Aldo Leopold Nature Center - Black Earth Campus

View a PDF file of this report.


View a PDF file of this report.


Statement of Need: In order to continue restoration of native habitat at the Black Earth Campus, ALNC needed funding to purchase equipment to facilitate removal of invasive species from our property.

Project Goals or Objectives: The objective of the UFO’s (Unwanted Flowering Objects) in the Forest project was to continue restoration of the Black Earth’s Campus’ 38 acre property and improve the quality of habitat of this publically accessible site so that its many visitors can enjoy and learn from the diverse ecosystems and animal life that inhabit the area.

Work Accomplished: Throughout the spring and summer, student, mostly middleschoolers from the Madison, Monona and Mt. Horeb/Dodgeville and WI Heights School Districts volunteered through service learning projects to work on restoration efforts of the local ecosystems, including oak savannah, woodlands and prairie. In addition, a new section of the North trails was established to further provide accessibility to the entire property.

Outcome and Impact Highlight: The outcome was excellent. Thanks, in part, to the Dane County Environmental Council’s grant, ALNC was able to purchase need equipment, including: tarps, laminating pouches, as well as print maps of the property that were used by students to help with invasive species removal, including garlic mustard, teasel, thistle, Queen Anne’s lace, reed canary grass, and mullein so that native species can thrive.

In 2013, to date, more than 800 visitors used this rural campus. Thanks to DCEC’s support, we were able to engage, educate and empower students to join us in our efforts to eradicate invasive species on the property.

The restoration efforts successfully impacted the environment—opening up the oak savanna for the better propagation of native species which subsequently improved the habitats of many species of animals including bear, deer, fox, skunks, raccoons, possum, muskrats, ground hogs and birds of all kinds.

Kelley Van Egeren
Aldo Leopold Nature Center
kelley@naturenet.com
608-216-9373
300 Femrite Drive
Monona, WI 53716

View a PDF file of this report.


The Aldo Leopold Nature Center (ALNC) would like to thank the Dane County Environmental Council’s Community Partners Program for the generous gift of $366 in support of the UFO’s (Unwanted Flowering Objects) in the Forest: An Invasive Species Education & Restoration Program at ALNC’s Black Earth Campus.

As you know, the goal of the program was to provide invasive species education for children in South Central Wisconsin through service learning projects at ALNC’s Black Earth Campus.

Two years ago, thanks to support from the Dane County Environmental Council, a professional surveyor identified "hot spots" for invasive species at the Black Earth Campus. Since then, students participating in the UFO programs have updated the maps, and with this knowledge in 2010, the UFO educational programs targeted these new "hot spots" for non-native plant species at our Black Earth Campus.

To recruit schools to participate in the 2010 UFO program, 1,000 invitation letters and program brochures were sent to teachers and District Administrators in Dane, Columbia, Green, Iowa, Richland, Rock and Sauk County. We are proud to report that 86 students participated in the program.

One particularly successful UFO program was on Saturday, May 8, 2010, when 7th grade students from a Social Justice class at the First Unitarian Society learned how invasive species threaten the ecological health of forests and had hands-on opportunities to identify and remove non-native plants. Under the guidance of ALNC staff, the students successfully removed Garlic Mustard, Dame’s Rocket, buckthorn and Japanese Hedge Parsley. They also participated in prickly ash lopping, and tug-a-suckle shrub removal.

Thanks to your support of the UFO program, ALNC successfully taught students how invasive species threaten the ecological health of forests and gave them the tools they need to help the destructive spread of non-native plant species for a healthier future for our state.

Kelley Van Egeren
Aldo Leopold Nature Center
Director of Development/Communications
300 Femrite Drive
Monona, WI 53716

View a PDF file of this report.


Awarded $500 for environmental education to engage approximately students in south-central Wisconsin to remove invasive species from targeted areas at the Aldo Leopold Nature Center’s (ALNC) Black Earth campus.

In 2009, ALNC continued to target invasive "hot spots" identified at our Black Earth campus. The hot spots were located by a professional surveyor in 2008 and ALNC updated our maps according to this data.

On April 18, 2009 ALNC held a public event, the "Flustered Mustard Festival and UFO Pulling Party." A total of 28 people attended the program and successfully pulled 27 pounds of garlic mustard, in addition to buckthorn and autumn olive. Prizes were awarded to teams of participants in five categories.

Wisconsin Heights Middle School 7th grade students and St. Maria Goretti School 5th grade students performed service projects at the Black Earth campus that included wood chipping, removing woody invasives, such as buckthorn, autumn olive and honeysuckle, as well as herbaceous invasives, such as Japanese Hedge Parsley, Garlic Mustard and Dame's Rocket. In addition to school groups, multiple Boy Scout groups from Glacier's Edge Council performed service projects to remove invasives from the valley and trails area at Black Earth campus.

Adult and family volunteers, from throughout Dane County, participated in a Pulling Party on May 22nd to restore 2.5 acres of oak savanna. Participants spent two days removing buckthorn and other invasives, while leaving native trees, such as oak and hickory. To date, they cleared and maintained nearly one acre of the 2.5 acre restoration area.

Thank you for your support of UFO’s (Unwanted Flowering Objects) in the Forest: An Invasive Species Removal Project at the Aldo Leopold Nature Center’s Black Earth Campus.

Kelley Van Egeren
Aldo Leopold Nature Center
Director of Development/Communications
300 Femrite Drive
Monona, WI 53716

View a PDF file of this report.

Visit Aldo Leopold Nature Center website at www.naturenet.com/alnc/