Thursday, June 26, 2014

Heckrodt Nature Center

Wild Ones Fox Valley Area's June program, Be Woods Wise (Managing Your Native woodland), was a talk and tour led by Tracey Koenig, Executive Director of the Heckrodt Wetland Reserve. Heckrodt Wetland Reserve, in Menasha, is a 76-acre urban nature reserve with forested wetland, cattail marsh, open water, created prairie, open field, and upland forest habitats.

Tracey told us that wildlife management is really habitat management.  To attract wildlife you need to manipulate the type, arrangement and availability of the four components of habitat: food, water, shelter, and space.  Make a baseline assessment of what you have including inventories of plants and animals, maps, photos, and journals, which can be updated, compared and evaluated over time.  Determine what your goals and priorities are for the habitat.

Heckrodt Nature Center
 A family from the neighborhood brings a painted turtle
to Heckrodt hoping to find a safer home for it.
Tracey Koenig identifies plants growing in the prairie.
Heckrodt’s mission is to enhance, restore, and preserve the Reserve and educate all people in the importance of conserving our natural resources while promoting the Reserve’s many recreational opportunities. The tour began along elevated boardwalks, providing access to the wetland habitat. Tracey pointed out invasive plant species they are attempting to manage on the property, and discussed projects are underway to replace native species lost to habitat damaged by alien plants such as buckthorn, purple loosestrife, and garlic mustard.  Planning has begun for the possible need to replace ash trees should they be lost to the emerald ash borer in coming years.  The tour continued on over of a bridge crossing Lopas Channel to to a prairie meadow and a wildlife management demonstration area developed in recent years from land that was once a closed landfill.

Tracey recommended consulting the The Wildlife and Your Land series, designed by the Wisconsin DNR, for  suggestions to the private landowner, on how to manage for wildlife:

Consider replacing invasive plants with trees and shrubs with native plants "grown in Wisconsin" with the highest benefit for wildlife.

American bittersweet-winter fruit
Virginia creeper-fall food
Wild grape-fall food
Bristly Greenbrier -summer fruit
Trumpetvine-summer nectar
Balckberry, black raspberry, thimbleberry-summer fruit
Green alder, speckled alder, smooth alder-spring & summer food
Gray dogwood-late summer & fall food
Red-osier Dogwood-fall food
Silky Dogwood-late summer and fall food
Common elderberry-summer food
American hazelnut, beaked hazelnut-fall & winter food
Ninebark-fall & winter food
American highbush cranberry-winter food
Nannyberry, mapleleaf viburnum, & arrowwood viburnum-late summer, fall & winter food
Staghorn sumac, smooth sumac & fragrant sumac-winter food
Wild rose-winter food
Fruit-bearing trees
Prairie crabapple, sweet crabapple-fall & winter food
Hawthorn-winter food
Black cherry, pin cherry, choke cherry-summer food
American Mountain Ash-fall & winter food
Wild Plum-fall food
Eastern serviceberry or shadbus, downy serviceberry,smooth serviceberry-early summer food
Red Mulberry-early summer fruit
Nut-bearing trees
Beech-fall & winter food
Butternut-fall food
Black Walnut-fall & winter food-BUT they secret juglanic acid into the soil
           which inhibits plant growth, especially plants in the tomato-potato family
Shagbark hickory, bitternut hickory-fall & early winter food
White oak, bur oak, swamp white oak, red oak, black oak, northern pin oak-fall & winter food
Other Deciduous Trees
Green ash, white ash, black ash-fall and winter food
Big-toothed aspen, quaking aspen (also called poplar or popple)-winter & spring food
Basswood-summer food
Yellow birch, paper birch, river birch-fall & winter food
American elm, slippery (red) elm, rock elm-late winter and early spring food
Hackberry-fall and winter food
Sugar maple, red maple, silver maple-spring & fall food
Boxelder-summer food
Willow-summer browse–winter food
Balsam fir-fall and winter food
Northern white cedar or “Arbor Vitae”-fall and early winter food
Eastern red cedar-fall, winter and spring food
Hemlock-fall and winter food
Jack pine-fall and winter food
White pine-fall and winter food
Red pine-fall and winter food
White spruce, black spruce-fall and winter food
Tamarack (American larch)-fall food

common buckthorn (Rhamnus cathartica)
glossy/columnar buckthorn (Rhamnus frangula)
European Mountain Ash (Sorbus aucuparia)
Amur maple (Acer ginnala)
Norway maple (Acer platanoides)
black locust(Robinia pseudoacacia)
Chinese elm (Ulmus parviflora)
Siberian elm (Ulmus pumila)
European or black alder (Alnus glutinosa)
White poplar (Populus alba)
Lombardy poplar (Populus nigra italica)
all bush honeysuckles (Lonicera tatarica, L. x bella, L. morrowii, L. aackii)
Japanese barberry (Berberis thunbergii)
European barberry (Berberis vulgaris)
multiflora rose (Rosa multiflora)
European cranberry bush (Vibernum opulus)
common privet(Ligustrum vulgare)
burning bush/winged euonymus (Euonymus alatus)
autumn olive (Elaeagnus umbellata)
Russian olive (Elaeagnus angustifolia)
smooth sumac (Rhus glabra)
round-leaved bittersweet (Celastrus orbiculatus)
wintercreeper (Euonymus fortunei)
Japanese honeysuckle (Lonicera japonica)
porcelain berry (Ampelopsis brevipedunculata)
periwinkle (Vinca minor)
English ivy (Hedera helix)

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