Friends Projects in the Preserve
Projects are funded by Friends and carried out with Friends volunteer labor in coordination with Preserve staff.
Fundraiser for Eagle
Marsh Audio Trail
Biocore Prairie Bird
Heritage Oak Project
Bill's Wood Restoration
Big Oak Project
Savanna Edge Project
Friends Summer Interns
The Friends have supported summer interns in the Preserve since 2007. The Friends provide funds to support five Interns for twelve weeks during the summer, 1.5 days per week, to do restoration fieldwork in the Lakeshore Nature Preserve. On their days at the Lakeshore Nature Preserve, Preserve staff supervises the Interns and their activities. They are introduced to evolving ecological topics, land management considerations, and restoration tools. The Friends offer an active education program for the Interns. Experts from the campus community join the crew for an hour to discuss environmental topics ranging from bird banding to Native American mound building cultures to geology and forest ecology.
Participating Prairie Partners groups are: Friends of Pheasant Branch, Madison Audubon Society, Natural Heritage Land Trust, and Friends of the Lakeshore Nature Preserve. Prairie Partners funds are administered by the Madison Audubon Society.
Much of the iInterns work involves control of invasive plant species. In 2013 they assisted Preserve staff install two formal native gardens – one around the newly installed kiosk at the Frautschi Point parking lot, and a second rain garden near the entrance to Picnic Point. They also prepped and overseeded a savanna mix at Willow Creek Woods in the footprint of the former Trachte sheds and driveway.The Interns also enjoyed a tour of Lake Mendota aboard the Limnos, the Department of Limnology’s research vessel, with emeritus professor of Limnology, John Magnuson, as guide.
For inquiries and application deadlines, contact the Friends
Engineering Capstone Project -2016
Fundraiser for Eagle Heights Woods 5-year Rejuvenation Project - 2015
The Friends are immensely pleased to provide the essential financial investment to rejuvenate Eagle Heights Woods over a period of 5 years beginning in 2014. We are fortunate to have loyal and generous members and supporters of the Preserve, who contributed over $140,000 to make possible this essential project.
In fall 2014, the co-chairs of the Friends Fundraising Committee, Sue Denholm, Peter Fisher and Gisela Kutzbach, developed a strategic plan and coordinated efforts with Preserve staff and the UW Foundation. Throughout spring of 2015, a Friends team of communicators, graphic designers, networkers, visionaries and organizers worked enthusiastically and successfully toward the goal. The total amount was raised by fall 2015. Thank you all for this amazing effort.
Your support of the Eagle Heights Woods project will bring positive, lasting results:
Spring Planting Festival
About 1500 wildflowers and grasses were planted in May 2015 and 2016 in a large triangle bordered by Frautschi Point path at Sedge Point and the path coming down to the Lake from Frautschi Point Parking Lot. This project continues the spring planting tradition that began with the Harriet riley Planting project in 2013. More than 20 volunteers and Preserve staff participated. Friends provided the funding for purchasing plants and for greenhouse use, where Glenda Denniston raised several trays of woodland flowers from seeds. See a photos of the event under 2015 and 2016 People & Events. Complete lists of plants is provided for 2015 and for 2016.
Class of 1918 Marsh Audio Field Trip Project
Biocore Prairie Bird Observatory
The Biocore Prairie Bird Observatory is an all-volunteer operation that monitors bird populations in the Preserve, above Picnic Point. We welcome volunteers of all skill levels, and will teach volunteers how to band birds. Banding offers a wonderful opportunity for people to see birds up close, learn about their migration and nesting patterns, and understand how natural areas enhance their biological success. The Observatory provides opportunities for students to do research projects in the summer, and for individuals to use as a research resource.
Objectives of the Project:
1. To follow changes in the bird species composition with changes in prairie restoration.
2. To provide a research and teaching resource for natural history studies utilizing live animals.
3. To collaborate with Dr. Janet Huie, Carthage College, on collection of ticks associated with Lyme Disease.
Volunteers usually band birds at least one morning each weekend, weather permitting (above 50 degrees, no precipitation), from late March-April through early November. Mara McDonald, an ornithologist and master bander, supervises and trains volunteers, including UW students, staff, retirees, and members of the Madison community. Each bird is caught in a mist net, carefully removed, measured (weight, age, sex, and a variety of other measurements), banded and released.
Past and present volunteers include Pat Becker, Richard Clark, Katie Fitzmeier, Rachel Hart, Kendra Johnson, Anjan Kaushik, Anne Lacy, Roma Lenehan, Jeff Lorch, Holly McEntee, Sarah Pabian, Gaylord Plummer, Nolan Pope, Wilma Ross, Dietrich Schaaf, Jerry Simmons, and many others.
Between 2001 and 2006, more than 1394 birds of 70+ species were netted. The most commonly banded species were Song Sparrow (184; 15.2 % recapture rate), White-throated Sparrow (158; 7.6%), Gray Catbird (117; 12.8%), American Goldfinch (109; 3.7%) and Chipping Sparrows (63; 1.6%). Fourteen species of warblers, including Connecticut and Mourning, and 11 species of Sparrows, including Lincoln’s (20), White-crowned (4) and Fox (4) were banded.
After McDonald's death in July 2016, the Bird Observatory has been closed temporarily.
Harriet Riley Planting Project at Frautschi Point Trail
Almost 2000 woodland perennials were planted along the path from the entrance to the Preserve at Frautschi Point to the Big Oak. The planting took place on two Sundays, in May 2013 and May 2014. At each events almost 20 volunteers gathered to enjoy the planting and and the marry gatherings after the work was done.
Longtime Madison resident and Friends member, Harriet Riley passed away August 16, 2012. Harriet loved long walks through the Preserve and was a dedicated volunteer towards improving the diversity of native plants throughout the Preserve. Harriet was one of the area's pioneer garlic mustard pullers. She was our membership chair for many years. At her family's request, donations in her memory have been directed to the Friends of the Lakeshore Preserve. The wish of Harriet’s son and daughter was that donated funds - about $2500 - be used to purchase and plant native flowering plants where Harriet and her family walked and where Harriet and her friend, Glenda Denniston planted native flowers over the years.
This Friends project augments the Preserve's plan for the Frautschi Point entrance by improving the diversity of native flowering, woodland plants along various walking paths that extend into the Frautschi Point area, as well as in Tent Colony Woods, and Bill’s Woods. A complete plant list is provided here.
Bill's Woods Restoration Project – 2001 – present
Frautschi Point and Big Oak Project
Savanna Edge Project