Aldo Leopold Nature Center - Monona Campus

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View a PDF file of this report.


Statement of Need: In order to continue restoration of native habitat at the Monona Campus, ALNC needed funding to purchase equipment to work on shoreline restoration of the pond.

Project Goals or Objectives: The objective of the Phase IV Restoration of Native Habitat at the Monona Campus project was to focus on shoreline restoration of the pond to improve the quality of habitat of this publically accessible site so that its many visitors could enjoy and learn from the diverse ecosystems and animal life that inhabit the area. Our ultimate objective was to nurture a healthy environment and healthy children. The environment benefited from proper land management, with native flora and fauna thriving as a result of our restoration efforts. Children benefited by connecting with nature in a safe and convenient location. As noted in the application, research has shown that children who spend time learning about and enjoying native environments become: enthusiastic lifelong learners–engaging, hands‐on lessons inspire toddlers’ natural curiosity and motivates them to learn and explore throughout their lives; compassionate community members–discovering nature fosters an understanding of the interconnectedness of all living things leading to increased respect for themselves and fellow human beings; healthier citizens–enjoying and appreciating outdoor activities leads to a strong lifelong desire to get into nature‐‐ gaining improved mental and physical health; confident leaders–participating in ALNC’s environmental programs emphasize cooperative learning and critical thinking, increasing students’ self‐esteem and self‐reliance; and, future stewards of the land–developing a true connection to nature teaches children the importance of protecting natural resources for the good of the community and future generations.

Work Accomplished: Throughout the summer and fall, adult and student volunteers continued restoration efforts of the pond shoreline and worked to improve habitat of the pond by first taking a pond analysis and subsequently by adding logs for turtles and shorebirds to sit on. In addition, a new dock was constructed and installed by local Boy Scouts for their Eagle project.

Outcome and Impact Highlight: The outcome was excellent. Thanks, in part, to the Dane County Environmental Council’s grant, ALNC was able to purchase needed equipment, including: five pairs of waders (for volunteers to help with pond analysis, shoreline restoration and dock installation); two tree spades for planting trees; 20 D‐Frame, 30 Circular, 40 Handle‐Circular/D Frame and 10 plankton Aquatic Dip nets for hands‐on discovery.

Quantitative Outcome: Because the Monona Campus is an urban nature center, the property is well used by students as well as the general public. ALNC saw an increase of visitors from 44,659 in 2013 to more than 46,000 so far this year. Thanks to DCEC’s support, we were able to engage, educate and empower community volunteers to join us in our efforts to improve the pond’s shoreline.

Qualitative Outcome: We were able to accomplish quite a bit of shoreline restoration, including the reestablishment of native plants and shrubs along the banks (including the island) to improve erosion control and reduce geese populations, removal of invasive species, the addition of floating docks to further reduce shoreline erosion by human visitors and the addition of a new floating bridge to the island that expanded the trail system, enabling visitors to access new areas of the island, including the Tamarac pine plantation.

Furthermore, native species such as our resident shore birds—Green Herons, Great Blue Herons, Sandhill Cranes, etc.—as well as aquatic critters of all types, and our animal populations of deer, fox, skunks, raccoons, possum, muskrats, ground hogs and birds of all kinds, benefited.

Thank you, Dane County Environmental Council, for your support!

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.


  • Aldo Leopold Volunteers
  • Aldo Leopold Volunteers
  • Aldo Leopold Volunteers
  • Aldo Leopold Volunteers

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

Project Goals or Objectives: The objective of the Phase III Restoration of Native Habitat at the Monona Campus project was to continue restoration of the Monona Campus’ 21 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, adult and student volunteers continued restoration efforts of local ecosystems, including the wetland, island and prairie. In addition, two raised (about three ft. high) beds of native plants were installed to provide physically challenged visitors with close range access to native plant species and trails were improved.

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: a trailer, loopers and fire swatter to help with invasive species removal such as garlic mustard, teasel, thistle, Queen Anne’s lace, reed canary grass, and mullein so that native species can thrive. In addition, ALNC can use the trailer and equipment for future use in controlling invasives.

Because the Monona Campus is an urban nature center, the property is well used by students as well as the general public. ALNC saw an increase of visitors from 41,935 in 2013 to more than 43,000 so far this year. Thanks to DCEC’s support, we were able to engage, educate and empower community volunteers to join us in our efforts to eradicate invasive species on the property.

The restoration efforts successfully impacted the environment—opening up native prairie for the better propagation of native species which subsequently improved the habitats of many species of animals including our resident Sandhill cranes, 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.


Project Title: Phase II ‐ Restoration of Native Habitat at the Monona Campus

Contact: Kelley Van Egeren

Contact Information: phone: 608‐216‐9373 email: Kelley@naturenet.com

Statement of Need: In order to continue restoration of native habitat at the Monona Campus, ALNC needed funding to purchase equipment for conducting prairie burns and for removing invasive species from the island.

Project Goals or Objectives: The objective of the Phase II Restoration of Native Habitat at the Monona Campus project was to continue restoration of the Monona Campus’ 21 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, adult and student volunteers continued restoration efforts of local ecosystems, including the wetland, island and prairie. In addition, an educational garden of donated native plants was completed. This garden, easily accessible, will help visitors learn to identify native plant species.

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: gloves, safety glasses, fire pump, drip torches and two‐way radios to use to control invasive species, including garlic mustard, teasel, thistle, Queen Anne’s lace, reed canary grass, and mullein so that native species can thrive. In addition, ALNC can use the controlled burn equipment for future burns and to train new Land Stewards in burning techniques.

Because the Monona Campus is an urban nature center, the property is well used by students as well as the general public. ALNC saw an increase of visitors from 41,935 in 2011 to more than 43,000 so far this year. Thanks to DCEC’s support, we were able to engage, educate and empower community volunteers to join us in our efforts to eradicate invasive species on the property.

The restoration efforts successfully impacted the environment—opening up native prairie for the better propagation of native species which subsequently improved the habitats of many species of animals including our resident Sandhill cranes who successfully raised and fledged two chicks this year. In addition, deer fox, skunks, raccoons, possum, muskrats, ground hogs and birds of all kinds thrived at the Monona Campus, enthralling visitors of all ages.

Thank you, Dane County Environmental Council, for your support!

View a PDF file of this report.