Wisconsin Wetlands Associationís
2006 Annual Meeting & Field Day

Saturday, September 30th, 11:30 AM - 3:30 PM
Kettle Moraine State Forest - Southern Unit, Waukesha County

Thank you to everyone who participated in and contributed to our annual meeting and field day! Special thanks to many volunteers who helped with set-up, clean-up and logistics throughout the day. Thank you also to Whole Foods Market - Madison for donating sandwiches for this event. See photos from the event below.

>> Schedule of events
>> Directions & details on required Wisconsin State Park stickers
>> Information about wetland field trips
>> Information about self-guided walks
>> Information for WWA Members about election of new WWA Board members
>> Raffle: Win an Eagle Optics Monocular!
>> A call for volunteers

Organized activities run from 11:30 AM to 3:30 PM. If youíre interested in coming earlier in the day to explore more of the wetlands of this area, click
here for maps to several State Natural Areas located nearby the picnic site and take a self-guided tour.

11:30 AM - 1:00 PM

Picnic lunch, WWA program presentation & Annual Meeting, including election of new members of the Board of Directors. At the picnic site. Thank you to Whole Foods Market - Madison for donating sandwiches for this event.

11:30 AM - 1:00 PM

Kids' Activities including live wetland animals, wetland puzzles, a nature scavenger hunt, and a make-your-own-button station. At the picnic site.

1:15 PM

Raffle Drawing for Eagle Optics monoculars! More information here. At the picnic site.

1:30 PM - 3:30 PM

Wetland Field Trips. We are delighted to be able to offer tours by two well known local experts (description below). Group size limited for each trip; sign up for trips at the picnic site when you arrive. Meet in the parking lot at the picnic site to carpool to field trip location.

  • Ron Kurowski, Park Naturalist for the Southern Moraine State Forest-Southern Unit, will lead a tour of the Scuppernong River Habitat Area (limited to 20 people).
  • Don Reed, Chief Biologist for the Southeastern Wisconsin Regional Planning Commission, will lead a tour of Ottawa Lake Fen State Natural Area (limited to 12 people).

1:30 PM - 2:30 PM

Kids' Wetland Exploration. Explore nearby nature with wetland expert (and mom) Alice Thompson. Use dip nets to explore insects, tadpoles, and other marsh life. Meet in the parking lot at the picnic site to carpool to field trip location.

2:30 PM - 3:30 PM

Kids' Activities, same as above. At the picnic site.

The Kettle Moraine State Forest-Southern Unit is 61 miles east of Madison and 37 miles southwest of Milwaukee. From I-94, take State Rt. 67 south to County Rd. ZZ. Turn left on ZZ and go ~ 1/4 mile. The entrance to the Mackie picnic area is on the left. See notation of picnic site on the map below or click
here for a printable map (PDF, 170KB) of the whole Kettle Moraine State Forest-Southern Unit. The D.J. Mackie Group Picnic Area is in the upper-right-hand corner of this map.

Note: A Wisconsin State Park and Forest sticker is required for all vehicles in the picnic area. We will have a limited number of daily stickers available at the site on a first-come, first-served basis. Stickers (daily or annual) are also available at the Ottawa Lake campground, which is located ~ 1/2 mile west of the Mackie area on County Hwy ZZ (west of State Rt. 67). We have been told that vehicles parked at the Mackie Group Picnic Area without a valid Wisconsin State Park and Forest sticker will be charged a $5.00 service fee in addition to the required sticker fee. Prices for stickers: Resident: Daily $7, Annual $25, Annual senior citizen $10; Non-resident: Daily $10, Annual $35.

Tour some of the wetlands in the Scuppernong River valley of the Kettle Moraine State Forest Southern Unit with knowledgeable field trip leaders. Please note that group size for field trips is limited (see descriptions below for size limit for each trip); sign up at the picnic site. Walks may involve some uneven terrain and portions of some trails are narrow and vegetated. Bring a water bottle and dress appropriately for the weather, walking, and wading. We recommend "marsh wear": long sleeved shirt, long pants, rubber boots or other shoes you donít mind getting wet or muddy, a wide-brimmed hat, and mosquito repellant. Be aware that Lyme disease is present in this part of the state. Prevent tick bites by wearing clothes that cover your skin and by checking your skin and clothing for ticks after going on a walk. Poison ivy also grows in this area, so please use common sense and caution to protect yourself. All field trips will meet in the parking lot at the picnic site to carpool to the field trip location.

Descriptions of wetland tours:
  • Scuppernong Prairie Heritage Area. Field trip leader: Ron Kurowski. Limited to 20 people; sign up at picnic site when you arrive. Visit a 3,500-acre wet prairie that is now considered the largest wet prairie east of the Mississippi River. Since 1999 the DNR has started clearing the dense brush that has occupied this area for years by using controlled burns and large mechanical brush mowers. Once the area is cleared, the prairie plants begin to reappear. Explore part of this area to learn about the "Crex Meadow Effect" and see for yourself the most amazing return of a native prairie in Wisconsin.
  • Ottawa Lake Fen. Field trip leader: Don Reed. Limited to 12 people; sign up at picnic site when you arrive. Ottawa Lake Fen features lakes connected by a deep marsh and extensive shallow marl flats with a unique assemblage of both alkaline and acid-loving plant species. An unusually large number of wetland and aquatic plant communities occur within the site including marsh, sedge meadow, and shrub carr. Explore the variety of wetlands, including rare plants that include the unusual beaked spike rush (Eleocharis rostellata), pitcher plants in a highly alkaline environment, few-flowered spike rush (Eleocharis quinqueflora), common bog arrow-grass (Triglochin maritimum), Ohio goldenrod (Solidago ohioensis), and small fringed gentian (Gentianopsis procera).
  • Kidsí Wetland Exploration. Field trip leader: Alice Thompson. Explore nearby nature with wetland expert (and mom) Alice Thompson. Use dip nets to explore insects, tadpoles, and other marsh life.

    Several State Natural Areas are located nearby the picnic site. We encourage anyone interested in seeing more of the wetlands of this area to come early (or stay late) and take a self-guided tour of one (or more) of these special areas. The link provided below for each State Natural Area will take you to the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resourceís webpage for that site, where you can find links (in the left-hand column on the site) to maps for each Natural Area. We will have a limited number of hard copies of these descriptions and maps available for pickup at the picnic site after 9:00AM on September 30th if you want to come early to see more of the areaís wetlands.

    In addition, the Scuppernong Hiking Trail is adjacent to (and can be accessed from) the picnic site. Click here for a map of these trails, which run primarily through uplands but offer a nice glimpse of the Kettle Moraine landscape. Information about other trails in the Kettle Moraine State Forest Southern Unit can be found here.

    WWA's Board of Directors has nominated an excellent slate of candidates for vacancies on our board. Elections will be held as part of the 2006 WWA Annual Meeting on Saturday, September 30. If you would like to read about the board candidates before the Annual Meeting, please download the
    Board Ballot (PDF).

    If you are not able to attend the Annual Meeting but wish to vote for Board members, please download, print and fill out a copy of the Board Ballot (PDF). Ballots must be received by mail (222 S. Hamilton St. #1 Madison, WI 53703) or fax (608-287-1179) by 5:00 pm on Friday, September 29, 2006 for your vote to be counted.

    We are delighted to be raffling off two Vortex Solo Waterproof monoculars at our Annual Meeting & Field Day. Why get excited about a monocular? Binoculars are often too large or heavy to bring along in the field, yet having optics can be an essential part of an enjoyable, safe wetland adventure. The Vortex Solo delivers sharp, close-up images in a small package. It's rugged, comfortable, and waterproof; you'll never have to worry about the elements or internal fogging. Slip it in your pocket and head out into the wetlands! It's the perfect companion for your outdoor adventures. Read more about the
    Vortex Solo Monocular. Thank you to Eagle Optics for donating these monoculars.

    The proceeds from the raffle of these monoculars (retail value $49.99 each) will support the wetland conservation programs of Wisconsin Wetlands Association.

    The raffle drawing will be held on Saturday, September 30th, at 1:15 PM at the conclusion of WWA's Annual Meeting. The drawing location will be the the Kettle Moraine State Forest - Southern Unit Mackie Group Picnic Area in on County Road ZZ, 1/4 mi. East of State Rt. 67 in Waukesha Co., WI.

    We'll need lots of help from our fellow wetland enthusiasts to make our Annual Meeting & Field Day a successful event. If you'd like to help, please contact Katie Beilfuss at 608-250-9971 or email
    Katie Beilfuss.