Coulee Region Sites
Holland Sand Prairie
The Holland Sand Prairie is a 61-acre floodplain terrace sand prairie. The Coulee Region partners with the Mississippi Valley Conservancy and the Friends of the Holland Sand Prairie to manage this site.
There are large patches of Pasque flower and Prairie smoke in the spring, and Rough blazingstar and Showy goldenrod in the late summer. Along with these typical prairie plants, the site has a good population of Silky aster, and New Jersey tea is common. Several grassland species nest at the site, and badger frequently searching for pocket gophers.
TPE leads an effort to collect seed at the site to be interseeded into degraded areas on the property. We sponsor work parties to help with brush control. The chapter developed an informational display for the site and provided a weather-resistant version attached to the site kiosk.
Link to DNR SNA page for the Holland Sand Prairie.
Hixon Forest Hill Prairies
Several of our chapter members have been active in management of Zoerb Prairie and Lookout Prairie in the City of La Crosse. These 1- to 2-acre remnants contain typical plant community composition of hill prairies. They are also frequently used by Timber Rattlesnakes.
The work on these prairies has been led by the Friends of the Blufflands organization. This group is coordinating the restoration efforts, including scheduling workdays, finding volunteers, and seeking grant funding. The City budgets for some of the management. A management plan for Zoerb Prairie was approved by the TPE Land Management Committee and a site steward has been aggressively carrying out that plan.
Sugar Creek Bible Camp
The Sugar Creek Bible Camp Prairie-Savanna-Woodland Complex contains six acres of this rare dry-prairie and fourteen acres of the globally imperiled oak savanna. Over 140 plant species were recorded on the bluff prairie. Reptiles including the bull snake, blue racer, and six-lined racerunner were also recorded. In 2000, TPE entered into a 10-year agreement to manage this prairie-savanna-woodland complex. Restoration methods of controlled burning, understory thinning, and exotic species removal have provided opportunities for hands on restoration, education, increased biodiversity, and above all maintaining these ecologically important communities for present and future generations to enjoy. TPE has conducted several prescribed burns at the site, including one in 2011.
Properties owned by our members
We are fortunate to have many members with remnants and/or plantings in our chapter. We work together on to manage these sites.
Hill prairie educational materials developed for landowner outreach
The Coulee Region Chapter has developed some educational materials for use with landowners. These materials are the very basic information that would be of interest to landowners with goat prairie remnants. The materials include a brochure, writings about plant species of hill prairies, and display/posters. Link to materials.
Citizen Science: Prairie Butterflies and Moths
We are hoping to add to the information on the distribution of three skippers and two moths by reporting what we find on prairies in the Coulee region. Armund Bartz gave a presentation about these at a recent meeting. Here’s a video clip from a similar presentation at the 2013 Iowa Prairie Conference. The clip is about a half hour long, but critical parts are:
4:30 – Intro to the five species
5:55 – Skipper flight periods
7:25 – Features used to identify
8:40 – Dusted Skipper (flight period starts around May 5)
14:15 – Ottoe Skipper (June 6)
18:10 – Leonard Skipper (August 1)
22:00 – Northern Flower Moth (on blazingstar and asters)
24:15 – Leadplant Flower Moth (on leadplant, of course!)
For more info on the project and reporting, contact Jim Rogala.