New Invasive Species Discovered & Treated in One Month's Time on Meyer Preserve

This Summer, a local botanist and Waukesha County Land Conservancy (WCLC) Committee member visited our Meyer Preserve . This preserve is extremely high quality and will be under active management for years to come. The previous landowners managed the preserve regularly for invasive species, which helped maintain the integrity of its natural communities consisting of oak savanna, oak woodland, and calcareous fen to name a few.

The botanist, Dr. Dan Carter from The Prairie Enthusiasts and the Milwaukee Public Museum , found some important plant species during his visit, and unfortunately, a new and hard-to-treat invasive plant.

The invasive species is Lespedeza cuneata , or Chinese bushclover. Vegetatively, it looks a lot like Wisconsin’s native round-headed bush-clover, but the remnants of the last year's inflorescences are much different. The population was approximately a half-acre, with a few plants scattered around the main patch, making it the largest known population in the state. More information on this species can be found here.
Making Progress

Although this finding created a challenge, in less than one month, WCLC staff were able to coordinate with the WI Department of Natural Resources and a restoration contractor to conduct the first round of treatments. Though this species will need control for multiple years due to the seed bank that has been established and the long dormancy of many legumes, the first step is to locate species like these and get them under treatment regimens before they spread. WCLC has many years to battle this species, but you can help! If you would like to become a funder of our Meyer Preserve restoration efforts, please click here.

When planting any kind of seed mix on your property, for wildlife or for landscaping purposes, please keep an eye on what you purchase. Native Wisconsin plants provide the best wildlife habitat, can be beautiful in landscaped areas, and ensure our natural areas are safe from new or existing invasive species. If you would like a list of native nurseries WCLC works closely with, please feel free to reach out via email here .

the team at WCLC
Spring & Summer Workday Successes
Lead land steward intern, Tommy, hosts virtual training for garlic mustard removal on our Martin's Woods State Natural Area.
As we all maneuvered through the start of a global pandemic, we had to make some changes to the way our workdays operate this year. Through this transition, we found that our community was finding solace and re-connecting in nature.

Our Spring and Summer workdays took place in May and June and were a huge success thanks to our dedicated team of land steward volunteers.

We held six workdays on four different preserves stewarding approximately 50 acres. We had over 30 volunteers join us (during separately scheduled shifts) to remove the invasive garlic mustard and dame's rocket, and they had tons of fun doing it!
Huge thank you to all of our land steward volunteers! See you in the fall .
Conservation Planning at WCLC
Project Areas & Preserve Selection Criteria

A large part of WCLC’s mission is the continuous acquisition and protection of environmentally significant land and water. As part of this process, WCLC created standardized project selection criteria to help identify the strength of any potential land acquisitions from a mission standpoint. Currently, WCLC is in the process of applying the established project selection criteria towards the creation of project areas.

These project areas will further streamline the acquisition process allowing WCLC to:

  • protect land and water more effectively and efficiently by establishing a framework for good decision making;
  • direct protection efforts toward the highest priority preserves;
  • educate and engage stakeholders and the public on environmentally significant areas in Waukesha County; and,
  • help avoid projects that drain resources.

WCLC is excited to continue improving the ways in which we preserve land and water and look forward to sharing more as our project areas are finalized in the future. If you have land that you are considering donating so that it is protected for generations to come, reach out to learn more about your options via email.
Calling all Birders: Beginner to Expert
Bird with us on Saturday, August 22

WCLC is participating in this year's Great Wisconsin Birdathon ! While this event is the largest fundraiser for bird conservation in Wisconsin, we are also using this as a tool to connect the community to our preserves, raise awareness of the birds in our area, and safely connect friends and families with nature.

On Saturday, August 22 we will try to find as many birds as possible across multiple WCLC preserves in Waukesha County. To do this safely, we will be assigning each individual, family and/or friend group a preserve to bird on. You will receive a map of the preserve, a checklist of Wisconsin birds, and a data sheet to record the birds you see/hear.

Join our team today to get outdoors and make an impact on bird conservation and land management planning in Waukesha County.
Grow Your Own Orchard
WCLC Alliance Partner, Johnson's Nursery, Inc., has what you need to create your own orchard

With each passing season, growing your own fruit trees is becoming increasingly popular as a sustainable landscape practice. Apple trees are a popular, hardy fruit tree in Wisconsin and offer a sustainable way to grow your own food. Johnson's Nursery grows them locally and offers versatile options to build an apple orchard in your own yard!

Visit their website to find your apple tree this season.
Become a Land Steward this Fall
Fall Workday Calendar + COVID-19

It's almost time to take out our handsaws and loppers to take down the infamous invasive species, buckthorn.

First and foremost, your health is our top priority. While we can't gather large groups, we still have work to do, and  we still need your help! 

We have nine workdays scheduled on three different preserves during the months of September, October, November, and December, and we would love to have you join our volunteer team as a land steward to care for the land we all love.

All equipment used during our Fall workdays will go through a rigorous disinfecting before and after each workday. We will be limiting the number of land stewards out at one time, requiring masks during training and when returning equipment, and asking for a minimum of 6 ft distance between those not in the same household.

Click here to sign up for a volunteer shift,  and we will send you information about your shift as the date approaches. Workday are being filled on a first-come-first-filled basis.
New Benefits of Becoming a Member
Let's Act Together

WCLC launched a NEW  membership program this Summer with expanded member benefits to ensure our high-quality ecosystems remain a vital part of the community. Our members specifically assist WCLC in increasing our number of protected preserves, improving the conservation values of those preserves, increasing our capacity as an organization, and expanding our education and outreach initiatives to reach more people.

Other Ways to Give
Do you want to get involved and make an impact in our work?

There are many ways you can help us fulfill our mission of protecting and caring for environmentally significant land and water in Waukesha County for future generations: