7:45-8:30 a.m. - Registration, Exhibits, Silent Auction, Concessions

8:30-10 a.m. - Concurrent Session I (select one):

“Birds of the Prairies” - Bettie Harriman, Director of the Wisconsin Breeding Bird Atlas

Bettie’s talk will cover some of the bird species that use prairies for breeding each summer in Wisconsin. She will discuss how to recognize them as well as their habitat requirements and conservation needs.

Bettie Harriman has served as the Project Director for the Wisconsin Breeding Bird Atlas from 1995 to the present. She has been President of the Wisconsin Society for Ornithology and currently serves as their Publicity Chair. She is the Vice-President of the American Birding Association, a member of the Oshkosh Bird Club since the 1970s and is currently the Environmental Chair.

“Practical Landscaping With Native Plants” - Jim Heinrich, co-owner, Oak Prairie Farm

We will look at several landscaping projects, small and large. We will consider restorations and new plantings, and will discuss common problems and solutions.

Jim Heinrich is co-owner of Oak Prairie Farm of Pardeeville, WI, a local source of nursery-propagated wild genotype seeds and plants for prairie, savanna, woodland, shoreline, and wetland. He has been involved in prairie restoration since 1973. He holds a Masters Degree in Wildlife Ecology. He was a wildlife biologist for the Federal government prior to beginning the nursery with his wife Lin and daughter Kate. He is a member of the US Fish and Wildlife Service Invasive Species working group and the WCIA Native Seed Standards Committee.

“Evaluating Your Land for Wetland Restoration” - Alice Thompson, Thompson & Associates Wetland Services

Wetland restoration techniques and how to evaluate your land for wetland restoration potential. The focus will be on uncovering the past impacts to your site in order to understand how to reverse these impacts and restore hydrology.

Alice Thompson, a wetland ecologist and owner of Thompson and Associates Wetland Services, consults on wetland issues and projects throughout the state. She has a Masters Degree from UW Milwaukee where she researched reed canary grass. She is a certified Professional Wetland Scientist with the Society of Wetland Scientists and is Chair of the Wisconsin Wetland Association. She is actively engaged in wetland delineation, restoration, mitigation and the control of invasive species. She is the principal author of the Wetland Restoration Handbook for Wisconsin Landowners, published by the DNR in 2000 and soon to be issued in a second edition.

10:00-10:30 a.m. - Break, Exhibits, Silent Auction, Concessions

10:30-10:35 a.m. - Welcome and Announcements

            Sharon Duerkop and Karen Syverson, Co-Presidents, Fox Valley Area Chapter of Wild Ones

10:35-11:30 a.m. - Keynote Address - Richard Henderson, Research Ecologist, WI DNR

Because early Native Americans played a role in the establishment of the prairies and svannas of the Upper Midwest, some people question efforts to restore and save these ecosystems. They take the position of “letting nature take its course.” This topic will be presented along with a discussion about what is natural and the role of human beings in nature.

Richard Henderson is an ecologist with the Wisconsin DNR Bureau of Integrated Science Services. His B.S. degree from UW Madison focused on Biological Aspects of Conservation. His M.S. thesis topic at UW Madison was “Effects of the Seasonal Timing of Fire on Prairie Vegetation.” He has 28 years of experience in natural area inventory, assessment, and management, especially in prairie, savanna, and oak woodland ecosystems. Research projects have included purple loosestrife ecology and control, prairie insect inventory and management, and effects of fire in oak woodlands. He is an active volunteer with the Wisconsin Chapter of The Nature Conservancy land stewardship program since 1975 and served on the Board for eight years. He has volunteered with The Prairie Enthusiasts land management program since 1992 and is currently President of that organization.

11:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m. - Lunch

            Buffet lunch on site, by reservation only

            Entertainment by folksinger and Wild Ones member Steve Hazell

12:30-1:00 p.m. - Exhibits, Conclusion of Silent Auction

1:00-2:30 p.m. - Concurrent Session II (select one):

“Woodland/Shade Gardening” - Dan Boehlke, naturalist

Dan Boehlke has many years of professional experience in propagating, growing, and selling native plants. He says that woodland species need some shade, a cool, somewhat moist, organic soil, and protection from strong winds. If you have a wooded, shaded, or somewhat wet, marshy area, you will want to come and learn how to select and grow the beautiful native plants that prefer these habitats.

“Wetlands, Wonderlands” - Carmen Wagner, Shoreland and Floodplain Zoning Specialist, WI DNR

Come and explore the magic and mystery of wetlands. Discover the important roles wetlands play and learn what role you can play in the protection and restoration of wetlands.

Carmen Wagner has B.S. degrees in soil science and biological conservation, and an M.S. in environmental planning, all from UW Madison. She worked for five years managing a native plant nursery and providing consulting for native restorations. The past four years she has worked at the DNR on shoreland and wetland development issues.

“Wisconsin’s Native Orchids: Their Ecology and Cultivation” - Scott Weber, owner, Bluestem Farm

Wisconsin has over 45 species of orchids which are found in a variety of habitats, from road ditches to virgin prairies and woodlands. This talk will cover the conservation, ecology, and cultivation of selected species.

Scott Weber became interested in propagating orchids while studying plant tissue culture in the mid 1980s. Since then he has traveled around Wisconsin, Minnesota, and points beyond photographing and studying orchids. Bluestem Farm near Baraboo, owned by Scott and his wife Martha, has nine species of wild orchids, some of which they have been able to grow from seed. As a member of the Orchid Growers Guild of Madison, Scott works with other members developing slide shows and educational exhibits on native orchids and serves as the awards photographer at their annual orchid show. He and his wife also help inventory the populations of the prairie white fringed orchid, our only Federally threatened orchid.

2:30-3:00 p.m. - Break, Exhibits

3:00-4:30 p.m. - Concurrent Session III (select one):

“Joys of a Totally Native Yard” – Patricia Armstrong, owner and ecologist, Prairie Sun Consultants.

Chuck and Pat Armstrong started out with a lot containing one native plant (a bur oak tree) and created a totally native yard featuring 300 species of prairie and woodland wildflowers, grasses, trees, and shrubs that has attracted 75 species of birds and hundreds of species of insects.

            Pat Armstrong has an M.S. degree in Ecology. She previously taught nature classes at the Morton Arboretum, plus botany, ecology, and geology at the UW Extension and Michigan State University’s Juneau Icefield Research Program in Alaska. Her knowledge and understanding of all things wild and free come from a lifelong personal and intimate relationship with nature that is passionate as well as scientific. She designed her home to fit into the natural ecosystems of northern Illinois. Her landscape design won high honors at the Eleventh North American Prairie Conference in 1988 and is featured in two books, Pamela Wolfe’s Midwest Gardens, and Sally Wasowski’s Gardening With Prairie Plants. Pat currently teaches field classes at the College of DuPage and operates a consulting firm, Prairie Sun Consultants.

“Native Woody Plants for Fox Valley Landscapes” - Darrell Kromm, owner, Reeseville Ridge Nursery

Trees, shrubs, vines, and groundcovers for various situations, as well as formal and wild border plantings, ornamental and wildlife preferences. Slides will show seasonal interest and some local natural sites.

Darrell has had a lifelong interest in eastern USA ecosystems with lots of hands-on exploration and study. He was formally educated in Horticulture at UW Madison with science background in botany, soils, and genetics. He is presently the owner of Reeseville Ridge Nursery, growing woody plants from most of the eastern US.

“Partners for Fish and Wildlife Program” - Gary Van Vreede, Biologist, U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service

The U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service Partners for Fish and Wildife Program offers technical and financial assistance to private landowners who voluntarily restore wetlands, grasslands, and other fish and wildlife habitat on their land. The Partners program emphasizes the re-establishment of native vegetation and habitat while working with private landowners to achieve their conservation goals.

Gary Van Vreede has been a Private Lands Biologist with the Service for the past twelve years. He is responsible for delivery of the Partners program to a 20-county region of northeast Wisconsin.

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Updated: Jun 12, 2005.