbirds at Larry and Emily Scheunemann’s home. The Scheunemanns have landscaped their 30-acre property to attract wildlife of all types. Every year, banding efforts have been very successful including a recapture of a female banded in 2014! Enjoy watching the banding and holding a hummer in hand! Children are welcome.
Special Meeting: Monarch Tagging at Home of Wild Ones Members, Larry and Emily Scheunemann
September 19, 2020 (1:00 - 3:00 PM)
Wild Ones members and Rock County Conservationists will gather at Larry and Emily Scheunemann’s home in Whitewater to tag Monarch Butterflies. A short talk on monarchs with instructions on how to tag monarchs will be followed by hands-on netting and tagging of monarchs. The Scheunemanns have created a Monarch Wayside Station and have landscaped their 30-acre property to attract wildlife of all types. Monarch tagging has been helpful in determining monarch migration and winter sites. Children are welcome.
Tour: Jacki Lewis and Dick Adduci‘s Garden Ponds, Native Landscaping, and Wetlands
September 19, 2020
Having planned a simple birdbath, the couple instead ended up with three garden ponds, connected by waterfalls, overflowing into a small constructed wetland - all landscaped in locally native plants. In a separate project, they are replacing the landscaping at the front of the house, adapting Roy Diblik’s “Know Maintenance” concept to native plants. Finally, if time permits, members can walk back to some newly cleared areas of former wet-mesic prairie, where sunlight and buckthorn removal have brought the return of several special plants including gentian, narrow-leafed loosestrife, and more.
Fungus Among Us
October 17, 2020
Jim and Susan Selle of the Madison Mycological Society
How do you distinguish some edible mushrooms from poisonous and toxic fungi? Jim and Susan Selle, members of the Wild Ones Menomonee Falls Chapter, will discuss give various guidelines for identification of mushroom and discuss their interdependence with plants. The couple will also share tips for cooking with mushrooms.
Aldo Leopold and Conservation on Private Lands
November 21, 2020
Dr. Stanley Temple, Professor Emeritus, UW Madison and Senior Fellow, Aldo Leopold Foundation
Presentation will be followed by Annual Membership Meeting and Election of Officers
Aldo Leopold recognized that most of the land in the US is in private ownership, and private landowners would therefore have to play a central role in conservation efforts. Leopold knew there are many obstacles, among them: maximizing economic returns from one’s land, exercising the privilege to do whatever one wants with private property, feeling no obligation to act in the public’s interest, suffering no consequences for abusing land, and simply being ignorant and unaware of how one’s activities affect land. Leopold struggled throughout his career with how to overcome such obstacles. What would it take to induce land owners to practice conservation in the face of inclinations to do otherwise? He observed: “We seem ultimately always thrown back on individual ethics as the basis of land conservation. It is hard to make a man, by pressure of law or money, do a thing which does not spring naturally from his own personal sense of right and wrong.” This line of thinking ultimately led Leopold to his most enduring contribution: his land ethic. Professor Stan Temple will discuss the evolution of Leopold’s land ethic and explain why it remains so relevant today for private land conservation.
No program in December.