Field trips

These trips are your chance to view and enjoy the natural resources we work to protect, manage, and restore. Registration for field trips is included in the conference fee. Field trip sign up will occur when you arrive and check in for the conference, and field trips will fill on a first-come, first served basis. **Please note that the field trips will go in almost any weather (with the exception of hazardous conditions). We’ve encountered a wide range of conditions on our February field trips, so please consider this as you decide between indoor and outdoor options, and be prepared to dress warmly if you do register for a field trip.

Mukwonago River Wetland Restoration: An In-Lieu Fee Mitigation

Mukwonago River Wetland Restoration

Photo courtesy Waukesha County Land Conservancy

Sponsored by Midwest Natural Resources

Thursday, February 22, 2018, from 1:30 to 4:30 pm

Field trip leaders: Cheryl White and Meghan Wersel, Waukesha County Land Conservancy; Peter Ziegler, WI Waterfowl Association; Sally Jarosz, WDNR; Eric Mark and Sarah Gatzke, The Nature Conservancy

We will begin with a discussion in the conference center about how the Mukwonago River Wetland Restoration project came about for the Waukesha County Land Conservancy, a discussion about team compilation, lessons learned from all partners involved, and the history of the Mukwonago River wetland restoration site.  The team will discuss what made this project attractive, what went into applying for ILF funding, specifics of land protection, and what information was needed to apply for grant funding.  We will also discuss what the ILF process involves, how projects are funded, and what sort of projects the ILF program looks for in a restoration project.  We’ll then head out to the Mukwonago River wetland restoration site to discuss what the restoration specifics will entail before construction occurs in 2018.  In the field, we’ll discuss starting conditions, restoration decisions, and what makes this site restorable.

This field trip will spend time both indoors and outdoors.

Wetlands in Winter: Scuppernong River Habitat Area

Photo by Chelsea Johnson

Sponsored by TRC Environmental Corporation

Thursday, February 22, 2018, from 1:30 to 4:30 pm

Field Trip Leaders: Pat Trochlell, retired WDNR, and Don Reed, retired SEWRPC

Explore the wonder of wetlands in winter. Join field trip leaders Don Reed and Pat Trochlell as we explore local wetlands of the Scuppernong River Habitat Area in winter. The site is home to the largest native low prairie remaining east of the Mississippi River and is a designated Wetland Gem®. At 3,500 acres, it supports large areas of several rare native plant communities, such as wet to wet mesic prairies, sedge meadows, and fens. In addition, the area supports more than 60 plants, animals, and insects that are state-threatened, state-endangered, or “of special concern.”

Participants are encouraged to bring their cameras, as this site will offer excellent opportunities to capture the beauty of wetlands in winter!

This is an outdoor field trip.

Hackmatack National Wildlife Refuge

Photo courtesy US Fish and Wildlife Service

Sponsored by Hey & Associates, Inc.

Thursday, February 22, 2018, from 1:30 to 4:30 pm

Field Trip Leaders: Vince Mosca, Hey and Associates, Inc.; Steve Byers and Ed Collins, Illinois Nature Preserves Commission (INPC)

This field trip will be a 2018 update visit to Hackmatack National Wildlife Refuge (HNWR) holdings near Lake Geneva (similar lands were visited during the WWA conference in winter 2012). Since then, Hackmatack has become the 561st NWR in the summer of 2012. The Friends of HNWR will provide updated information about the progress of land acquisition and momentum for future purchases. Topics to be covered include the restoration efforts that have taken place so far, volunteer and educational programs, and the economic and environmental role that a National Wildlife Refuge will have in the bi-state area. This refuge sits on natural land full of the remnants of glacial activity containing many gravel kames and kettles and is supported by restored prairies, oak savannas, streams, and wetlands. The main habitat goal of the HNWR is grassland bird habitat through open space protection and restoration.

This is an outdoor field trip.