• NatureNOW (OWLT)

Nature Remains - Therefore Volunteer Opportunities Remain!

June 2020 - Stew News

Though we have had to implement changes to our volunteer activities due to COVID-19 we have not stopped the much-needed work that needs to occur at the preserves. The alterations that had been made include items such as limited group sizes, limited days/times, and extra sanitation/protection precautions when necessary. A good example is the strategic planning that occurred for the tree planting at Huiras Lake State Natural Area.

'Forest of Hope' Tree Planting

The project was funded by a grant from the Southeastern Wisconsin Invasive Species Consortium, Inc. (SEWISC), a coalition that supports the management of invasive species in counties throughout the southeast corner of Wisconsin. The funding received in 2019 was for a reed canary grass control project and part of the U.S. Forest Service's Great Lakes Restoration Initiative.

Due to the COVID-19 crisis the vision of a weekend large-scaled volunteer tree planting event had to be significantly altered, but still allow 5,000+ native trees to be planted all by hand. Over the course of several days, the OWLT staff and limited seasoned volunteers were hard at work, with restrictions in place. Only seven people were allowed on-site per day to ensure the ability to social distance. Additional protocols included assigning tools to each worker for the full day and disinfecting buckets, shovels, and anything that had been touched throughout the day.

With careful planning and extra safety precautions our staff and volunteers, working cooperatively but safely apart, successfully providing a forever home for over 5,500 native trees, creating what we refer to as a 'Forest of Hope'. The project was featured as a 'Delivering the Mission' initiative by the U.S. Forest Service.

“This area we are standing in will someday hopefully be a beautiful forest that we can say was planted during the pandemic of 2020.” - Josh Schlicht, Stewardship Coordinator

Garlic Mustard Pull-a-Thon

OWLT staff and seasoned volunteers are working diligently at several nature preserves pulling garlic mustard and dames rocket. If not removed, invasive species can quickly turn a highly diverse forest floor into a monoculture of exotic species. OWLT stewardship focuses on maintaining diverse and high-quality ecosystems for local plants and wildlife. By removing the non-native species, we are able to give local critters the resources they need to flourish.

OWLT in collaboration with SEWISC's Garlic Mustard Pull-A-Thon, the team has had several workdays throughout Ozaukee and Washington County. 

The upcoming dates/times are:

  • Thursday, July 18th (9:00am-Noon) Bratt Woods - Grafton

  • Friday, July 19th (9:00am-Noon) Fellenz Woods - West Bend

Registration is required by emailing Josh at jschlicht@owlt.org. Vist our online calendar for more information. Please consider supporting this activity by donating toward this event at: Pull-A-Thon

Pollinator Partnership and Project Wingspan

OWLT is participating in Pollinator Partnership's Project Wingspan. We have pledged to provide management that supports pollinators on many of our preserves. 

Project Wingspan is a regional project that promotes and assists in the management and sustaining of pollinator habitat across the mid-west. One of the objectives of the project is to collect, clean, and disperse native seed from local prairies.

The team is currently looking for volunteers to help in seed collecting efforts. Events will take place on OWLT preserves and other local prairies, this fall. The collected seeds will be processed and dispersed to local Project Wingspan Partners, like OWLT.

If you are interested in volunteering for Project wingspan reach out to Laura Jach Smith, Project Wingspan's Wisconsin's coordinator, by emailing her at ljs@pollinator.org. For more information on the project follow this link.

(photo credit: Kate Redmond)

Grazing Goats Crew

The Mequon-Thiensville Sunrise Rotary Club in partnership with Ozaukee-Washington Land Trust are bringing goats to the City of Mequon’s Rotary Park to help with the management of invasive buckthorn and honeysuckle! Read more at: OWLT News NatureNOW

Watch Video (https://youtu.be/52dFINPt2WQ)

Support this activity by sponsoring the goats' transportation for multiple days over the course of several weeks.


$10 per goat per day

$50 per goat per week

$100 to support their return next year!

Indicate “Sponsor a Goat” in the donation comments.

Volunteers are Wonderful!

If you have questions, please feel free to contact Josh at jschlicht@owlt.org

Thank you for your support and dedication from the entire Stewardship Crew Team!

Ryan Wallin, Stewardship Director

Katie Weber, Program Manager

Josh Schlicht, Stewardship Coordinator

Christine Bohn, Project Coordinator

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