Prairie Restoration at Dunn Heritage Park

Almost two dozen volunteers enjoyed hand planting 17.9 acres to prairie Heritage Park near Lake Waubesa on January 30, 2016. 

  Photo by Ben Kollenbroich

Photo by Ben Kollenbroich

Some of the volunteers live nearby and will be able to see the results of their work on a frequent basis.  It was a beautiful and mild day. The seeds “melted” into the snow in mid-afternoon.

Forty-nine species of grasses and forbs were planted including nine species that were purchased.  The rest of the seed was collected at Goose Pond Sanctuary or by a scout troop at Don Schmidt and Carole Becker’s prairie restoration in the Town of Dunn. The prairie restoration includes wet-mesic and mesic prairie habitat. Monarchs will find an abundance of milkweeds and nectar plants.

  Photo by Ben Kollenbroich

Photo by Ben Kollenbroich

The Town of Dunn is also restoring wetland and savanna habitat at Dunn Heritage Park, including land along 300 feet of shoreline on Lake Waubesa. Twelve acres were previously cropped and the prairie restoration will help improve the water quality of the lake. A few years ago the Dunn Park Commission planted oaks, and some of those are now eight feet high!  There is also a kestrel box on the site, thanks to Schmidt.

Schmidt, Town of Dunn resident and Goose Pond Sanctuary volunteer, is helping the Town coordinate the restoration project. Mark Martin, co-manager at Goose Pond Sanctuary, helped secure seed and coordinate the planting. Ben Kollenbroich with the Town of Dunn recently sent MAS a note, stating: “Thanks again for your help with everything, Madison Audubon Society and Goose Pond Sanctuary has been a great asset to the Town and to this project.”