Fourteen volunteers (including representatives from Ozaukee County Land and Water Management, Ozaukee Treasures Network, Pheasants Forever, Clay Ridge Hunt Club, and Eco-Resource Consulting) planted over 1700 native wetland and aquatic plants on the B. Bruce Krier Conservancy on Saturday, August 15th. This was the third annual volunteer work day, bringing the total native wetland plants installed to nearly 6000 since the first event in 2013. Native aquatic species such as arrowhead, bulrush, pickerelweed, and bur-reed were planted in the water along with several native sedges and wetland grasses which were planted on the shorelines.
This 28-acre floodplain restoration in Belgium Township along both sides of Suckerbrook Creek commenced in 2011 with survey work, planning, and permitting. Over 300,000 cubic yards of colluvium (mineral soil transported from farmland into wetlands during decades of heavy rain events) was excavated from the wetland and land-spread onto adjacent upland cropland. These associated uplands were removed from agricultural use and restored into prairie along with extensive native re-seeding, plant installation, and invasive species management in the wetland. The wetland also hosts three scrapes which are heavily utilized by numerous species of wildlife.
The wetland restoration was the dream of Bruce Krier, who lost his battle with cancer late in 2013. Krier’s family owned this land and utilized it over two generations for vegetable production. Cropping took a heavy toll on the soils and in the early 1990’s Krier began to retire lands from intensive cropping practices and converting them to grasslands. Today, nearly 300 acres of native prairie grasslands have been restored and are managed primarily with the use of prescribed fire.
Since Bruce’s passing, Bruce’s nephew John Rassel is in the process of forming a non-profit organization that will preserve the land, continue with management and restoration efforts, and avail the land for botanical and wildlife research and youth conservation education.
Eco-Resource Consulting, an ecological restoration and consulting firm in Stoughton, Wisconsin oversees restoration and ecological monitoring activities. Future plans include a trail network with interpretive signage, bridges over Suckerbrook Creek, and several infrastructure improvements such as a nature center and pavilion.
Our next conference will be September 17th, Thursday, at 5:30PM at Forest Beach Migratory Preserve.
We will do a go-around of introductions and shameless plugs and then spend the rest of the evening just connecting and sharing ideas.
Special: at the beginning we will have a short award/recognition presentation to Michael Frome to honor a lifetime of environmental action. Michael will be invited to share maybe 5 minutes of inspiration with us.
What you need to do:
As always, bring your ideas and requests for input from others
If you know someone who should be part of this group, bring them along!
Bring a beverage and perhaps a side dish to share.
We will provide sandwiches, plates etc. and some basic beverages.
Here is some information on Michael Frome mostly taken from a nomination for another lifetime achievement award. This conference is an opportunity to meet this environmental hero:
MICHAEL FROME - OUR "CLIFF NOTES" FOR YOU
Dr. Frome is an extraordinarily outstanding, and courageously bold Wisconsin resident who has dedicated his career to true conservation land protection. He continues to do so today as he approaches the completion of his ninety-fifth journey around the sun and the release of his 34th book. Another book is slated to be completed this fall.
Few if any can match Dr. Michael Frome’s longevity in, impact on, and respect within the conservation writing field. Dr. Frome’s historic career in journalism began over 80 years ago on his Clinton High School’s news staff. Dr. Frome gravitated toward pushing journalism limits early. He was a air navigator in the U.S. Army and was the first western reporter to penetrate the iron curtain around Poland. He began his outdoor writing career in 1945 as a newspaper reporter with The Washington Post and then as a writer for Field and Stream magazine, writing from his vast experiences exploring in our nation's wilderness areas and advocating for their protection.
Dr. Michael Frome impacted legislation and guided attitudes towards conservation while steering the concept away from excessive consumerism. He believed that by meeting recreational needs alone this country can not fulfill its obligations toward its natural resources. In 1970, Dr. Frome helped defeat a bill which would have given timber cutting priority over recreational and other uses in national forests. Dr. Frome’s tenacity on that continued before a distinguished audience at the 75th National Park Service birthday where he warned the audience that national parks commercialization will turn the parks into “popcorn playgrounds.”
HIs relentless articles both exposing the dangers to our wild lands and lauding their significance gained national attention. Former Senator Gaylord Nelson of Wisconsin declared in Congress: "No writer in America has more persistently and effectively argued for the need of national ethics of environmental stewardship than Michael Frome.
Author of 33 published books and seventy years worth of published articles, writing to advocate for the protection of lands is what he does, every day, using every technology he can find to allow him to continue despite being nearly blind and rapidly losing his mobility.
Dr. Michael Frome has led a distinguished teaching career guiding young minds in conservation journalism and environmental ethics at the University of Vermont, the Pinchot Institute for Conservation Studies, the University of Idaho, the Sigurd Olson Environmental Institute, and at Western Washington University. At Western Washington University he pioneered a program in Environmental Journalism. The University of Idaho established the Michael Frome Scholarship for Excellence in Conservation Writing. Dr. Frome not only fights for conservation as a writer but he fights for conservation in the classroom and seeks to educate the next generations as to conservation’s importance and the need to act.
Wisconsin seems to draw significant heroes of the environment to call this state home, men like John Muir, Increase Lapham and Aldo Leopold. This hero, Michael Frome chose Wisconsin as his home after his retirement from the University in Washington in 1995. Wisconsin has been his base of operations for his writing, his life’s work and legacy. His prolific work on his books is interspersed with timely letters to the editor of the local paper in Port Washington to educate and opine on local environmental issues and his popular bi- weekly blog. His influence in Wisconsin and Ozaukee County continues, even as his ability to get around decreases.
Michael is a soft-spoken man with a powerful message. On occasion he still addresses audiences on the importance of preserving our natural places. When Dr. Frome speaks on the environment, his soft spoken voice becomes a very, very powerful one. He imparts passion and care along with information and advocacy.
The Ozaukee-Washington Land Trust has established an annual award in his honor, The Michael Frome Outreach Award for demonstrating excellence in educating or sharing information related to land preservation and the environment.
We would like to take this opportunity to honor this extraordinary man, while he is still with us and advocating for land preservation on a daily basis.
OTN/Treasures of Oz and OTN partner, GrassWorks have much to celebrate!
Wisconsin Rural Partners - Press Release April 6, 2-15
Five exemplary projects selected for Wisconsin Top Rural Development Initiative honors
HOLLANDALE - Wisconsin Rural Partners, Inc., a statewide non-profit corporation, will award the Top Rural Development Initiatives for 2015 at a ceremony at the Heidel House Resort and Spa in Green Lake Wisconsin on Thursday, April 23 at 1:30 PM. The awards will be presented by Wisconsin Rural Partners president Don Sidlowski and awards committee chairperson Coreen Fallat.
"Rural Partners received 29 nominations this year for these prestigious awards, and the competition was astounding," said Rural Partners Executive Director Rick Rolfsmeyer. "The five initiatives selected by the judges are truly the cream of the crop, exemplifying the best of all the great things rural Wisconsin has to offer."
The five efforts receiving Top Rural Development Initiative awards are:
Treasures of Oz and the Ozaukee County Treasures Network - These two organizations work in harmony to increase the capacity of member organizations in Ozaukee County to provide educational opportunities with an environmental focus. Treasures of Oz has over 100 active volunteers; the Ozaukee Treasures Network represents over 75 organizations, including federal, state, county and local agencies. Several educational workshops and events are conducted annually, including the Eco-Tour, which logs over 1,200 site visits annually to the well-known one-day event.
GrassWorks Dairy Grazing Apprenticeship Program – The Dairy Grazing Apprenticeship is the first accredited Apprenticeship for farming in the nation. The program is dedicated to providing a guided pathway to independent dairy farm ownership, developing grazing careers, and strengthening the economic and environmental well-being of rural communities and the dairy industry. The Dairy Grazing Apprenticeship spun-off from the organization GrassWorks to become an independent nonprofit organization.
The other 3 are:
Baraboo Big Top Parade and Circus Celebration
Wisconsin Rural Collaborative for Rural Graduate Medical Education
Wormfarm Institute and Fermentation Fest
Wisconsin Rural Partners is a statewide non-profit organization that develops rural networks and leaders, and provides a voice for rural Wisconsin. WRP is the federally-recognized State Rural Development Council for Wisconsin.
This is the fifteenth year that Wisconsin Rural Partners has recognized Wisconsin's Top Rural Development Initiatives. The program is designed to identify, highlight, and share innovative models, practices and programs that have a positive impact on rural Wisconsin communities. Wisconsin Rural Partners created the program to provide a mechanism for rural communities to learn from each other.
For more information on the Wisconsin Rural Summit visit http://wirural.org/summit2015.