Connie Pukaite, a former City of Mequon mayor and alderperson who is also a leader of a local Rotary Club involved in the management of Pukaite Woods in Mequon, describes the work with enthusiasm:
“Wisconsin Wetlands Association has inspired so much interest in preservation/conservation in Mequon just with your enthusiastic presence and guidance. Two members of Mequon’s Park Board have become active volunteers, working with OWLT’s Christine Bohn at Pukaite Woods. They’ve brought others to the table as well … including Chris Litzau and a team from Great Lakes Community Conservation Corps, who plan to work every week or two on invasive species (primarily buckthorn) removal throughout the winter on a planned process guided by OWLT. Yesterday, most if not all of the cattails & reed canary grass in our small wetland were cut down, and today we have about 40 volunteers who will remove the debris to piles we’ll burn at some point. Additionally, we may be planting some wetland, prairie or woodland plants that OWLT has secured. I cannot tell you how exciting all this is for me, personally. Thank You!!”
As rapid urbanization occurs in this community north of Milwaukee, Wisconsin Wetlands Association is teaming up with our partners to strategically identify the wetlands and open spaces most in need of protection before they are lost forever. We’re working with our partners to develop a plan for land conservation in the city to help the community protect water quality, prevent flooding, and maintain a high quality of life.
As part of the project, we’re helping partners like MMSD and OWLT address wetland restoration and management challenges on properties they already own. We’re also working with landowners and local community leaders to identify opportunities to protect and restore wetlands and other open spaces, and we’re conducting outreach to build broad public support for open space preservation. This project brings together our My Healthy Wetland and local government outreach efforts and will be a model for other communities throughout Wisconsin.
We are grateful for the support of the Wisconsin Coastal Management Program, the Fund for Lake Michigan, the Brookby Foundation, Pheasants Forever Ozaukee/Washington Chapter, and the Cara Foundation for this work, and to all of our partners working with us to make it happen.
Photo by Katie Beilfuss.