2012 Year in Review
2012 began at a reduced capacity for Faville Grove Sanctuary, with no land steward or sanctuary manager, but former intern Elliot Hansen was gracious enough to volunteer to lead work parties cutting brush and controlling garlic mustard throughout the winter and spring. As of May, Faville Grove was back to being fully staffed with the return of Matt Weber, an intern in 2009, as the Sanctuary’s new Land Steward. Matt recently graduated from UW-Madison and is excited to be back working on the land!
With management partnerships and financial support from the UW-Arboretum (for Faville Prairie State Natural Area) and Penny and Gary Shackleford (for Fair Meadows State Natural Area) we hired our largest crew of 6 interns this summer. This helped us accelerate work on brush control at Faville Prairie SNA where we tackled a dense stand of buckthorn, mulberry, and willows that was degrading the remnant portions of the prairie.
2012 Intern Crew: Maj-Britt Nelson, Lauren Barlow, Jake Merten, Mark Kafura, Andrew Harry, and Ross VanDercreek
Tillotson and Martin prairies were our highest priorities to burn this fall because of the invading willow and cottonwood brush and other invasives that have crept in since the flood of 2008. It was difficult to find suitable conditions to burn but with only a short notice to our volunteers, we were able to pull off a spectacular prescribed fire on November 26th. We are so thankful for our volunteers' willingness to participate in these activities on such short notice!
Lighting the headfire in Tillotson prairie
Our successful seed collection season (despite the droughty conditions) ended with planting three small restorations totally 14 acres. These restorations are largely dry/dry-mesic sites which will be dominated by short native warm-season grasses like little bluestem, sideoats grama, and prairie dropseed and forbs such as purple prairie clover, butterfly milkweed, and cream baptisia. We look forward to the addition of these dry plantings to add more diversity to the mix of prairie habitats on the Sanctuary.
Volunteers spreading buckets of seed at Buddy's North
And finally, on December 31st we held an impromptu workshop with Matt Giovanni, research biologist at the Peregrine Fund and Director of the American Kestrel Partnership, to discuss American Kestrel conservation and build kestrel nest boxes. 20 participants made 20 nest boxes and will be installing and monitoring them across Dane, Jefferson, and Waukesha counties. At least four nest boxes will be placed on the Sanctuary, and we will be looking to build and install more. You can learn more about the project at kestrel.peregrinefund.org.
Matt Giovanni explaining how to contruct kestrel nest boxes
You can keep up to date on recent happenings at Faville Grove Sanctuary by clicking on the Newsletter tab, by becoming a member of Madison Audubon and receiving the monthly CAWS newsletter, or by subscribing to our volunteer and events email list by contacting Matt Weber at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Your contributions of time and financial support remain key to all of these successes. Many thanks to all. We hope you will consider stopping by for a visit.