HAPPY 2018!!–The New Year is a time of reflection and giving thanks, and the Friends of Stewart Park would like to express our gratitude to all the presenters and participants who made the 2017 series of Park activities successful. The Friends would also like to acknowledge the Dane County Parks staff for their assistance especially Rhea Stangel-Maier, Lars Higdon and Brian Berkan. Below is a reflection of recent Park events and some photos:
Prehistory/Archeology/Flintknapping event, by Dr. Paul Reckner and Erich Hughes (co-sponsored with Friends of the Military Ridge and the Driftless Historium); Plein Air (open air) painting demonstration, with Tom Gilbert and painters from the Madison Plein Air Society and Anna King and her MH High art student’s; Dragon Flies and Park Ecology, by UW Biologist Dr. Rob Bohanan; Celebration of Stewart Park, Pat Downing and his band, Down from the Hills; a DCP woodland native plant identification workshop with Lars Higdon; FSP assisted the Annual Boom-Boom Triathlon by Aaron Pratt; Olive Thomson Native Shrub Project organized by Carolyn White, assisted by Phil Leavenworth and a small vol. army, and funded by the Mound Vue Garden Club; new Kiosk Friends poster at Park entrance by Larry Kruckman; Blue Bird “Walk and Talk” and blue bird box maintenance by Jack Saltes; co-sponsored Scandihoovian events, including Broom Ball festivities on Stewart Lake organized by Dan and Ann Ganch and a museum exhibit: “A Slide, A Jump and a Prayer: Stewart Park’s Ski Jump” (by Destinee Udlehoven, Johnna Buysse at the Driftless Historium). Some of the Friends also participated in the DCP’s Prairie Burn and the Mt Horeb Area School District’s annual 4th Grade science days in the park (special thanks to Karen Ericksen, Kerry Beheler and others). And a big shout out to the scores of volunteers who have joined us for our monthly “Work Days.” Finally, we’d like to acknowledge Don Schlub, Irv Steinhauer and the Operation Fresh Start (OFS) crews and staff Andrea Rieck and David Schlueter for their on-going dedication to Stewart Park, and Peter Gorman and Ron Lutz II for sharing their excellent photography.
June 7–Thursday, : Weeds & Wildflowers Educational Training Walk & Workday (meet at shelter 3106 County JG, Mt. Horeb, WI) (Register here: https://signup.com/client/invitation2/secure/1938639/false#/invitation) Join Lars Higdon, Dane County Botanist/Naturalist, for a guided walk through prairies in various Dane County park properties. These plant ID walks will be followed by an optional stewardship activity during the 2nd half of the morning. Participants will learn how to distinguish native plants from pesky weeds and discuss approaches for managing some of our worst invasive species. Come ready with questions about wrestling weeds or how to promote some of your favorite wildflowers. Following the walk, those who want to stay will roll up their sleeves and get hands on experience removing invasive plants using a tool called the parsnip predator. Make sure to wear long pants and closed toe shoes and bring plenty of drinking water and mosquito spray. Come to learn and give back– Join us!
Sunday, June 25–Blue Bird Talk and Stewart Park Work Day Planned
The Friends of Stewart Park announces two upcoming events of interest on Sunday, June 25. First, at 4PM, a blue bird talk, followed by a blue bird box monitoring demonstration led by Jack Saltes. Families are welcome to both events. Summer is a great time to be in the park. Please mark your calendar. No need to register, just drop by. For more details call Mary McDonough Sutter at 608-437-5900.
Tuesday, July 4th
Boom-Boom Triathlon in Stewart Park Register for Triathlon Here
Tuesday, July 11th
Volunteer Educational Training, Lars Higdon, Dane County Parks Naturalist, Woodland Identification, 9 and 11AM (limit 15 each); to sign up contact Rhea Stangel-Maier, email@example.com
Sunday, August 20
Celebration of Stewart Park: 4-6PM at the main Park Shelter; pot luck, live music by Down From the Hills. Watch friends of Stewart Park Mt Horeb Facebook page for details.
Saturday, September 16
Talk and Walk: What Dragonflies Can Teach Us About Ecology and Stewardship: The Role of Citizen Science. Robert Bohannon, UW Biology. 10-12AM, Stewart Park Shelter.
Saturday, October 7
Demonstration: Dane County Plein Air Society, painting/demonstration. 9-12AM, with demonstrations (oil at 9:30, pastel at 10:30) Demos at Stewart Park Shelter with painters at locations around the park. http://pleinairdaneco.blogspot.com/
Saturday, October 28
Presentation (talk and walk), 1-3PM: “Prehistory of Mt Horeb and Stewart Park,” Dr. Paul Reckner, Wisconsin State Historical Society, co-sponsored with Driftless Historium, Mt. Horeb. Talk at Historium Community Center Room.
On Going Workdays: Monthly every third Sunday, 1-4PM. Check Facebook for Details. Sampling of projects: Two Area Groups Join Together to Fulfill Olive Thomson’s Wish: Native Shrub Planting Day in Stewart Park. Olive Thomson was a local biologist who died in 2016 at age 100. Olive was known for her area environmental preservation work, and for editing Spring Flora of Wisconsin: A Manual of Plants Growing without Cultivation (University of Wisconsin Press), which is still in print. A few years ago, in a conversation with Carolyn White, she lamented that most prairie reconstructions left out native shrubs. She requested that a demonstration plot be tried, and suggested Stewart Park. Carolyn, program director for the Mound Vue Garden Club and board member of the Friends of Stewart Park, has been working on Olive’s request ever since.
The Friends of Stewart Park and the Mound Vue Garden Club, in corporation with Dane County Park’s Lars Higdon and Rhea Stangel-Maier, organized a two-part work day on Sunday, May 21st to begin accomplishing these two goals: 1) transplanting prairie plants near the main parking lot and 2) planting native shrubs for the Olive Thomson Memorial near Blue View Drive entrance to the park, in Nordic Hills. Kerry Beheler has been transplanting native prairie plants along the hillside for over 5 years near the main parking lot. Work on these two areas continues all summer. Go to our volunteer link if you’d like to participate or write: firstname.lastname@example.org
December 17: Friends Work Day: Please come meet other Friends at the end of Viking Road (via Blue View Rd, right on North Ridge in Nordic Hills) to finish clean up on the north end of the Meadow Trail from 1-3:00. We are also working to protect native shrubs on the Bush Trail by capping the mesh surrounds with chicken wire. The Bush Trail is easier to access at he end of Blue View Drive. Join us! The entire family is welcome. For additional details call Mary McDonough Sutter 608 332 5029.
February 2018 (first weekend): Scandihoovian Festival, including Broom Ball on Stewart Lake. 2018 Schedule Here
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