- All field trips require advance registration no later than Friday, July 17th, 2008, using the meeting registration form. Each has a pre-established minimum and maximum enrollment. Any trip or tour for which minimum enrollment is not met by Friday, July 17th will be cancelled and registrants will be notified. Updates on filled or cancelled activities also will be posted on the annual meeting page of the ESA website under annual meeting alerts. (See www.esa.org/milwaukee)
- Should your plans change, ESA will allow cancellation of your field trip registration if done in accordance with the cancellation policy. This policy stipulates that cancellation notice must be submitted in writing to ESA headquarters postmarked or faxed by Tuesday, July 1st, 2008. After that date, ESA will NOT resell or “broker” trip spaces, however, you are not prohibited from reselling your own space and may do so by posting an advertisement on the Message Board onsite.
- All field trips depart from and return to the Midwest Airlines Convention Center at the West Wells Street entrance, except FT 10, which departs from Discovery World at Pier Wisconsin, 500 North Harbor Dr., Milwaukee.
- Please carefully note field trip departure times. ESA is unable arrange for anyone who misses a departure to join a trip en route AND we will not refund fees for late arrivals. We suggest you arrive in Milwaukee by the evening prior to your trip if the departure is early in the morning and we ask that all participants to be at the Midwest Airlines Convention Center 30 minutes prior to scheduled departure to allow sufficient time to identify and check in with the trip leader.
- Trip and tour return times are approximate and may vary based on such factors as traffic and weather conditions. Please be advised that participants in several trips may not return in time to attend the Opening Plenary Session on Sunday, August 3rd.
- Participation in field trips may involve exposure to obvious and not so obvious hazards. In recognition of the risks, each participant MUST sign an Accident Waiver and Release of Liability Form to acknowledge awareness of these risks and his or her physical ability to participate prior to departure on a trip or tour. A separate form must be completed for each trip or tour in which you participate. The waiver form is posted on the ESA website and may be printed and completed in advance; blank forms will available onsite as well.
- Field trip participants are urged to carefully read the “Equipment and Attire” section of each description and to prepare accordingly. For additional information, please contact the Organizer(s).
- Field trip registration is open to all registered meeting attendees and their registered adult guests or family members. However, please do not bring infants or toddlers on field trips. Some trips may be appropriate for older children or teens, but we recommend that you read the trip description before registering youngsters to participate. In addition, while all tours are open to all registered guests, these may not be appropriate for younger participants.
- Many field trips and workshops occur concurrently, either on the same days or during overlapping time slots. Please be sure NOT to register for more than one activity in any given time slot.
- Note that this trip will NOT depart from Convention Center but from The Discovery World, which is located at Pier Wisconsin at 500 North Harbor Drive in downtown Milwaukee, Wisconsin. We are on Lake Michigan, just south of the Art Museum, just north of the Hohn Bridge. Here is detailed information: www.discoveryworld.org/visitorInfo.php#location (www.discoveryworld.org) The boat LEAVES at 5:30 pm be at Pier Wisconsin by 5:00 pm.
Please read these important notes BEFORE reading individual descriptions of Field Trips
FIELD TRIP DESCRIPTIONS
FT 1: Door County Coastal State Natural Areas
Departs: Friday, August 1 at 7 am; Returns Saturday, August 2 at 9 pm
Fee includes: Transportation, breakfast snack, and box lunch = $222
Organizer: Joseph Henry, Wisconsin DNR
Baileys Harbor Township, in Door County, contains the highest known species diversity in the State of Wisconsin. This two-day trip will explore the “ecological gems” of the area focusing on the prominent land features, plant communities and associated wildlife habitat. .The trip will begin at The Ridges Sanctuary, a National Natural Landmark. The Ridges protects the highest quality Great Lakes Ridge and Swale community in the state and is home to over 25 species of orchids and boreal forest relicts. We will also visit Moonlight Bay Bedrock Beach, which contains high-quality shoreline communities, intact boreal forest, and significant populations of the federally threatened dwarf lake iris..
Day two will take us to North Bay State Natural Area, which protects one of the largest undeveloped stretches of Lake Michigan shoreline in Door County. This site contains large examples of northern sedge meadow, northern wet-mesic forest and expansive marl flats. The waters and wetlands around North Bay support the third largest breeding population of the federally endangered Hines emerald dragonfly and nearly 95% of the Lake Michigan white fish population spawns in this area. We will conclude the trip with a visit to Meridian Park State Natural Area. Meridian Park protects a portion of the Niagara Escarpment which supports one of the most diverse communities of rare land snails in the Midwest. High quality northern mesic forest is found growing along a mile-long, 60 foot high sand dune that traverses the property and bounds the southern end of Kangaroo Lake, an embayment lake cutoff from Lake Michigan during the post glacial land rebound of the last ice age.
This trip will happen rain or shine and will occur on mostly flat ground. Conditions at times become wet and hummocky so prepare accordingly. Participants should bring binoculars, field guides, wettable footwear and insect repellent.
FT 2: Horicon Marsh: A Wetland of International Importance
Departs: Saturday, August 2 at 8:00 am; Returns Saturday, August 2 at 4 pm
Fee includes: Transportation, breakfast snack, and box lunch = $50
Organizers: Bill Volkert, Wildlife Educator/naturalist for DNR at Horicon Marsh
Horicon Marsh is today recognized as a globally important resource, yet this wetland has experienced numerous human alterations and impacts over the past 150 years, including ditching and draining in a effort to convert this for agricultural purposes. As a restored wetland, Horicon Marsh supports a vast array of wildlife, with 296 species of birds having been recorded here. The greatest threat to this marsh is from non-point runoff and high sediment and nutrient inputs that lead to a chain reaction of events that impact the flora and fauna of the marsh in different ways. This field trip will cover the history of the marsh, its current wildlife management objectives and applied programs and examine the impacts from various land uses in the watershed that threaten this marsh. The story of Horicon Marsh is not only unique to this wetland, but reflects a changing human relationship with wetlands around the world and common threats to many protected wetlands today.
FT 3: Renak-Polak Old Growth Maple-Beech Woods and Chiwaukee
Departs: Saturday, August 2 at 9 am; Returns Saturday, August 2 at 5 pm
Fee includes: Transportation, breakfast snack, and box lunch = $47
Organizers: Joy Wolf, Univ. of Wisconsin, Kenosha, WI; Marty Johnson, Wisconsin DNR; Heather Patti, Cedarburg Science; Kay McClelland
Renak-Polak Maple-Beech Forest is a mature, undisturbed, sugar maple/beech forest remnant. Within its 56 acres, its landscape is rich with diverse native spring ephemerals including Geranium, Hepatica, Jack in the Pulpit, Phlox, spring beauty, toothwort, Nodding Trillium, trout lily, and wild ginger. Pre-settlement hardwood forests in southern Wisconsin were patchy in a mostly prairie landscape which burned regularly. Root River on the west and Lake Michigan on the east may have protected this plant community from fire. The dominant natural disturbance is wind, creating tree falls and interesting pit and mound topography. Today this type of woods is rare because of farming and continuing development.
We will walk a short distance through a second growth forest section to the old-growth maple-beech forest interior. Other trees found here are basswood, bitternut and shagbark hickory, and red and white oak. Late summer plants may include Michigan lily, several asters, goldenrods including the state-endangered blue-stemmed goldenrod, and woodland grasses. By the late 1980s, garlic mustard, an aggressive exotic, had begun to invade this site and work parties were held to eradicate the plants. University of Wisconsin - Parkside biographer, Joy Wolf, her students, and community members have been involved in an ecological study that focuses on the impact of garlic mustard on native diversity, and an eradication program for over three years. This on-going project will be discussed and you will learn about stewardship and management practices at both of these important sites.
Chiwaukee Prairie is Wisconsin's richest prairie with over 400 plant species. As the shores of the post-glacial lake receded into Lake Michigan, the ridge and swale complex of the prairie was formed. This complex consists of diverse environments from the dry prairie plants on the sandy ridges to the swale a few feet away, which can be a wet prairie, a fen, or a sedge meadow. There is also an area of open oak savanna. Special plants at Chiwaukee include chestnut sedge, false asphodel, marsh blazing star, Ohio goldenrod, pale false foxglove, pink milkwort, prairie Indian plaintain, prairie milkweed, prairie white fringed orchid and smooth phlox.
This lake prairie is a part of a much larger lake prairie which had its center where downtown Chicago now is and extended along Lake Michigan shoreline into Indiana and Wisconsin. Almost all the Lake prairie has now disappeared. The Chiwaukee Prairie may be the largest area of this prairie left. You'll hear the story of how it has been preserved and how the effort is continuing even today as we buy back the prairie, one small lot at a time. Today the Chiwaukee Prairie Preservation Fund, the Nature Conservancy, the Wisconsin DNR and UW-Parkside work together on stewardship and buying more prairie land.
Wear good walking shoes (no sandals) and long pants/long sleeves, bring a hat, sunscreen and insect repellent. Walking will be over mostly level but uneven ground and not always on trails.
FT 4: Cash, Cows, and Conservation: The New Face of America’s
Departs: Sunday, August 3 at 7:30 am; Returns Sunday, August 3 at 6 pm
Fee includes: Transportation, breakfast snack, and lunch = $70
Organizers: Laura Paine, Grazing and Organic Agriculture Specialist, Wisconsin Dept of Agriculture
Wisconsin's traditional family dairy farms and small artisan dairy processors are leading a revitalization of the state's dairy industry. Although California now leads the nation in milk production, Wisconsin is still home to more than twice as many dairy farmers as any other state. The green pastures of dairy farms have shaped southern Wisconsin's landscape and are key to a profitable and environmentally sound agricultural system for our future.
This tour will visit three family dairy farms that each have chosen an innovative, environmentally-friendly way to add value to their products. The first stop will be an organic dairy milking 350 cows using a unique rotating milking parlor. Two hundred acres of pasture surround the buildings and the family operates another 1200 acres of cropland organically. Members of the R.G. Miller family will share their long-standing organic philosophy and some of the practices they use to keep their cows, their land, and their family healthy.
Lunch will be at Fountain Prairie Inn and Farms, a leader in southern Wisconsin's local food movement. We'll share a chef-prepared lunch of grass-fed beef with owners John and Dorothy Priske, who raise Scottish Highland cattle on 300 acres of pasture, restored prairie and wetland (vegetarian option available). They've restored their Victorian era home and operate it as a bed and breakfast. The Priske's direct market their beef to white table cloth restaurants throughout southern Wisconsin. We'll hear their story and take a wagon ride through the prairie.
Our third stop will be the Bob and Karen Breneman grass-based dairy. About 1/4 of Wisconsin's 14,000 dairy farms are putting their cows back out on pasture to harvest their own feed. The Breneman's 240 acre farm is entirely under pasture and Bob and Karen will give us the whys and hows of this energy efficient, environmentally-friendly system. The Breneman farm participates in the Wisconsin Discovery Farms program, a network of on-farm research projects that focus on the environmental performance of agriculture. Researchers will share results of studies on grassland bird use of rotationally grazed pastures as well as studies on grazing and aquatic habitat, groundwater, and surface water quality.
FT 5: Exploring Natural Plant Communities at Lapham Peak State Park
and Lulu Lake Preserve
Departs: Sunday, August 3 at 7:45 am; Returns Sunday, August 3 at 4:15 pm
Fee includes: Transportation, breakfast snack, and box lunch = $48
Organizers: Mike Fort and Cathy Chybowski
We will begin at the tower of Lapham Peak State Park, named after one of Wisconsin’s early scientists. After an initial orientation of the surrounding area from the forty foot observation tower, a hiking loop will feature glacial remnants such as kettle-like formations, a look inside an Eastern Bluebird nestbox, and a short tour of the Park’s best remnant prairie. Returning to the tower area, the trip will continue one mile down Wisconsin’s historic Ice Age Trail, over 1000 miles in length. We will observe areas where invasive shrubs such as buckthorn, honeysuckle, and autumn olive have been removed, and where native forbs and grasses have been replanted. There will be an option for individuals to continue the hike to areas of restored prairie & savanna plantings, where there will be an opportunity to gather native prairie seeds. Hiking distance for the morning could be as far as two or three miles, with elevation changes of several hundred feet.
From Lapham Peak, we will travel to Lulu Lake Preserve. Lulu Lake Preserve is one of the highest quality natural areas in Wisconsin and provides habitat for diverse and rare species of plants and animals. Fourteen different types of natural communities are protected and managed here. The water in the kettle lake and wetlands of the Mukwonago River watershed is diverse and of high quality. Sedge meadows, bogs and calcareous fens provide habitat for several rare species of fish, amphibians, reptiles and insects. Oak openings, among the rarest of plant communities, are protected on the preserve's uplands. Northern Kittentail is the most endangered of plant species on the uplands and thrives in several locations. Many species of birds can be seen and heard in every community. This is a special place! Come and see for yourself.
No special clothing required; be prepared for insects and wear good hiking shoes.
FT 6: Ecological Outreach Opportunity (EOO) - “BioBlitz” at the
Proposed Milwaukee Central Park Riparian Corridor
Departs: Sunday, August 3 at 8:30 am; Returns Sunday, August 3 at 4 pm
Fee includes: Transportation, breakfast snack, and box lunch = $41
Organizers: Charissa Jones; Lauren McGee; Amber Finley; Marguerite Mauritz
The Milwaukee Central Park is a proposed conservation project being initiated by the Milwaukee River Workgroup (a conglomerate of Milwaukee conservation groups). Its aims are to protect a proposed 800 acre of riparian corridor surrounding the Milwaukee River from urban encroachment, preserve and restore the natural habitat of the corridor, and provide public access to this urban resource. Currently, this project, stretching from North Ave. to Silver Spring Dr., is in the legal stages of having this land zoned as public park space. At the culmination of this fieldtrip, we hope to accomplish two goals: to (1) complete an outreach activity with local Milwaukee residents and (2) use the expertise of ESA members to provide management recommendations for a local conservation project.
The fieldtrip will consist of separating participants into groups of 5-7 individuals comprised of ESA members, middle school and/or high school students, teachers, and community members. Each group will collect biological data from key locations of concern identified by the Milwaukee River Workgroup. Data will be collected in the form of a ‘mini-bioblitz.’ Traditionally, a bioblitz is characterized as a 24-hour inventory of all living organisms in a given area; this blitz, however, will run for 2-3 hours. The trip will conclude with a data synthesis, reflection, and recommendation period following lunch. Ideas and recommendations presented will go towards the development of an environmental management plan.
The overall aims of this trip are to: (1) allow ESA members to connect with the local host community of the annual meeting; (2) use the expertise of ESA to aid a local conservation organization in the planning stages of a restoration project; (3) leave that community with surveying skills taught by ESA members; and (4) build and/or strengthen connections between local schools and the Milwaukee environmental groups, so that similar educational activities can continue beyond this fieldtrip.
We recommend that participants dress comfortably and wear long pants, walking shoes, hat, and sunglasses. They should bring sunscreen, bug repellent, and drinking water. There is a slight chance that participants will get somewhat muddy and/or wet.
FT 7: Cedarburg Bog Natural Area and the UWM Field Station
Departs: Sunday, August 3 at 8:30 am; Returns Sunday, August 3 at 5 pm
Fee includes: Transportation, breakfast snack, box lunch, and canoes = $57
Organizers: James Reinartz, Director of UWM Filed Station
The Cedarburg Bog is one of the largest, most diverse, and biologically interesting wetlands in southern Wisconsin. Its most unusual feature is the presence of a string or "patterned" bog, a vegetation type that is typically found much further north. We will access the string bog via a boardwalk, and along the way will see cedar-tamarack swamp forest, shrub carr, and swamp hardwoods, as well as a stream, lake and islands that occur within the bog. There is also a deer exclosure that has been in place for over 30 years. We will return to the UWM Field Station lab for a box lunch. In the afternoon, participants will go canoeing on Mud Lake, a 245 acre shallow lake contained within the Cedarburg Bog. From the canoes we will see emergent aquatic plant communities, and will have access to the islands in the lake. See the UWM Field Station website http://www.uwm.edu/Dept/fieldstation/ for more information about the natural areas at the Cedarburg Bog.
FT 8: Linking Research and Education Through Museums: A Field Trip
at the Morton Arboretum
Departs: Sunday, August 3 at 8:30 am; Returns Sunday, August 3 at 5:30 pm
Fee includes: Transportation, breakfast snack, and box lunch = $57
Organizers: Megan Dunning, Manager of Natural History Education, the Morton Arboretum; Jan Little, Assistant Director of Education, the Morton Arboretum
The Morton Arboretum, located in Lisle, IL, is a 1,700 acre outdoor museum focusing on the collection, planting and conservation of trees, shrubs and other plants from around the world. Founded in 1922, The Morton Arboretum is home to 500 acres of plant collections and gardens, including a four-acre interactive Children’s Garden and 900 acres of natural areas, including woodlands, savannahs, prairies, meadows, lakes and streams. The natural areas also include one of the oldest restored prairies in the Midwest, the 100-acre Schulenberg Prairie. During this field trip and workshop, participants will explore the opportunities for research and education in this living classroom. On their first stop, participants will tour the ongoing prairie and woodland restoration projects. They will also hear about the Arboretum’s new research into natural areas management, contributions to plant conservation and systematics, and the way the arboretum is addressing problems in urban growing environments, soil science and tree breeding. In the afternoon, the participants will gather in the historic Thornhill Education Center for a workshop on approaches and techniques for museum education, and for developing programs in natural areas stewardship and citizen science. This will begin with a brainstorming summit on integrating research and education at museums, and move on to discussing specific approaches for adult and youth audiences.
Summary: In this field trip, discover the possibilities for ecological education and research at an outdoor museum. Visit the Morton Arboretum, discuss the research and educational programs taking place, and participate in a workshop on integrating research and education in a museum setting.
FT 9: Snakes, Canoeing and Citizen Science at the Urban Ecology
Departs: Sunday, August 3 at 9 am; Returns Sunday, August 3 at 3 pm
Fee includes: Transportation, breakfast snack, box lunch, and canoes = $78
Organizers: Timothy Vargo
The Urban Ecology Center (UEC, www.urbanecologycenter.org) is a not-for-profit environmental education center that grew out of a grassroots neighborhood effort to save historic Riverside Park (Frederick Law Olmsted) from crime. Located in the most densely populated area of Wisconsin, UEC grew from it’s humble beginnings in a double-wide trailer to an award-winning green building that boasts energy-efficient design, recycled materials, and a gray-water system as well as a classroom camouflaged into the wall, an entry-way that is a slide and a 40-foot observation tower with a rock-climbing wall. This trip will start with a building tour and discussion of two of UEC’s nationally-recognized programs, the Neighborhood Environmental Education Project (NEEP) and the Citizen Science project. After lunch we will venture on to the floodplains of the Milwaukee River with UEC’s researchers and citizen scientists to assist them in their monitoring of the state-threatened Butler’s Garter Snake, which is found only in the Milwaukee area and is facing the threat of habitat loss due to development. The trip will conclude with a lazy canoe trip down the Milwaukee River and back to the Convention Center. Please wear comfortable clothes for canoeing and a short hike through grassland.
FT 10: Lake Michigan Cruise: A Look Beneath the Waves
(See the Denis Sullivan at www.spiritmag.com/2008_05/features/ft3.php)
Departs: Monday, August 4 5:30 pm CASTOFF; Monday, August 4pm at 9:30 pm. ALLOW 20 MINUTES TO WALK TO DISCOVERY WORLD FROM THE CONVENTION CENTER.
Fee includes: box dinner = $80
Organizers: John Janssen, Great Lakes WATER Inst., UW-Milwaukee and Erica Young, Biology Department, UW-Milwaukee
This cruise aboard the Wisconsin’s flagship the Denis Sullivan, a 137 foot three-masted Great Lakes Schooner, will provide a view at Lake Michigan’s western nearshore ecosystem. The cruise highlights include live video broadcast from below the water surface from an unmanned submersible (ROV) operated from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee’s R/V Neeskay. Aboard the Denis Sullivan, participants will enjoy the video broadcast, the Milwaukee and Lake Michigan skylines, and can even do their own sampling by operating an ROV! Lake Michigan is the second largest of the Great Lakes and contains about 3% of the world’s surface freshwater. Because of its size, the organisms must tolerate physical conditions similar those in oceans. The native organisms are mainly derived from streams that were refugia during glaciation. The Great Lakes ecosystems have been vulnerable to multiple influxes of invasive species, typically of coastal marine origin. Along Lake Michigan’s western coast, this unsettled ensemble interacts on a landscape of rocks and clay left by the glaciers that carved the Laurentian Great Lakes.
FT 11: Birding around Milwaukee Harbor
Departs: Tuesday, August 5 from 6:30 a.m. - 10:30 a.m.
Fee includes: Transportation, breakfast snack = $30
Organizers: Peter Dunn, Dept. of Biological Sciences, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.
The Milwaukee lakeshore is an important migration corridor along Lake Michigan, and one of the top birding locations in the state. The shoreline draws impressive numbers of waterfowl and shorebirds. Despite its urban landscape, over 300 species of birds have been recorded in Milwaukee County. This fieldtrip will explore the bird life along the Milwaukee lakeshore and nearby parks. The trip is appropriate for all levels of birding experience, from beginning to advanced. We will begin our excursion at the Coast Guard impoundment, which attracts a wide variety of shorebirds in early August, including yellowlegs, short-billed dowitchers, black-bellied plovers, semipalmated and stilt sandpipers, and the occasional white-rumped sandpiper, Wilson’s phalarope and sora rail. From there, we will continue birding along the lakeshore at several parks where we are likely to see a variety of migrating songbirds, particularly warblers. Led by biologist Peter Dunn of the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, this trip will provide participants with ample opportunity to view a number of birds that are native to the Milwaukee region. Wear sturdy shoes for walking short distances on flat but uneven ground. Participants should wear layers and bring sunscreen, hat and sunglasses. Bring binoculars. This field trip is open to children who can participate in the walking sections of the tour.
FT 12: Riveredge Nature Center - Lake Sturgeon Restoration in the
Milwaukee River - Linking Ecological Research and Education
Departs: Wednesday, August 6 at 8 am; Returns Wednesday, August 6 at 12 noon
Fee includes: Transportation, breakfast snack = $33
Organizers: Marc White, Riveredge Nature Center
Guided by Marc White, Riveredge’s Senior Naturalist and Ecologist, your visit will include an introduction to several of Riveredge’s volunteer-based conservation projects and a tour of North America’s only volunteer operated Lake Sturgeon Acipenser fulvescens streamside rearing facility. 2008 is the 3rd-year in a 25-year effort to re-establish a Milwaukee River breeding population of the largest and longest-lived animal native to the great lakes. The trip will include visits to the Riveredge Creek and Ephemeral Pond State Natural Area and hiking along the upper reaches of the Milwaukee River through a high quality example of Wisconsin Maple-Beech-Basswood Forest. Hiking includes ~1.65 miles over gently rolling terrain (an electric cart is available on request.)
FT 13: Urban Forestry, Ecosystem Services, and Environmental
Departs: Thursday, August 7 at 8 am; Returns Thursday, August 7 at 1 pm
Fee includes: Transportation, breakfast snack and box lunch = $40
Organizers: Charles Nilon, Dept of Fisheries and Wildlife Sciences, University of Missouri-Columbia
Theories and concepts about urban ecosystems have real world applications. Urban forestry and urban greening programs are recognized for their role as tools for providing ecosystem services in cities. Milwaukee’s forestry division started in 1917 and has one of the best-funded and strongest urban forestry programs in the U.S. Greening Milwaukee and other non-profit groups seek to expand the work done by the forestry division and provide information on the benefits of urban vegetation to residents in the city. However, not all of Milwaukee’s residents share the benefits of urban vegetation. Researchers at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee found that income and race are predictors of differences in amounts of vegetation and provision of ecosystem services. This field trip is a two mile, 25 block, walking tour of vegetation and buildings along Locust Street. The four-hour walk and discussion starts at the intersection of Martin Luther King Dr. and Locust Street and continues east to Lake Michigan. The transition from a high density residential and commercial street to one dominated by large homes near the Lake provides an overview of socioeconomic and environmental conditions in the city that shape urban forestry programs and resulting environmental justice issues. Staff from Milwaukee’s Forestry Division will provide insights into how they are attempting to re-green Milwaukee, evaluate ecosystem services associated with urban vegetation, and address lack of involvement of low income residents and residents of color. Participants will have the option of walking back to the Convention Center along the lake at the end of the trip (about 3.5 miles), or returning by bus.
FT 14: The Miracle of Scuppernong Wet Prairie
Departs: Saturday, August 9 at 8am; Returns Saturday, August 9 at 2 pm
Fee includes: Transportation, breakfast snack, and box lunch = $52
Organizer: Ron Kurowski
We will travel to the southern unit of the Kettle Moraine State Forest, an area consisting of more than 20,000 acres of glacial hills, kettles, lakes, prairie restoration sites, pine woods and hardwood forests. We will visit the Scuppernong River Habitat Area, where within the last several years intense management such as brush and tree removal and large landscape fires have produced the largest native wet prairie east of the Mississippi River. Today this 3,500 acre area supports large areas of several rare native plant communities such as wet mesic prairies, sedge meadows, and fens. In addition, the site supports more than 45 plants, animals and insects that are either state-threatened, endangered or “of special concern”. The large and open nature of the site provides excellent habitat for uncommon birds such as boblink (Dolichonyx oryzivorus), western meadowlark (Sturnella neglecta), and upland sandpiper (Bartramia longicauda), and other uncommon animals include Franklin’s ground squirrel (Spermophilus franklinii), badger, and eastern hognose snake. We will tour places that are being presently cleared of dense brush and trees and also visit other areas that are further along in the restoration process. After a morning in the field, we'll have lunch at the Visitor Center of the State Forest and then return to the Convention Center.
No age restrictions
Hiking boots required